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Thread: Accepting an offer, only to decline later?

  1. #1
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    Accepting an offer, only to decline later?

    There's a similar thread on the same topic at thegradcafe.com, but I want as much input as I can get.

    UCincinnati is offering me full tuition plus stipend, but they want a decision on the fellowship by tomorrow, and admission by the 31st.

    I know that the Council of Graduate Schools agreement says no school can pressure an applicant to decide by April 15th, but I don't want this to turn into some huge fiasco as they seem pretty adamant on wanting a decision by said dates.

    I'm still waiting to hear about funding from Rutgers, and decisions from Berkeley and USC.

    So, my question is, since I legally have the right to withdraw an acceptance until April 15th, would you recommend just accepting Cincinnati's offer, wait and see what I get from other schools, and if they make similar or better offers, to back out of my agreement with Cincy? What do you think are the potential consequences of doing so?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    That's a tough situation, Fang. I guess if I were you, I'd call all the other programs and explain the situation to them. Hopefully they can let you know where you stand and help you make a more informed decision.

    Obviously, it's never good to accept an offer and then go back on it. However, if they truly insist on making you respond before the April 15th deadline (which their institution has agreed to), they have to be prepared for more people who change their minds.

    I think the only real downsides to accepting (then changing your decision) are: 1) you could irritate them/burn bridges if you ever want to work with any of the faculty again... though who knows if they ever remember these things, 2) by your accepting the offer, they may reject (or not offer funding) to other applicants... by the time you change your mind, it may be too late for the other people

    I'm sure you've thought of this stuff, though. Good luck, and congrats on the scholarship offer!

  3. #3
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    Some graduate programs may allow you to defer enrollment for up to a year, after which you would have to re-apply. More competitive schools might require you to re-apply every year.

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    Honestly, I feel like the school is playing dirty by pressuring you, so you should feel no problem with playing dirty back and accepting with the possibility of rejecting them. You may loose a little money (if there is a deposit) but not that much compared to the cost of grad school, and you may not get in later if you end up applying to a PhD there in three years or something like that, but I don't see any other problem with it. They are the ones being unethical, not you.

  5. #5
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    Great, thanks for the suggestions! I don't plan on rescinding my acceptance unless another school makes a great offer, but it's good to know I have the moral high ground here.
    Last edited by Fang; 25 Mar 2008 at 6:48 PM.

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