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Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action

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Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 20:34
I was admitted to a school in the early action round and submitted my deposit. However, I was recently admitted to a much higher ranked school that I would rather attend.

I want to withdraw from the first school and I understand I'm going to lose my (sizable) deposit. Will the school care beyond that? Will they try to stick me with the tuition for the the 1st year? I know that you're supposed to withdraw your applications to other schools after you're admitted in early action, but is there any legal action the school can take, or any penalties?

This is a pretty awkward situation for me. Thanks for responses or suggestions!
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 05:44
Unless the school specifically laid out penalties for failure to attend (and I'm certain they didn't), the only financial issue that you will have to contend with is losing your deposit.

The adcom of the school you're reneging on isn't going to run around acting like a scorned lover. They will just keep your deposit and take someone off the waitlist (that's what it's there for).
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 06:58
You might be in a pretty sticky situation if you pull out of an Early Action decision. I have a few years experience in undergraduate admission and generally the rule is that one must withdraw all other applications once accepted via EA. Schools generally hold the right to take action against you if you choose to go to a different school despite having been accepted EA. Schools tend to take EA decisions very seriously and depending on the program, they may view your more recent acceptance as a violation of their conduct/ethics code and revoke your acceptance. In such a case, you would no longer be welcome at either school. Tread lightly. If you signed an agreement with your first school you might be in a tough situation. An example of one early action statement is below. Notice the bold text.

From the Duke MBA website: *The Duke MBA Early Action option is ideal for applicants who have completed their MBA research and have decided that The Duke MBA is the best program for them. Applicants admitted in the Early Action round must submit the non-refundable $3,000 tuition deposit along with official transcript(s) by December 20, 2011. In addition, any applications submitted to other schools must be withdrawn upon an offer of admission from The Duke MBA.

From Columbia: Candidates have decided that Columbia is their first choice and must sign the following statement of commitment within their applications: I am committed to attending Columbia Business School and will withdraw all applications and decline all offers from other schools upon admission to Columbia Business School.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 07:16
Discofreak wrote:
You might be in a pretty sticky situation if you pull out of an Early Action decision. I have a few years experience in undergraduate admission and generally the rule is that one must withdraw all other applications once accepted via EA. Schools generally hold the right to take action against you if you choose to go to a different school despite having been accepted EA. Schools tend to take EA decisions very seriously and depending on the program, they may view your more recent acceptance as a violation of their conduct/ethics code and revoke your acceptance. In such a case, you would no longer be welcome at either school. Tread lightly. If you signed an agreement with your first school you might be in a tough situation. An example of one early action statement is below. Notice the bold text.

From the Duke MBA website: *The Duke MBA Early Action option is ideal for applicants who have completed their MBA research and have decided that The Duke MBA is the best program for them. Applicants admitted in the Early Action round must submit the non-refundable $3,000 tuition deposit along with official transcript(s) by December 20, 2011. In addition, any applications submitted to other schools must be withdrawn upon an offer of admission from The Duke MBA.

From Columbia: Candidates have decided that Columbia is their first choice and must sign the following statement of commitment within their applications: I am committed to attending Columbia Business School and will withdraw all applications and decline all offers from other schools upon admission to Columbia Business School.


Honestly, even with these statements there is little a school can do if a person decides to not attend. I personally know of someone who applied EA/ED, was accepted and chose to go to another school. Besides the lost deposit there haven't been any additional repercussions. While I wouldn't personally apply to a school EA if I wasn't going to abide by the conditions, I can understand how these situations arise.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 07:24
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WonderDog wrote:
I was admitted to a school in the early action round and submitted my deposit. However, I was recently admitted to a much higher ranked school that I would rather attend.

I want to withdraw from the first school and I understand I'm going to lose my (sizable) deposit. Will the school care beyond that? Will they try to stick me with the tuition for the the 1st year? I know that you're supposed to withdraw your applications to other schools after you're admitted in early action, but is there any legal action the school can take, or any penalties?

This is a pretty awkward situation for me. Thanks for responses or suggestions!

As an alum of a school that offers EA, PLEASE TO GO THE OTHER SCHOOL!

We take ethics very seriously. If you are even pandering the situation, and the only thing that is keeping you back is the legal ramifications, we do not want the possibility of you ending up in our school. I would even give your deposit back, just so you don't come.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 07:28
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 10:19
asimov wrote:
As an alum of a school that offers EA, PLEASE TO GO THE OTHER SCHOOL!

