Pulling out of Early Decision - Weird Situation





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Pulling out of Early Decision - Weird Situation
By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 08:17 pm: Edit

I know you people will tell me I can't pull out of early decision, but I know there are some ways. Don't flame me for asking i am in a touchy situation with my applications now.

I dont think an explanation is needed but if you really want to know is that I am likely to get a full ride and I need to show commitment to Bowdoin, but I already applied to an Ivy early decision. Bowdoin's early decision is only binding if i get the scholarship (1 out of 2.5 finalists get it).

So should I get the full ride what are the ways I can pull out of Brown's early decision?

I heard claiming financial problems is one. How about getting fined? Tell me about it you guys. SO i can know my options and make a better choice of taking the scholarship. My top choice school is the Ivy though.

I'm not sure if this is clear enough.

By Zorro5280 (Zorro5280) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 11:06 pm: Edit

It's a little fuzzy, but try this: I believe that you can call a school where you have applied Early and ask them to convert your app to Regular. You MUST do this, though, BEFORE they send out the Early decisions. In other words, if you call them NOW, they will accomidate this request. You can't wait until Dec. 15.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 12:29 am: Edit

what if they send it out and i didnt get it and i call them?

By Lhm501 (Lhm501) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 12:35 am: Edit

Don't be so obtuse, you know what to do--just withdraw NOW before EA decisions in December. Give a more worthy applicant their shot. Don't whine, just do it, it's not that hard. You probably wouldn't get in anyway.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 12:41 am: Edit

why are you so negative? i didnt come on here to get berated by you or to belittle you. i have until tuesday to decide which school i want to attend more. i am giving the full tuition more thought because i dont want to screw my parents with debt. i am not doing it for any other reason. besides, my withdrawl of early decision will not affect the decisions of others. i really dont understand why you cant just respond in a more mature manner.

i am just curious what the legal methods are to get out of a binding early decision. does my text make you angry?

By Metz (Metz) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:00 am: Edit

Lhm501 might be kind of harsh, but he's right. Why don't you just call Brown and ask if you can withdraw your application? There are SO many questions posted here that no one here really knows about yet calling up the school would get you an absolute answer. I don't know why everyone is so afraid to call up the school.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:02 am: Edit

its not that im afraid to withdraw it. i dont want to withdraw it thats the thing. even though I am likely to get a full ride to bowdoin it is not 100% and brown being my top choice is something that i dont want to give up.

By Lhm501 (Lhm501) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:06 am: Edit

Negative because you obviously did not think the process through & there are so many trying to get in EA, do you not have a college counselor at your school? If financial aid is critical then EA is not the best route. Only you can decide, but surely you realize that you must act BEFORE admits are made, common sense my friend, you don't need to be a lawyer to figure this out.. If they have not offered you acceptance you are not bound, but you must act before admits are made. To give other worthy students a shot you should get out now not later. Geez, this is the biggest decision of your life & it is late it the process to be mucking around. Like I said, don't whine just do what you have to do.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:15 am: Edit

do YOU not have a college counselor at your school? Early Action (EA) is non-binding.

By Lhm501 (Lhm501) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 01:37 am: Edit

Brown is binding & you know it. Don't be a total nerd, that was such a lame come back.

By Wharton1986 (Wharton1986) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 02:24 am: Edit

Lhm501 by any chance are you applying to brown ed as well and you dont want to get your chances messed up???

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 03:03 am: Edit

The ethical thing to do is to withdraw your ED app to Brown. You give Bowdoin your best shot. If that doesn't work, apply to Brown RD.

You are giving every appearance of trying to weasel your way into having your cake and eating it too.

Suck it up and do the right thing.

P.S. to Wharton1986: I am not applying to Brown.

By Miami2000 (Miami2000) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 03:51 am: Edit

Or you could call the Brown Admissions Office, tell them your situation and ask if you are breaking any ED protocol. I had a (sorta) similar situation with Yale. I applied SCEA but I also had to have a safety and the safety school wanted its applicants to submit their applications before December 1st to be eligible for scholarships. I called Yale's office and within 10 minutes I had an answer...and guess what? I didn't have to withdraw my app to Yale :D so do that first...make sure you're in good shape and then if worse comes to worst, just withdraw

By Abyss (Abyss) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 11:14 am: Edit

I don't see why it's "ethical" for her to leave Brown- she didn't apply to both schools. As i understand it, she applied ED to Brown but also wants to apply ED to Bowdoin.
The matter is that you can only pick one, and it depends on your values - what matters more: Brown or Bowdoin. Unless you are in a serious financial crisis, pick Brown. That's where your heart belongs and it's a one-in- a lifetime chance to see if you will make it. Brown will give you need-based aid.

