Declining ED admission offer from an IVY

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Declining ED admission offer from an IVY
By Raky (Raky) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

If one is admitted to an ivy ED (say Princeton/UPenn) and cant attend
b/c of some reason. Can these colleges cause your admission to be revoked at

1> Say MIT/ Stanford (RD) (assuming one would like to go there)
2> Any state Univ i.e. UIUC, Rutgers etc

I think keeping admission offer from other ivies will be tough.

There is also an urban legend I have heard, is it true?
' If any one declines ED admission to IVY, they wont take more students
from your school in the following years.'

TIA, Raky

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Columbia says explicitly on its website that if you apply ED, are accepted, and decide to not to attend for financial reasons, they will free you up ONLY to explore less costly options, like state schools. They will not free you up to seek admissions at their competitors, and they do communicate. (Whether it would result in a rejection at the other schools is unknown, but they are not in the habit of making enemies, especially with so many good candidates available.)

If one declines an ED admission to an Ivy, it reflects badly on the school, and especially on the GC who was responsible for making sure the contractual obligations were clear before you signed them. The college went out of its way to go to bat for you, and they expect a quid pro quo, both from the student, and from the secondary school.

By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 03:48 pm: Edit

At an admission information meeting, the Harvard adcom said: "It's amazing how many people write to let us know of someone violating ED/EA rules."

So it's not just the next crop of applicants from a school that is jeopardized or the GC's relationship with particular colleges. It's the applicant's own chances of being admitted at the ED college. Once a college knows of a transgression, it will freely share that information with others.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:20 pm: Edit

First of all, ED revocations do not bring on punitive measures from the college in general. What happens when the colleges have accepted students ED, they prepare a list of such students with their social security numbers. This list is available to colleges who are interested in this information. These days with computer technology it is not difficult to run a check against the kids you are considering with that ED list. In addition counselors from high schools, other kids, parents, anyone can write or e-mail or call a college and give out that info as well.

Once in a blue moon someone who is accepted ED cannot attend. An example would be someone whose parent dies, and feels that he has to stay locally for family reasons and the economics have now changed as well. This is a valid reason for revoking ED. The highschool counselor and the student then needs to speak directly to the ED school who then releases the student from the commitment. The information is then released to other colleges that the student is considering so that if his name is on that ED list, he is NOT withdrawn from consideration.

Now there are governing groups such as College Board that prescribes certain guidelines to which the majority of colleges subscribe. One of the guidelines is the two weeks to consider an admissions offer, another is the May 1 common deadline to decide where to go. The financial escape clause for ED is outlined in one of those groups, which I cannot recall at the moment and I am not with my resource materials. It is however, a risky proposition to renege on ED even with a good reason simply because of the way it works with automatic inclusion on that ED list. It is truly an emergency use clause. If you simply cannot afford a college, they will release you from the ED agreement, but you can easily already be in other college systems as an ED accept and many schools will not bother to deal with your app after that point unless you and your counselor let them know that you are released from the agreement. This is not to be thought of lightly as colleges take this info seriously, and you may well be penalized even with the best reasons. And it is not a point to negotiate or discuss. Your file will simply be put in the deny stack and that is it.

Do people get away with declining ED for bogus or frivolous reasons? Yes, they do. Just as people get away with breaking any contract, any law, heck, committing murder. There is a risk to everything and you can lose it all by fooling around with ED. And the world of upper education is pretty small, you will find and info is often freely shared. I have found out about all kinds of confidential stuff, secretive moves, etc. Without trying. Many coincidences in the world of college admissions.

Many guidance counselors, particularly from the larger public schools where the student/counselor ration is just too big, do not track or bother with dealing with Ed transgressions. They sign the statement and do not worry about it thereafter. If a college feels a particular highschool is not taking the whole deal seriously when a student reneges on ED or finds any kind of info where they feel that the highschool is not being upfront and honest, they will view future student with a jaundiced eye simply because they know they cannot trust the integrity of the school. It is not a regulated thing where all kids from that school are banned from the college, but the kids will not be given the same due consideration. Kids who have such a situation and know it need to tackle the issue head on if they are applying to a school where such a relationship has developed. Otherwise they are at a distinct disadvantage in gaining admissions. And there is no wonder this would occur. And the word can get out as people in the admissions business do shop talk at times and though they may be careful about privacy issues on an individual student, certain school issues are not off limits like which schools and counselors are unreliable. They are certainly fodder for discussion. So schools that are careless in the app process do hurt future students' chances as a natural consequence of their actions or inactions. That is on reason why college counselors and highschools are careful with how they deal kids applying to colleges.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:11 pm: Edit

Just my humble opinion...if you suspect that you there is a chance you will decline an ED offer, why would you apply ED at all? I thought ED was for students who had a strong preference for one school and a willingness to declare so as an ED candidate. If you're not that sure perhaps you should apply RD. I'm not sure applying ED just to "maximize your admittance potential" is justifiable if you think you might decline for any reason...and in my opinion that should include financial.

By Raky (Raky) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:17 pm: Edit

Thanks a lot for a lot of informative disscussion on the topic. Any how my point was not applying ED/SCEA to multiple schools at the same time. It was more about one applies to only ONE ED or SCEA college and regular to all other colleges. And if any thing changes between Nov 1 (ED apps date ) and May 1 (acceptance date)(6th months, a considerable time) and one is not able to attend, then what are the possibilities at that time. My concern is more about the factors not under one's control about above situation rather than just applying to multiple ED/SCEA places.

Thanks, Raky

By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:47 pm: Edit

SCEA is not binding. Even if you are admitted, you still have until May to decide. The only constraint is that you can only submit one SCEA (except for applications to rolling admission schools). Even after you learn that you have been admitted, you can send RD applications to other colleges. ED is different. Not only must you submit only one application (except again to rolling admission schools), if you are admitted, you must accept the offer. The only escape is if your situation changes dramatically, as Jamimom described.

Therefore, if you think there is a chance you will change your mind or that your circumstances will change, but not dramatically so, you are better off not applying ED. You can apply SCEA.

By Mini (Mini) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

The other reality is that while, statistically, ED MAY increase your chances at one particular school (it may not, depending on the pool applying and the institution's priorities and your particular attractiveness), chances for acceptance at a good school, with a good financial package, increase radically with the number of schools to which you apply.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:58 pm: Edit

I want to reiterate that even when a situation drastically changes for ED, the escape clause is not an easy route. It is essential for the highschool counselor and student to make it clear to other colleges under consideration what happened so it had better be a danged good reason to renege. Otherwise you can end up on the reject list without a murmur from the other schools. They do not waste time notifying kids already on an ED accepted list of their action as they are NOT interested in discussing the situation. I have seen this come into play only one time and it was with a young lady who was accepted ED at an ivy whose father underwent a bone marrow transplant and was not doing well. CMU became the school of choice as a result of that situation since she could live at home and be within walking distance of the hospital. The situation did have to be carefully managed on the college admissions end to make this happen.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit

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