We take ethics very seriously. If you are even pandering the situation, and the only thing that is keeping you back is the legal ramifications, we do not want the possibility of you ending up in our school. I would even give your deposit back, just so you don't come.


Whoa calm down, breath, relax. Are you up from an all-nighter? Try taking a walk, reading a book, or switching to decaf. :roll:

OP: don't listen to this guy. Go where you want to go and do not think the school will come after you seeking retribution. I'm sure this happens all the time and they will understand the gravity of your decision, hence why the deposit for EA is so high. Get in where you fit in.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 10:55
WonderDog wrote:
I was admitted to a school in the early action round and submitted my deposit. However, I was recently admitted to a much higher ranked school that I would rather attend.

I want to withdraw from the first school and I understand I'm going to lose my (sizable) deposit. Will the school care beyond that? Will they try to stick me with the tuition for the the 1st year? I know that you're supposed to withdraw your applications to other schools after you're admitted in early action, but is there any legal action the school can take, or any penalties?

This is a pretty awkward situation for me. Thanks for responses or suggestions!


Depends on the school. Early action usually is non-binding for most schools at the undergrad level, but Early DECISION means you can't apply anywhere else if accepted. They could sue you if this is a binding decision, though that's unlikely because there are other fish to fry. To be honest, you should only apply for an early decision/action only if that school is your #1 choice without question. Otherwise, you shouldn't have applied with a binding decision if you were admitted and you are. My guess is that you'll be released from that decision if you push for it, but it's not the best ethical decision either.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 11:25
Go to the school that makes you happy and where you see the best fit. The worst that can happen is that you loose your deposit money... No school can force some one to attend only their school. You pay tution only if you sign-up for a class not for getting admitted into a University.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 11:30
i don't like the EA thing. They already have a ton of power and now give you a little opening/incentive to apply and give them more power. We might let you in a little bit easier but you are stuck with us. I think its a BS policy created by people who want to bump up their yield.

"For those that know this is the place for them you can apply early. We still kick a way more than a majority, probably 80%, out the door, those lucky 20% MUST come to this school because we gave them such special consideration". They probably laughed halfway through writing the EA policy.

What a joke! I'm only talking about Binding EA/ED here, non-binding is the real deal in my book and a great policy.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 13:01
pacostacos wrote:
asimov wrote:
As an alum of a school that offers EA, PLEASE TO GO THE OTHER SCHOOL!

We take ethics very seriously. If you are even pandering the situation, and the only thing that is keeping you back is the legal ramifications, we do not want the possibility of you ending up in our school. I would even give your deposit back, just so you don't come.


Whoa calm down, breath, relax. Are you up from an all-nighter? Try taking a walk, reading a book, or switching to decaf. :roll:

OP: don't listen to this guy. Go where you want to go and do not think the school will come after you seeking retribution. I'm sure this happens all the time and they will understand the gravity of your decision, hence why the deposit for EA is so high. Get in where you fit in.

Asimov's tone is maybe a little strong, but I agree that it's poor form to pull something like this even if you can get away with it. You gave your word that you wouldn't do something and then you promptly did that exact thing. Maybe that happens often, but I don't see how it's even remotely acceptable. Also, consider that the world of adcoms is very very small. I wouldn't be even the tiniest bit surprised to hear that they share info about people who break EA commitments.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 17:34
imalawyer wrote:
pacostacos wrote:
asimov wrote:
As an alum of a school that offers EA, PLEASE TO GO THE OTHER SCHOOL!

We take ethics very seriously. If you are even pandering the situation, and the only thing that is keeping you back is the legal ramifications, we do not want the possibility of you ending up in our school. I would even give your deposit back, just so you don't come.


Whoa calm down, breath, relax. Are you up from an all-nighter? Try taking a walk, reading a book, or switching to decaf. :roll:

OP: don't listen to this guy. Go where you want to go and do not think the school will come after you seeking retribution. I'm sure this happens all the time and they will understand the gravity of your decision, hence why the deposit for EA is so high. Get in where you fit in.

Asimov's tone is maybe a little strong, but I agree that it's poor form to pull something like this even if you can get away with it. You gave your word that you wouldn't do something and then you promptly did that exact thing. Maybe that happens often, but I don't see how it's even remotely acceptable. Also, consider that the world of adcoms is very very small. I wouldn't be even the tiniest bit surprised to hear that they share info about people who break EA commitments.

Just my 2 cents.



