Is my enrollment form binding?

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FifisMilkshake

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Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FifisMilkshake » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:44 pm

I am on the waitlist for my dream school which I figured I will just ride it out until the fat lady sings. At the same time, I received a form from my safety school today saying I have until early July to send it back. The form that I have to sign says that by signing, I agree to formally matriculate to that law school. Is this binding???

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FairchildFLT

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FairchildFLT » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:02 pm

I'm no expert, but signing a form that says "I agree to attend your school" sounds pretty binding to me.

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fratstar1

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby fratstar1 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:12 pm

What are they gonna do?

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:06 pm

fratstar1 wrote:What are they gonna do?


I'm not sure breaking a formal agreement is the best way to start this whole law school thing.

NYSprague

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby NYSprague » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:14 pm

What does it say exactly? I know early admissions is binding but I don't know about th enforceability of this agreement.

I dont think they can do more than keep your deposit.
This is not legal advice.

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Mroberts3

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby Mroberts3 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:20 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
fratstar1 wrote:What are they gonna do?


I'm not sure breaking a formal agreement is the best way to start this whole law school thing.


I see this response to similar questions about backing out of offers for firms, etc. I agree that one should not lightly make commitments one expects to back out of. However, we all know that schools and firms are not looking out for your best interests (despite what they constantly tell you). In fact, I feel comfortable saying that they will happily screw you over if it benefits them even in the slightest.

Given that framework, I don't see how backing out of this kind of agreement is some sort of moral failing, especially since they get to keep your deposit.

OP, just tell them it is an "efficient breach of contract." They will be so impressed with your legal knowledge that they will forget to hassle you over it. Trust me, I'm a lawyer.

FifisMilkshake

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FifisMilkshake » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:21 pm

This is bugging me to no end, I have a full ride there which is why I deposited as I am riding out the waitlist.

This is the exact wording which sounds pretty binding.
"I will be formally matriculated as a Juris Doctorate candidate at XXX"

I've heard stories where people walk out on orientation day after getting off the waitlist elsewhere, is this the only school that forces people to commit so early?

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby SPerez » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:25 pm

From the LSAC Statement of Good Admissions Practices, which has no enforcement mechanism but that all schools (at least as far as I know) agree to follow:

LSAC Statement of Good Admissions Practices wrote:After April 1, except under binding early decision plans, every applicant should be free to accept a new offer from a law school even though a scholarship has been accepted, a deposit has been paid, or a commitment has been made to another school.


No problem if you're on the waitlist. It's different if you're admitted and holding two deposits until the day of Orientation despite signing that document.

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FifisMilkshake

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FifisMilkshake » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:03 pm

I emailed the admissions office asking them whether or not the form is binding and they said yes.

The predicament I am in is that I have withdrawn from all other schools that I have been accepted to because this school has given me a full ride. I can't bank on the fact that I will get accepted off the waitlist at my dream school so I either have to A) Commit to safety school by signing the binding contract or B) Refuse to sign the contract, lose my spot at my safety school and possibly not be able to go to law school in the fall if I don't get accepted off the waitlist at my dream school. (I actually called my dream school and they told me that their 2nd deposit has gone as predicted so no movement on the waitlist.)

To be completely honest, I don't even know if I would go for sure to my dream school if I get in, it would really depend on the amount of scholarship (if any) that they are willing to give me. What really grinds my gear is the fact that my safety school is so selfish about looking out for themselves by setting class sizes this early (in July) that they are willing to screw over potential opportunities for a student. While I understand all schools look out for themselves, seeing it so blatantly in my face with this school really begs the question whether or not choosing to become a student there is a good judgement.

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby SPerez » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:35 am

FifisMilkshake wrote:I emailed the admissions office asking them whether or not the form is binding and they said yes.


What did you ask exactly? If you just asked "Is it REALLY binding?" it is not surprised the answer was still "Yes." I would specifically ask if you have to withdraw from waitlists AND before they answer point out the language I quoted above from the Statement of Good Practices. The language is clear that schools should not require students to withdraw from waitlists unless you applied via binding ED. If the person you spoke with was relatively new or junior in the office and sounds like they aren't familiar with the Statement, I would go to the admissions dean directly (but very politely).