By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 11:35 am: Edit

Stanford lets you change your app from Early Action to Regular Decision by doing the following.
"If you would like to change the application option under which you originally applied, you must write or fax us a letter requesting the change. We must receive our request no later than December 1. No changes can be made after that date."

Maybe Brown has a similar procedure. I didn't read about it in the instructions to the application, though. I don't think you need to completely withdraw your application to Brown--just change it to RD. That way, if you don't get Bowdoin's full ride, you still have a chance in Brown's RD round.

Miami2000's situation may not apply to you since you are committed to go to Bowdoin if you get the scholarship (as I understand it). Still, you never know what the answer is until you ask the Admissions people.

By Drusba (Drusba) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 11:58 am: Edit

Not sure what has occurred. If you have applied ED to two schools then you have a contract with each school that says you will not apply to any other school ED. If you try to keep both going and one school finds out about the other, both will have the right to withdraw any admission they give you and either one can do so at any time up till the time you show up at school -- in other words, suppose you get in ED at Bowdoin and get a scholarship and then you actually get rejected ED at Brown. Bowdoin if it finds out you applied ED to Brown, even though Brown rejected you, and even as late as next August, will have the right to withdraw your admission and scholarship. In other words that is the real risk you are taking, not one under which you will be trying to figure out how to get out of one if both accept.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 05:42 pm: Edit

okay here is the thing. my scholarship is not called early decision. it is binding if i am accepted. i know im playing with words, but im afraid that if i dont take the bowdoin scholarship chance, i might not even make it to brown and lose both shots.

i just came back from bowdoin today. they dont consider this early decision, but its binding. i dont know how to explain it. it is weird like i said.

By Mjl86 (Mjl86) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 05:56 pm: Edit

S4wy who are you? do you go to falmouth

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 05:58 pm: Edit

nah i go to a boston public (latin school)

By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:23 pm: Edit

Similar situation for my son who wanted to apply to Rice Interim Decision but Yale considered that EA and would not allow him to apply to Rice Interim Decision and apply EA to Yale. He called them to be sure...

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:28 pm: Edit

heh i was going to do that too! i was going to do brown and rice interim decision. colleges suck with all these rules. they should just make it easier for us students.

so people tell me if i get into brown and i want to take bowdoin's full ride how do i back out of it? i know there is away cuz someone from school did it (but i dont want to ask my college counselor cuz she is a #@$@#$).

By Anon098098 (Anon098098) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:57 pm: Edit

OK, listen. No college can FORCE you to accept their Early Decision plan. They just can't. The most they can do it be bitchy and notify other schools, which might in turn not accept you RD (I don't think it will be a problem in this case). Just stick w/ the ED. If you get the full ride to Bowdoin, then pull out (this, BTW, is perfectly legal), if not, then go to Brown (if you get in, that is hehe)

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 06:59 pm: Edit

yea brown is tough. but i can only hope. but i heard they can sue you for full tuition or 1 sem of tuition.

By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 07:33 pm: Edit

Haven't heard of anyone being sued or having to pay damages to a college because they tried to wriggle out of ED.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 07:36 pm: Edit

thats what i read. i remember it being a legit source. i just dont recall what it is. so take that statement with a grain of salt.

By Briteeyez4322 (Briteeyez4322) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:07 pm: Edit

just curious, what is this full-ride scholarship?

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:30 pm: Edit

some scholarship for city kids who displayed a lot of leadership skills. its invitational only.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 11:14 pm: Edit

Sw4y,

I sure hope Bowdoin figures out what kind of leadership YOU show, because INTEGRITY is a big part of leadership, and I find you sadly lacking integrity. I actually feel sorry for you - sorry that you KNOW what is the right thing to do, but will not do it.

Frankly, this is one of the most pathetic discussions I've seen in a long time on these boards: debating the fine points of cheating on ED, and weighing the risk of being sued or caught.

Please do not waste my time with this cXXX, as I'd rather spend my time giving advice to kids who are interested in doing the right, honest, thing.

And, to think we're discussing a scholarship for leadership? What a joke.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 11:21 pm: Edit

this is not an issue of integrity. i was planning to withdraw my early decision because i know if i get the full ride before then. all i want to know is if they dont allow me to withdraw it what i can do to get out of it.

i dont lack integrity. you just lack the understanding of the situation. so please dont assume and not post on this thread.

i dont think its lying when bowdoin admissions know my situation but they dont know if they can intervene and call brown to discuss the situation. so they left it up to me.

you are so negative massdad. today's freezing weather getting to you?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:35 am: Edit

Actually, you've made the situation quite clear.
You're applying ED to Brown which precludes you from making a commmitment anywhere else. You now want to make a commitment to Bowdoin because of a possible scholarship if you do. Duh.

I agree with MassDad.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:38 am: Edit

nevermind you dont understand. any advice on voiding a early decision contract?

