Can I commit to a school and then apply ED to another school?
I was recently accepted to a school for Fall 2021 intake which follows rolling admissions, but they require accepting the admission by paying the deposit in order to see any scholarship information, and to apply to other scholarships. They do seem to have a great refund policy if I do withdraw from the school later on.
My concern is that I am planning to apply ED to my dream school in November. Is it allowed for me to apply ED if I have already committed somewhere else, or can that cause any problems later on?
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This particular school may be different, since you mentioned an interesting refund policy, but in general this could veer into what's known as "double depositing," which is pretty unadvisable for a number of reasons. First, when you double deposit, you're taking up at least one spot that should ideally go to another student, so it's ethically dubious off the bat. Further, schools themselves do not like effectively being lied to — so depositing, which commits you to attend, and then withdrawing to go somewhere else can make an admissions office mad at 1) you, which matters if you have younger siblings who may apply there someday, and 2) your school and counselor, which in turn can make them mad at you. In some cases, schools will also inform other universities that you double deposited, which can lead to auto-rejections or offers of acceptance being rescinded. In the end, you might be "allowed" to apply ED, but this could cause issues with your ED contract, as you agree to immediately withdraw all other applications upon an ED acceptance.
The main question here is when the deposit *deadline* is for the school you've already gotten into for Fall 2021, because if it's following the agreed-upon rules that most colleges follow, it shouldn't be until next May. If that's the case, I would wait, and assume you'll be doing any scholarship applications or checking scholarship info next spring after you have all your decisions back.