True, but if we're talking about the difference between a top 40 school and top 10 school than who cares? It's just acting like corporations do every day of the year- i.e., in their own best interest. Should someone take offense when a selfish act is committed against an institution that teaches people to act in their own self interest in the corporate environment? I don't think so, afterall, it's just business. :-D
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 19:28
pacostacos wrote:
True, but if we're talking about the difference between a top 40 school and top 10 school than who cares? It's just acting like corporations do every day of the year- i.e., in their own best interest. Should someone take offense when a selfish act is committed against an institution that teaches people to act in their own self interest in the corporate environment? I don't think so, afterall, it's just business. :-D

Can't tell if this is jokey or serious. If it's serious then I completely disagree. If it's jokey then my internet sarcasm meter needs adjusting.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 19:51
Although I understand that the original poster's predicament happens, I really just have to question why the OP applied in the EA/ED round to begin with. Did the poster think that this was their reach school, and then when they got accepted, they decided to try their luck and apply to a higher ranked school? If so, it makes sense how one could get curious. Otherwise, I think applying in the EA/ED round when they know that the school isn't their first choice is just gaming the system. It isn't illegal, but, in my opinion, it is unethical.

As for the OP's question, I don't think the school can do anything else aside from keeping the deposit. And so, the OP is free to do whatever they want.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2012, 16:04
imalawyer wrote:
pacostacos wrote:
True, but if we're talking about the difference between a top 40 school and top 10 school than who cares? It's just acting like corporations do every day of the year- i.e., in their own best interest. Should someone take offense when a selfish act is committed against an institution that teaches people to act in their own self interest in the corporate environment? I don't think so, afterall, it's just business. :-D

Can't tell if this is jokey or serious. If it's serious then I completely disagree. If it's jokey then my internet sarcasm meter needs adjusting.



It's neither, it's cynical :wink:
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2012, 04:55
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pacostacos wrote:
True, but if we're talking about the difference between a top 40 school and top 10 school than who cares? It's just acting like corporations do every day of the year- i.e., in their own best interest. Should someone take offense when a selfish act is committed against an institution that teaches people to act in their own self interest in the corporate environment? I don't think so, afterall, it's just business. :-D
Will the next Ken Lay please stand up?
I'm also glad you are not applying or going to my school. When did being unethical become "just business"? If the OP is wavering in light of a decision between a top 10 and probably a top 5 schoool, what will the OP do in the OP's future career?
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 01 May 2012, 06:05
Admission process because that is a two-way (sub?)optimization game. However a special clause in ED agreements, quoted above, transfers whole topic from ethics to legal grounds.

I can understand the 1st round multiple application strategy - it makes sense. But why would you apply into a binding ED school if you're not going to attend it???
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 18:51
AN225 wrote:
Admission process because that is a two-way (sub?)optimization game. However a special clause in ED agreements, quoted above, transfers whole topic from ethics to legal grounds.

I can understand the 1st round multiple application strategy - it makes sense. But why would you apply into a binding ED school if you're not going to attend it???


it's to increase the chance of getting into at least 1 school and to avoid becoming an all-dinger.
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 20:00
Well - there is another angle, the financial angle. Which will probably apply more to international students than domestic as the latter can easily get loans. I am not in this boat (Read Columbia ED, atleast for now), but thinking about various caveats etc., I think this one makes sense.

You may not be able to arrange for the finances in time, especially for International students. What I mean by this, and this specifically applies to Columbia, is that you don't have a US cosginer to help you take the loan (Columbia does NOT grant loans to international students without a US cosigner). There is NO way the school can force you/sue you etc. for not attending if they see you cannot financially support your education, AND the school can't do anything about it (loans, scholarships etc.)

Now the question that will come is, you must have thought of your co signer problem before you applied. Yes, for sure, BUT that does not mean your co signer cannot back out when the time actually comes to put pen to paper. As an international student, at Columbia, this reason will remain valid. I am sure the school won't be happy about it, but then you are asking them for help and if they can't give it to you, they'll have to let you go.

Further, this happens all the time in various situations - you take an offer of employment at X, get a better salary at Y, and take that. You burn bridges of course, but then you obviously have thought of that when you renege on your offer.

Thoughts?
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2012, 01:30
^^ aptly put their str1der ! cosigner thing becomes an issue for international students. what worse is the current economic scenario.. one more thing some one above mentioned above about integrity etc 2 B Schools & (lets consider Business houses as well) ..in my little corporate journey of about 5+ years I am yet to see so called 'clean business houses' :wink: I guess I would stop here before I start rambling more here ..and yeah my view on corporates etc has nothing to do with my personal sphere of life & views!
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Re: Serious question regarding withdrawing from early action   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2012, 01:30
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