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:43 am: Edit

an*

By May_1 (May_1) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:44 am: Edit

I'm sure theDad, like the rest of us, understand you're situation perfectly. You're trying to have your cake and eat it too. So here's the deal:

1. Stop whining about how people don't understand you.

2. Stop trying to be slick and get yourself into a win-win situation through lack of integrity.

3. Call the admissions office at Brown and ask them what is required to withdraw from Early Decision and be put into the regular decision pool.

4. Show "commitment" to Bowdoin and get your scholarship.

5. Examine your options once you get that letter from Brown in April.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:48 am: Edit

You already got the advice to that specific question....change your Brown ED application into a RD application.
(I am not necessarily saying to do this over other options, as others have discussed that already....just responding to your most recent question posed on the post above).

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:48 am: Edit

no you dont because one of them isnt early decision. im just afraid if i get the bowdoin full ride letter too late that i will be bound to brown. this is not an issue of integrity. you just have a different set ot morals than i do. so dont question my integrity.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:49 am: Edit

im not asking for advice. im asking on how i can make nullify an early decision acceptance.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:51 am: Edit

but you people arent giving me straight forward answers. in fact only one or two actually answered the question. everyone else just gave me "advice" which i obviously would not take considering im asking how do i nullify an acceptance. go ahead berate my integrity again. i really could careless

By May_1 (May_1) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 01:00 am: Edit

CONTACT INFORMATION

The College Admission Office
Brown University
Box 1876
Providence, RI 02912

phone(401) 863-2378
fax (401) 863-9300
admission_undergraduate@brown.edu

THERE, now you have the info to call, write, fax, or e-mail the experts at Brown's Early Decision, the admissions officers themselves. Don't be dense and think that we can give you better "straight-forward answers" on how to nullify your application. Oh yeah, don't be a prick to us just because we are showing the error of your ways.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 01:02 am: Edit

okay ill do it!

~thread ends~

By May_1 (May_1) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 01:02 am: Edit

OH yeah, this is directly from Brown's Admissions website:

You may apply to Brown's binding early program if you are not an applicant to another college's Early Decision or Early Action Plan. If admitted as an Early Decision candidate, a student will not initiate any new applications and ***will withdraw all applications to other colleges.***

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 01:09 am: Edit

im withdrawing stop posting!

By Massdad (Massdad) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 11:35 am: Edit

Sw4Y,

As a Boston Latin student, surely YOU too can see the illogic of your statement " im not asking for advice. im asking on how i can make nullify an early decision acceptance." You also said " heh i was going to do that too! i was going to do brown and rice interim decision. colleges suck with all these rules. they should just make it easier for us students." and "im just afraid if i get the bowdoin full ride letter too late that i will be bound to brown."

It's pretty clear that what you WANT to do is make sure you have the Bowdoin scholarship BEFORE you withdraw from Brown.

If this does not show a lack of integrity, I don't know what does. I hope Bowdoin considers this when they make scholarship decisions based on leadership. This is the type of "leadership we need less of. But don't worry, I suspect your "leadership" abilities will show up in other ways.

BTW, I like freezing weather.

By Theotherside (Theotherside) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:03 pm: Edit

As someone posted anonymously above, ED is not legally binding. Also, you can sometimes withdraw from ED if the question is about money, ie if the funding necessary for you to attend your ED school isn't forthcoming from them after your acceptance. Being released, however, is usually only in pretty extreme and easy to document circumstances, ie: something catastrophic has happened in your family, that has made drastic financial changes.

However, once you are accepted ED, that school is likely going to send your name and SS# to their benchmark schools, to let them know they accepted you ED - Princeton, for example, sends their ED list to about 50 other schools. If Bowdoin is one of the schools Brown sends their list to, you are are screwed, because they will then stop processing your application. And even if Brown then releases you from your ED decision, it isn't likely other schools would consider your application unless, again, there was a catastrophic reason for the request, because it looks like a student just trying to work the system. And if nothing else, higher education is about honorable behavior.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 12:08 pm: Edit

do you have any instant messengers theo?
i have some questions to follow up on that.

be great if i can get your contact info

By Theotherside (Theotherside) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 05:42 pm: Edit

I don't - I am old! Instant messenger is for the young! Seriously though, feel free to post questions here, and if I can answer them, I will, and if I can't, I might be able to point you to some information.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 05:46 pm: Edit

nevermind then i dont wanna get flamed by people who are ignoring the question and flaming me.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 05:52 pm: Edit

ED may not be legally binding but try seeing which schools will accept you if you've violated an ED agreement. Or which schools will rescind an acceptance if they find you had an ED acceptance elsewhere.

