2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How can you get out of Early decision?

I'm a vary anxious person, however when I decide I like something I usually stick to it no matter. I want to apply early decision to my dream school but fueled by my anxiety I was wondering how you could get out of it.

If after I started attending I didn't like it could I get out of ED? I imagine they have a time limit like attending for at least a full semester but after that would I be able to transfer problem free?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

The only option to get out of ED if you are accepted is if you have a serious family issue like your parent is dying of a terminal illness, or if you have a serious physical or mental issue which is supported by a medical report or if you applied for financial aid and can actually show that their package is inconsistent with the NPC range based on your family income. So if you were expecting a $40,000 grant and only received a $20,000 grant, that could be a reason but you'd have to fully disclose why you came up with the calculation to being with. It can't be arbitrary or something like you changed your mind because of weather, lack of good restaurants or shopping. If your grant amount is within range, you can always appeal your financial aid and try to get more. If you chose not to attend for say a small difference like $5,000 and you didn't work with the FINAID office, that doesn't look good for you, especially since many top schools meet 100% of financial need. (for example one of your parents could lose a job after you submit your FAFSA that would change your financial need requirements).

If you are accepted by ED and register to attend and give them your deposit, then you should stick it out for 1 year. I think it depends on where you would apply to as a transfer student. For instance, at Cornell, they consider taking transfer students after you have earned 12 college credits while at other schools like UPenn, you have to have completed 1 full year of college prior to transferring. (I think the loophole at UPenn is if you only complete 1 semester somewhere else, you can reapply as a first-time undergraduate). So this part is tricky and you should do your homework.

If you ghost your ED acceptance, that can be either bad or really really bad. For instance, top schools like Amherst's Admission office talk to at least 30 other ED schools during the ED season so they know whether an applicant has doubled up somewhere even before they complete reading your file. They also know if you applied for FinAid as well. If they see you've also applied to Swarthmore and Pomona, they'll call those AOs and blacklist you for failing to follow the basic rules of just applying to one school. Also, you might get blacklisted if you ghost them and apply RD to other schools. While you will not be billed tuition, room, and board, the new RD school might get wind of this and reject you without explanation as well, and you'll never know. Occasionally, I do watch youtube videos where the vloggers actually apply to SCREA schools like a Yale and an ED school hoping to double their odds. Sometimes they get into both, sometimes just 1. But they are still cheating.

If you really don't have a plan, you can always have a backup plan before you apply for ED. For example, let's just say you have a mental health issue but feel you want to apply to ED because you want to get in ASAP. Well, you can always simultaneously apply to private boarding schools and take a GAP year as a PG while you recover from your mental issue. And then join your college the following year. Or you can apply to some kind of year abroad NGO program or something where you know what you are going to be doing over your GAP year.

Good luck to you.

2 years ago

If you apply for a school for early decision and get accepted, you must attend that college. There are ways to back out of early decision without penalties, but I believe it's with good reason. Some ways in which people can back out if usually because of finances or something that has happened in their family. You can read more about it here: https://blog.collegevine.com/is-early-decision-binding/.

The difference between early decision and early action is that early decision is binding, meaning you have to attend the college if you are accepted. Seeing that you are feeling unsure, it might be better to apply for early action. If the school you are applying does not do early action, then it might be better to apply regular decision so you are able to fully look over what you like about the school.

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