RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

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sonnyblues
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RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby sonnyblues » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:29 am

True story:

In the Spring I was admitted early decision for Fall 2012 to a Top 14 Law School (for obvious reasons I am going to withhold the name of the actual school, though I will say it is one of the schools in the lower half of the T14).

After accepting the early decision offer, I later deferred my admission for Fall 2013.

After giving things some thought (and coming to terms with the reality that I will not be able to afford to attend that institution with the financial package they offered me), I am now interested in applying to other schools this cycle.

Question 1: If I move forward with applying to other schools this cycle, what is the likelihood that they will know that I have deferred admission elsewhere?

Question 2: Are there precedents for dilemmas like this? Is there any way for me to get out of this?

Question: Is it possible for me to simply contact the school that I deferred at tell them that I would like to relinquish my seat, thus effectively releasing me from the binding agreement?

Please reserve your judgmental/mean-spirited responses.

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PDaddy
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby PDaddy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:53 am

You have two options: (1) be honest and tell the truth, or (2) come up with a really good story that justifies you accepting an early decision offer and deferring with a promise to attend the school the next year, and then deciding that you would like to re-open your candidacy.

As for the first option, they may offer you more money if you let them know about the financial issues. You might even consider re-taking the LSAT to see if they can give you more money for a higher score.

I would suggest that - if you take the latter route - you set your sights on a particular region and apply only to schools in that region. Explain to the committee at your law school that you want to opt-out for geographical reasons.

They won't be able to compete with a regional preference coupled with financial issues. Just be sure to stick to the region you choose. In fact, you may want to tell them that you had no idea that you would want to be in that region when you first applied.

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2014
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby 2014 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:54 am

Your ED contract was only for this academic year so that isn't a big issue. Did you sign any forms to defer for a year or was it just an email/phone call thing?

If you haven't signed anything then I'm guessing you are basically just deposited at that school and can go about your cycle as you see fit. However, in the interest of doing the right thing you probably should withdraw your commitment to your ED school to be safe and just proceed as though it didn't happen. Don't count on getting into that school at all, but if you needed to ED in the first place and don't want to pay sticker, you probably weren't going to get scholarship money regardless.

bp shinners
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby bp shinners » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:48 pm

I'm guessing the OP did sign something for the deferral, though I could be wrong.

Either way, your best bet is to be honest with the school. They might give you more money or release you from the contract.

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paratactical
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby paratactical » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:52 pm

sonnyblues wrote:Question: Is it possible for me to simply contact the school that I deferred at tell them that I would like to relinquish my seat, thus effectively releasing me from the binding agreement?

This might be possible, or they might accept your withdrawal and tell you that you have to wait and apply next year. The only way to know what will happen is to read over anything you signed or e-signed and to call the school.

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vanwinkle
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:58 pm

2014 wrote:Your ED contract was only for this academic year so that isn't a big issue.

Careful, this is a bad assumption to make. I just pulled up the UVA binding agreement (as a lower T14 example) and it doesn't mention anything that's academic-year-specific. Instead it has language like this:

Binding Expedited Decision applicants commit to enroll at the University of Virginia School of Law if admitted under this option.

If admitted under Early Decision provisions, I will enroll at the University of Virginia School of Law. I further agree to withdraw all applications for admission to other law schools, and to initiate no new applications to other law schools if admitted under this program.

http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/admissi ... cision.pdf

There's nothing that suggests it expires in the academic year, and offering a deferral can easily be understood as allowing the applicant to fulfill their contract obligation the following year, as opposed to letting them out of it.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:18 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
2014 wrote:Your ED contract was only for this academic year so that isn't a big issue.

Careful, this is a bad assumption to make. I just pulled up the UVA binding agreement (as a lower T14 example) and it doesn't mention anything that's academic-year-specific. Instead it has language like this:

Binding Expedited Decision applicants commit to enroll at the University of Virginia School of Law if admitted under this option.

If admitted under Early Decision provisions, I will enroll at the University of Virginia School of Law. I further agree to withdraw all applications for admission to other law schools, and to initiate no new applications to other law schools if admitted under this program.

http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/admissi ... cision.pdf

There's nothing that suggests it expires in the academic year, and offering a deferral can easily be understood as allowing the applicant to fulfill their contract obligation the following year, as opposed to letting them out of it.


Understood. Is this legally binding? I mean would a school pursue sometime of damages? Is there damages? I think that it would be a bad faith move to say screw it to a an ED but I haven't heard any thing that says you'd be held liable for anything. I'd probably talk to the school and tell them your situation.

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paratactical
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby paratactical » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:22 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:Understood. Is this legally binding? I mean would a school pursue sometime of damages? Is there damages? I think that it would be a bad faith move to say screw it to a an ED but I haven't heard any thing that says you'd be held liable for anything. I'd probably talk to the school and tell them your situation.

How would you ever convince any other law school that you would actually attend their school when your old ED school contacts them to let them know what you did?

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vanwinkle
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Re: RESCINDING AN EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCE: PLEASE HELP?!

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:24 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:Understood. Is this legally binding? I mean would a school pursue sometime of damages? Is there damages? I think that it would be a bad faith move to say screw it to a an ED but I haven't heard any thing that says you'd be held liable for anything. I'd probably talk to the school and tell them your situation.

Law school exam answer: It appears to meet all the elements of a legally binding contract. There are no money damages but they could seek injunctive relief. Courts won't grant the remedy of specific performance because it would violate the Thirteenth Amendment, but they could grant a negative injunction barring the student from attending other law schools.

Practical answer: School can just give your name to other law schools, who can then blackball you for failing to follow your agreement with another school. Then the onus is on you to sue the schools and claim the agreement wasn't a binding contract and they have no right to refuse to admit you based on it. Good luck with that.




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