About the *only* gray area is financial. Schools will release you from an ED commitment if *they agree* that you can't pay for it...difficult to pay for, mom & dad can't get a second Lexus, etc., isn't going to cut it.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 05:54 pm: Edit

that is what i heard but tell me your source. its not like i dont believe you. because thats what i knew beforehand. i just want some real sources other than my original thoughts and your support

By Theotherside (Theotherside) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Sw4y, and everyone reading this thread, really - I can't recommend the following book enough:
The Early Admissions Game : Joining the Elite, By Christopher Avery. No one applying for EA or ED should do so before reading this book, in my opinion, as it clears up a lot of misconceptions about how the game works. Plus, you should all read it, just for the amusement factor, as it explains how EA and ED started - as a way to make this all *less* stressful for high school seniors.

Ha!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 09:42 pm: Edit

Sw4y, try reading any of the books with sections on EA/ED from A IS FOR ADMISSIONS to the one cited above. Most salient, talk to college admissions officers of the schools you are now interested in. Every info session I've been to has been quite clear on this. Yale, Harvard, Stanford, etc.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 10:37 pm: Edit

Thedad,

He knows this. He's looking for an angle. See some of his other posts, and you'll get a picture. Frankly, I don't understand how someone could be so brazen about misleading/dishonest intent. Is it possible he does not understand what an agreement, a promise, is?

BTW, anyone who thinks an ED commitment is not legally enforceable does not know law. Just because we do not hear of lawsuits, does not mean action is not taken. And, few legal disputes actually go to court. Almost all business disputes are handled by negotiation. Just don't think you can tell your ED school you changed your mind, and that's your negotiation.

I wonder if adcoms follow these boards? If they do, I think Sw4y needs to be looking at safety schools...it would be pretty easy to pick his app out from the pile. Wouldn't Bowdoin find it curious that the guy they're considering for a leadership scholarship, no less, is looking to renig on his obligation to another school! The irony of it.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 12:54 am: Edit

I do not understand why you do not just solve this by changing your ED app to Brown to a RD app (which you are allowed to do, though must do so promptly). You want your cake and eat it too. You want to find out if you got into this Bowdoin scholarship but not give up your ED option at Brown to do so and thus beat the system and have a choice perhaps at the end that everyone would want. If Brown is your ulitmate first choice, leave that ED app in and get out of the Bowdoin thing. If you would consider Bowdoin over Brown and find the scholarship money attractive or imperative, then you need to switch the Brown app over to RD on the app. You still could be considered at Brown if Bowdoin does not work out. So, you have nothing to lose. You are keeping the Brown option open in case Bowdoin does not come through in time. But you can keep Brown as an option but just not an ED option. You make it sound like you have to give up on Brown as an option but you can still apply, under RD. It is just that you want to keep both early options open and that is not how it works. You need to make this tough decision (like the rest of the kids) and only have in early at one place. Choose the best option for YOU. Like I said, if it is Bowdoin, Brown is not out of the picture if you do not get into Bowdoin cause your app is still in for RD. But you want the option of falling back on Brown as an ED applicant and that simply is not fair, ethical or how it works. If Brown is it for you, forego the Bowdoin thing. Nobody said it was easy but you need to abide by the rules. In fact, as others have said, you likely are getting yourself in a tight spot and each school could find out the other and you lose. You keep asking how can you get out of an early decision deal? Well, in my earlier posts, I was saying you can get out of it by changing your app over to RD now. But that did not seem to satsify you and now I know why. You want to get out of the ED deal at Brown AFTER an acceptance. Silly me, I thought you were asking how to get out of having applied ED now that you found out you have a chance at this early scholarship deal at Bowdoin. But you do not want to give up either option. Honey, get with the program. Are your parents involved in this process?
Susan

By Lhm501 (Lhm501) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 03:51 pm: Edit

Yes, Bowdoin would be so proud to give a leadership scholarship to this weasel. But perhaps someone, anyone from Bowdoin reads this thread. Poster says he just got back from Bowdoin on Saturday--shouldn't be hard to figure out just who that stellar candidate is. Sw4y's true colors just shine through his posts!

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 04:24 pm: Edit

if you people read i already changed it to regular. so stop bashing me for something i corrected.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 01:06 am: Edit

I do not get it. If you changed it to regular decision at Brown, than why do you keep asking how you could get out of an early decision committment? Maybe I do not have it straight. I also thought you said you did not want to give up the ED thing at Brown til you heard from Bowdoin (can't blame the wish but can blame the action).
Susan

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:27 am: Edit

if you read all the posts i stated that i changed it to regular by following someone's advice, so i dont really understand why you people keep posting about how i wont change it when i said i changed it already

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:10 am: Edit

It's because your Nov 16, 12:08 PM post tells us you still don't get it - that the issue is not one of legalities, getting caught or consequences. It is about fairness and integrity. You knew from the beginning what the rules were but wanted to ignore them. Then again, this little flareup is consistent with your other posts.

