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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What penalties might someone face for backing out of early decision?

If someone gets accepted through early decision but decides not to attend that college, are there any penalties or consequences? I'm thinking about applying early decision but I want to understand the potential risks if something were to change in my situation. Thanks for any help!

9 months ago

Early decision is a binding commitment, meaning if you get accepted through this route, you're agreeing to attend that college and withdraw any other applications. When you submit an early decision application, both you and your parents sign a contract to acknowledge this fact. Backing out of this commitment without a valid reason can result in consequences.

Financial hardships can be a legitimate reason for not attending the college where you were accepted early decision. In such cases, if the financial aid offered is inadequate or doesn't meet your demonstrated need, you may have a chance to decline the offer without facing penalties.

However, if you back out of early decision without a valid reason, the primary penalty is potential damage to your reputation. Colleges communicate with each other, and it's not uncommon for them to become aware of students who break the early decision agreement. Should the college you're backing out of choose to share this information with other institutions, your chances of acceptance at other colleges may be affected.

It may also impact your school's reputation, and the college may no longer accept students from your high school.

It's in your best interest to consider the binding nature of early decision carefully before choosing to apply this way, as consequences of not honoring the commitment may impact your academic future. Good luck with your applications!

9 months ago

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