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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 early decision for financial reasons?

Hi everyone, I'm a high school junior and I've been thinking about the early decision process. I'm worried about the financial aspect, though. If I receive an offer and the financial aid package isn't enough to cover my needs, can I back out of the early decision agreement due to financial reasons? This has been stressing me out a bit, so any guidance would be super helpful. Thank you!

8 months ago

Hi there! I understand where your concerns are coming from regarding the financial aspect of an early decision (ED) application. In practice, if an institution offers you admission under the ED agreement and the financial aid package is insufficient, you typically have grounds to withdraw from the agreement.

However, this is a legitimate reason only if you've made a careful and realistic assessment of your financial need beforehand. To avoid any surprises, I suggest you use the net price calculator available on most colleges' websites to estimate your expected family contribution. If the actual offer strays significantly from this estimate, making it financially unfeasible, colleges generally understand and allow you to decline the offer.

Make sure to communicate with the financial aid office promptly and clearly about your situation. Keep in mind that you should not apply ED unless you are certain that you can afford attendance with a standard financial aid package. Better to be safe than sorry, so do your due diligence beforehand!

8 months ago

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