Sw4y, you need to realize that you are an amateur in this admissions process facing professionals. I can assure you that for every angle you think of (getting celebrity recommendations, having the right ECs, love of learing (or lack of in your case) etc., the adcoms have seen the ploys many times over. If there is a skill that is of top importance to an adcom, it is the ability to sort through the packaging materials (AKA application) to find the real kid inside. Some schools may not spend time on this. The elites will. That may be one reason we all see some of the surprises we do in admissions.

So in your case, with what time remains, I would focus less on who your parents are and where they work, who you know etc. And believe it or not, being highly connected within the Massachusetts legislature and being rewarded for it may not be viewed as a plus in some circles. Remember the fine line between self confidence and effective self promotion versus arrogance. Adcoms know this.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:18 am: Edit

Okay, let's all take a deep breath.

Sw4y, some of these criticisms were legitimate. You gave yourself permission to read the rules in your own favor. Brown prohibits you from participating in their ED program if you are an applicant for "Early Action" at another school. I'm guessing that Bowdoin did not use the phrase "Early Action" to describe its accelerated decisions process. So, you assumed you were operating within the rules of the Brown ED program. Some schools call this process "rolling admissions". Some don't call it anything, but just send you an admittance letter in September. Does such a letter prohibit you from applying to, say, Brown ED? I understand how you think you are in the right. And, you know that your actions can be questioned by lots of other people. Lesson? Find a disinterested party (counselors and parents) on ethics issues like this and sound them out.

I'm curious about one thing. You seem to be expecting to hear from Bowdoin about their scholarship in December. Is this realistic? Most schools withold their financial decisions until the spring. That's one of the big disadvantages about the ED process.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:44 am: Edit

Wow. I take it all back. I just visited the Bowdoin website. There are only two admission programs at Bowdoin: Early Decision or regular. If you're expecting to hear in December, then you must be an ED candidate at Bowdoin. If you have also applied ED to Brown, then, Sw4y, you violated the rules. There is no grey area.

It is good that you switched to RD at Brown. There was a strong chance that you would have been caught.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 11:45 am: Edit

Sw4y, How hard was it to change from ED to RD at Brown? What did you have to do? Just curious as maybe there are some other students who might want to know this for other schools and your answer might help them.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 11:57 am: Edit

Sw47, one more thing: what's the name of the leadership scholarship at Bowdoin? I couldn't find anything on their web site about it. In fact, the web site says in several places that Bowdoin does not give merit scholarships, except for national merit award winners who do not get full-tuition. All financial aid at Bowdoin is need-based, there are no merit scholarships beyond national merit award winners.

I hope you are correct in that there is a full merit ride based on leadership at Bowdoin now that you've converted your ED at Brown but I can't find it mentioned anywhere on their web site. You better double check.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 12:20 pm: Edit

its through another program.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Okay, I'm starting to piece this together. ROTC scholarships are offered on a college-by-college basis. Not all applicants get the full ROTC ride, but the best do. The ROTC committee at the individual school makes its decision separately from the admissions committee. So, you can be an ROTC scholarship candidate AND a RD candidate. You might hear from the ROTC unit first, and then wait for your acceptance/rejection in April.

Now, as to your original question: could Brown have charged you money if you tried to exit the binding agreement? It depends on the negotiation around need. If they offered anything less than a full ride, you would probably be able to extricate yourself from your commitment. TheDad and others think differently, and I know you have asked if anybody has authoritative information.

This is one area the colleges talk VERY LITTLE about. They want you to believe that binding means binding. There will likely be nothing in writing. At its core, these decisions are between the colleges and individuals. They tell us what they want to.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Redbeard, are you implying that the ED agreement is "nothing in writing"?

Are you implying that if an institution offered you an amount, under the Federal metodology, less than full ride, one could renig on the ED agreement?

I don't think so...

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 03:53 pm: Edit

No, you misunderstand. The ED agreement is certainly a written agreement. The OP was asking for authoritative reports that show when the "financial need" can be used to release the applicant.

TheDad and I, and now you, have offered an opinion about when that clause can be applied. The "writing" I was talking about was something beyond internet speculation. An article or book, perhaps, which looks at actual cases.

Since its all speculation, I will still claim that "financial need" is subject to negotiation in most cases. I remember asking an ED admissions person directly, "what if we don't agree." They said that in those few cases, they don't hold you to the ED agreement.

I know you're concerned about the ethics of this whole thing. I think you may be a little too restrictive. I think the OP applied RD to Bowdoin and ED to Brown, which is perfectly legal. He hears that he may get a ROTC or similar scholarship in December (to Bowdoin). None of his actions up to that point were in bad faith, or in violation of any of the rules.

