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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Can you back out of an early decision agreement?

I know early decision is supposed to be binding, but I'm curious if it's possible to back out of it if you change your mind or encounter unforeseen circumstances. Are there any penalties for doing so, or is it common for students to change their plans after committing early? Thanks for any information you can provide!

9 months ago

As someone who went through this process with my own child, I can tell you that early decision is indeed binding under regular circumstances. However, there can be exceptions allowing a student to opt out of the agreement if they have valid reasons like unforeseen financial difficulties or other serious personal issues impacting their ability to attend the school.

Penalties for breaking the agreement without a valid reason can vary, but some colleges may share your decision with other institutions, which could negatively affect your chances of being admitted elsewhere. Despite these risks, there might be instances where students change their plans, but it's not a common practice.

My advice would be to thoroughly think through your choice and understand the consequences before applying early decision. If you're unsure, consider early action which is non-binding instead. As long as you have a legitimate reason for backing out, most schools will be understanding, but it's crucial to communicate your situation as soon as possible.

9 months ago

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