But, faced with, say, a minimal grant at Brown, and a real cost of $30,000 or a far better bargain elsewhere, he is entitled to ASK about the financial hardship release. For some people, $30,000 is a financial burden REGARDLESS of what the FAFSA rules say. And, if the ED agreement was based on FAFSA-level support, then it must say so. It is silent on how "need" is to be determined.

The problem is this: nobody knows the financial aid determination until after the ED decision is rendered. So, you're being asked to buy the most expensive product you ever bought, and you don't know the price.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 04:16 pm: Edit

" For some people, $30,000 is a financial burden REGARDLESS of what the FAFSA rules say."

Problem is, the formula was determined under the provisions of federal legislation. Try arguing against that.

" I think the OP applied RD to Bowdoin and ED to Brown, which is perfectly legal. He hears that he may get a ROTC or similar scholarship in December (to Bowdoin). "

If it were that simple, we would not be having this discussion. OP would just refuse the scholarship if OP received both. But OP does not want to do that. OP wants to be able to pick and chose the best package. That's why all commentary on ED discusses its limitations. The OP said " i dont want to withdraw it thats the thing. even though I am likely to get a full ride to bowdoin it is not 100% and brown being my top choice is something that i dont want to give up... okay here is the thing. my scholarship is not called early decision. it is binding if i am accepted. i know im playing with words, but im afraid that if i dont take the bowdoin scholarship chance, i might not even make it to brown and lose both shots. "

'Nuf said.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 04:57 pm: Edit

oh yea i didnt clarify this the scholarship is the thing im applying to. im not actually applying to bowdoin. if i get the scholarship its auto accept into bowdoin, but now it doesnt matter since i change it to RD.

it isnt an ROTC scholarship. heh.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 05:54 pm: Edit

The provisions of federal legislation? Humph. Excuse me if I find that less than compelling. Or binding. The federal government does not have the power to compel me to go to a particular school or to pay a particular price. They do not intervene in these matters.

Many of us are bothered by this whole ED process. Colleges want to make "financial matters" separate from admissions. They are not. We are buying a service. It's a scarce product, to be sure, and there will alway be buyers if we refuse, but it is still a purchase. With binding Early Decisions, the college says: swear you will buy our product and THEN we will determine the price. It is well known that that price is higher because they think you are committed.

So, College B comes up with a competitive tactic. They will offer their product at a lower price in time for Sw4y to choose between the two. I like that. Competition is good.

I re-read Brown's ED "agreement". It's all about intent. You intend to go to Brown. Brown is your first choice. You will not apply ED or EA anywhere else. If accepted, you will attend Brown.

Only the latter MIGHT be read as a binding agreement. But, only if they named the price. I read it as another question of intent. Nobody can be bound to buy something at ANY price.

As for refusing a full scholarship to honor the "spirit of the ED process", you seem to be awfully cavalier with other people's money.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 06:16 pm: Edit

It's well documented that you should not apply (binding) ED if comparisons of financial aid offers are a concern. There's no safety-valve clause "unless I get a great financial aid offer elsewhere."
If you're not willing to accept what Financial Aid you're ultimately offered--and some admittees will negotiate a better deal than their initial offer--then you don't apply ED. It's that simple.

Understanding this, one of the few limitations imposed upon my D was that she couldn't apply ED anywhere. Wound up being a non-issue but the rules of the game were understood.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 06:37 pm: Edit

I'll grant you that. We understood the same advice: don't do ED if you think you will need financial aid. We were ready to suck it up last year, going into the ivy league ED process.

But I disagree that, as students and families, we have no choices once the application goes in. Am I ethically bound to pay if the college says it will charge full price? You say some admittees negotiate a better deal. That's not unethical. What's the basis for their negotiation? If you can't get us more aid we will... ? The student/family has more power in these negotiations than you are implying.

In this specific case, we have a third party entering the fray. A different college interrupted the marriage ceremony with a better offer. (Ya, I know its all moot, but still...) I would encourage such a process: it opens a competitive window into what has been a near-monopolistic practice. If AT&T acts this way, they get broken up.

And, I love your posts TheDad, but "simple" is not a word you should use in a post about ED.

By Kad (Kad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:27 pm: Edit

my email to an admissions officer:

I had just one more question. When you said, "If your financial aid package is insufficient then you are allowed to back out of the ED commitment," what qualifies an insufficient package? Is it deemed sufficent if it meets the EFC? Or is it subjective, and up to my parents as to what we sufficient?

reply from admissions counselor:

What qualifies as insufficient is up to you and your parents. If they package you receive does not meet the needs of your family you have the right to say we cant afford. We, at _____ do deem it sufficient if it meets the EFC. I do hope that helps clarify.
-------------------------------------

from an LAC in Ohio
make what you will of it

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:34 pm: Edit

that doesnt help clarify, but i like your info. no matter how much or little they give you, you have the right to say you can afford it, but it doesnt mean the college respect that request and let you off ED agreement. you know what i mean?

By Kad (Kad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:38 pm: Edit

aka:

family: oh wow we can't afford that
college: it meets your EFC, you can
family: but we can't meet our EFC. also, the loans are far too high.
college: it meets your EFC. you can afford it.
family: oh. okay.

*shrugs*

on the other hand:

"If your financial aid package is insufficient then you are allowed to back out of the ED commitment,"

and then:

"What qualifies as insufficient is up to you and your parents."

I guess it could either way.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:39 pm: Edit

thats what im saying...and for an ivy league who supposedly will meet your EFC you will be "bound"

By Kad (Kad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:52 pm: Edit

This admissions officer said "If your financial aid package is insufficient then you are allowed to back out of the ED commitment."

He later said, "What qualifies as insufficient is up to you and your parents."

That clearly says that even if your fafsa "need" is met, your parents get the final word on what is sufficient, and therefore, get the final word on whether they want to back out or not.

Either the admissions officer is an idiot or he was trying to be confusing on purpose. Sad, in either case.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:12 pm: Edit

I agree with the dad that every college admissions advice makes it clear that a student should not apply ED if the financial aid package is a major issue. The common advice is to apply RD so that you may compare financial aid offers. That said, yes, you can back out of an ED agreement (like this one college adcom told Kad) if your family finds they cannot afford the package offered. For financial reasons, you can back out. But none of that is what was really the issue with the OP. She wanted in on two options basically, and not go by the system the rest of us have to (whether we like the system or not). Redbeard, the issues you present are quite valid about how you enter this agreement not even knowing the financial price but that is how ED is designed. The option of RD is certaily a very viable option. For now, however, you gotta play by the rules. If the OP really thinks she will go to Bowdoin if offered this scholarship, then leave that as option one and apply to Brown RD. If Brown is a first choice and her family is willing to forego the scholarship, then apply ED to Brown. It really is a matter of priorities in their individual situation. I am really wondering in this case, if the parents are involved. Like why is the kid asking this here cause the parents must have a view on this process, no?
Susan
(a parent of a child who was offered a full four year ride at a school but is opting to apply to other schools instead and we OKd that even though we have nothing saved up for college)

By Kad (Kad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:16 pm: Edit

True. You should not apply to two different ED programs.

But you can apply to an ED program and one or more non-binding EA programs, and then compare the financial aid packages. If one of the non-binding schools offer you something you like, you can simple tell the ED school that it is insufficent and go ahead an enroll at the non-binding school.

It's a bit shady, perhaps, but it isn't illegal.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:48 pm: Edit

sooz get this straight the scholarship is not applying to the school. in fact i didnt make an application for the school. it was for the scholarship program. you are suppose to attend if you get it, but it is not binding. i am not applying to two ED. i dont know why everyone thinks that, but one isnt even a school.

plus it doesnt matter anymore since i pulled out of brown ed.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:50 pm: Edit

you are suppose to go to the school, but technically you dont have to.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:51 pm: Edit

yea i know up top i said bowdoin's ED. i phrased it wrong because i didn't ask my college counselor because it is a scholarship that im applying to not a school

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

I foresee a great future in corporate law, investment banking, or the shadier side of politics. Or possibly contract law or intellectual property rights for publishers and entertainment conglomerates.

Redbeard: re "simple" in context of ED: zinnnngg!!

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

From Bowdoin's office of admissions:"When candidates file the application for early decision, they state in writing that they wish to be considered for Early Decision and that they will enroll if admitted. Early Decision candidates are encouraged to file regular applications to other colleges, with the understanding that these will be withdrawn and no new applications will be initiated as soon as the student has been accepted to Bowdoin. Candidates admitted via ED who have financial need will be notified of the amount of their awards when they receive their ED acceptances provided they have all financial aid forms on file. responsibility for understanding and complying with ground rules for Ed rests with the candidate. If an Early Decision candidates violates the provisions of the program, the college will reconsider its offer of admission and withdraw any offer of financial aid.

From Brown:To counselors working with students deciding whether to submit an ED application to Brown, please note that the Brown Policy regarding early applicatioins clearly states that students may apply to Brown's binding early decision program if they are not applicants to another college's Early Decision or Early Action Plan. Brown's ED program is binding. If admitted as an ED cnadidate, a student will not initiate any new applications and withdraw all applications to other colleges.

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:58 pm: Edit

im not applying to a college for the i dont know how many post. its a scholarship that promises me admission if i get the full ride.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 09:20 pm: Edit

Redbeard,

You said "Nobody can be bound to buy something at ANY price". Hmmm. I suggest you go take a class on contract law. What you say is just not applicable here, anyway, as the maximum price is known.

In contract terms, ED works like this:

Applicant offers to attend if accepted.
U accepts offer. U, as consideration for the contract, offers admission to kid (not to mention that the app fee could be considered additional consideration etc.) These there items == contract.

If you can't follow this simple example, or if you consider it unfair, fine, but please get a lawyer in the future before you sign anything.

I think you, like many people, like to impute some sort of "fairness" into contracts. The law just does not work that way. You, under the law, are permitted to enter into a contract that you cannot possibly fulfill. And your defenses are then few. So PLEASE do not mislead others here with B*. And yes, the feds cannot compel you to do anything in this arena, but they can, and have, established a standard that a court would use for determining fairness, or in this case, adequacy of a financial aid offer. So, go ahead and argue in a court that you disagree with what congress mandated for financial aid, and let me know when you are going to do it. I need a good laugh.

By Redbeard (Redbeard) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:18 pm: Edit

I question whether this is, in fact, a contract. Who signed it for the family? A minor? To commit the family to tens of thousands of dollars? Good luck enforcing that!

The question is moot, because, in December, I don't believe universities pursue the very few who don't agree with the EFC/Financial Aid Package (as others have noted).

You talk about courts and suits and Federal Standards, but lawyers are expensive--even for unversities--and its easier to just let it go. I think that's just what the admissions officer told Kad. In his first paragraph. He did contradict himself.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:37 pm: Edit

Redbeard, for Brown, it is only the student. For others, including Yale, the parents must sign. So yes, the stakes vary from place to place. Brown at most could withdraw their offer, I suspect. Yale could do much more.

The fact that U's don't sue much, if at all, does not make the issue "moot" . Wrong term. And my point is not that one has a high risk of getting sued, as I agree the risk is not high. But, beware the person who connives too much, because they do risk a suit.

Finally, although lawyers are expensive, U's have them on staff. Most business disputes (after all, that's what we're talking about here) do not go to court. I know, as I settle some for a living. That does not mean parties just walk away, or ignore them. The threat of litigation can be real, and can be a great motivator to negotiate a settlement.

Personally, I take agreements seriously, because you never know when the other side will do the same. You are welcome to take your agreements more cavalierly, but please don't advise others to do the same. There is too much at stake, especially when talking about college admissions. And, I would not advise generalizing from an accomodating approach one U used. Besides, HIS gentle approach may not even be binding.

By Sooky6 (Sooky6) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:36 am: Edit

How can you be "auto accepted" to Bowdoin without even APPLYING there? That sounds pretty shady to me...to say that its a great hook is one thing, but automatically without submitting an application? Can you elucidate at all here?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 10:53 am: Edit

Sw4y, I am just curious as you do go to a very well regarded high school, Boston Latin, and I would imagine your school day is mighty booked with demanding classes, how you are able to post so much during the school day? This is not a negative observation but rather a curious one. I cannot imagine my kids having all these opportunities to get online and post during the school day. Heck, they do not even have time to do that outside of school hours. You can just get on the internet at school and post away? It is not something I think my kids could do this much if at all at our unrenowned rural high school, nowhere with the reputation of Boston Latin. Can you explain how it is done there?
Susan

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:33 pm: Edit

well for one i post during my computer class if i finish early. also, i can post during my free period. i usually dont post this often. its just that ppl actually respond to this post so i get an email. i check my email a lot and im tempted to see what people have said. also we have too many computers lying around unused and too many empty computer labs that ou can pop in and out of between classes.
----------------
its an agreement that bowdoin and other schools like rice and middlebury have with this program. if they select you for your leadership you will be accepted to the school. well of course i have to apply to the school, but i do that after i receive the scholarship.

By Xoxo (Xoxo) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 02:00 pm: Edit

I have the Bowdoin College "The Chamberlain Leadership Scholarship" booklet in front of me. It says...HOW TO APPLY... By January 1: 1. Submit the Common Application and essay. 2. Submit the Chamberlin Leadership Scholarship Application and the Bowdoin College Supplement. 3. Ask two or more persons who know you well to write letters of recommendation concerning your qualifications for the Chamberlain Leadership Scholarship.
(I thought it was a "multicultural recruitment" enticement?)

By Sw4y (Sw4y) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 05:08 pm: Edit

its not that lol. its seperate from the college

By Allison (Allison) on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 03:43 pm: Edit

sw4y, i'm a little late on this, but i call ••••••••. as a bowdoin student, i have never met anyone who has gone through the process that you are describing. and bowdoin does not just "give" full rides. i don't know what, exactly, you're hoping to achieve by making crap up, but it isn't working.


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