Realistically, here's a scenario. You sign the document and stay on the other waitlist. What could happen?
A) You don't get into dream school, and attend 2nd choice. No harm, no foul.
B) You do get into dream school and choose to attend. 2nd choice has little recourse.
C) You do get into dream school, but decide not to attend. 2nd choice never knows, and you attend there. No harm, no foul.

For scenario B, there have been many discussions over the years about what, if anything, a school can do when a student breaks a "binding" commitment. With ED, it's still early enough that you could damage the student's cycle by reporting the student to LSAC's Misconduct & Irregularities committee, where if found to have committed misconduct (or done something "irregular") would lead to a notation put on your LSAC CAS report sent to all schools you applied to. This late, a school could still do that, but it would be up to your dream school as to what to do with that information should that happen. They could ignore it or could rescind your offer, but I would GUESS the latter would be highly unlikely. Might be worth calling your dream school to explain the situation and see what they say. They won't promise you anything one way or the other, but still worth asking.

FifisMilkshake wrote:What really grinds my gear is the fact that my safety school is so selfish about looking out for themselves by setting class sizes this early (in July) that they are willing to screw over potential opportunities for a student. While I understand all schools look out for themselves, seeing it so blatantly in my face with this school really begs the question whether or not choosing to become a student there is a good judgement.


I wouldn't go quite that far. Remember that you're not the only person applying at either school. You're in a "sandwich" where you're experiencing the pressures from BOTH SIDES of the equation. Right now there's another person just like you whose dream school is your safety, and they're desperately hoping you will withdraw and open up a seat just like you're hoping someone will withdraw from your dream school to create space for you.* If a school doesn't create hard deadlines, more students wait for the last minute to make decisions, reducing the ability of the school to plan ahead and reducing the opportunities for other students. July is barely 6 weeks from the beginning of many school years so it's not that unreasonable of a date.

Dean Perez

(*It doesn't really work in a direct, 1:1 ratio like this, though. Schools plan for withdrawals so really you're hoping that they didn't plan well and have more withdrawals than they planned for. Even then, they can decide to forgo the extra people and opt for a smaller class. Iowa is an recent and extreme example.)

FifisMilkshake

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FifisMilkshake » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm

I emailed them anonymously and it is clear they say it is binding.

Dear XXX,

I am an admitted student and I have a question regarding the enrollment reply form - is it binding? One of the conditions by signing the form is that I agree to matriculate as a student. The deadline for this form is rather soon and I am still exploring other options in regards to schools I've been waitlisted to.

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Should you fail to complete the Registration Forms, you will not be able to attend classes.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,


Dear XXX,

Please allow me to clarify my question, the wording on the Enrollment Reply Form suggests that if I sign it, I would have to attend law school at XXX with the phrase "I will be formally matriculated as a Juris Doctrate candidate at XXX Law". I have every intention of attending at the moment which is why I have put down the deposit but I would like to know should I get accepted off a waitlisted school and that I have already signed and submitted the enrollment reply form, would I have the freedom to choose which school I want to go to or would I be locked down to XXX for having signed the enrollment reply form?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Yes, the Registration Form is binding.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,



Dear XXX,

Thank you for the concise answer. I have read from LSAC's Statement of Good Admissions Practices that "After April 1st except under binding early decision plans, every applicant should be free to accept a new offer from a law school even though a scholarship has been accepted, a deposit has been paid, or a commitment has been made to another school." Since you said that the enrollment reply form is binding, does this mean XXX does not follow this policy? I find this intriguing because while I understand LSAC has no enforcing mechanism, almost all schools follow this policy. This leads me to my final question: what are the repercussions should I breach that contract?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Thank you for your email. These ‘rules’ on LSAC’s website are not governing rules for Law Schools. Please be advised that your question has been posed to the Admissions Committee and the response given yesterday was directly from them. Should you choose, you may not submit your Registration Form given your concern of waiting for responses from other schools. Please be advised however that if we do not receive these forms by the deadline (July) you seat will be withdrawn.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,

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rahulg91

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby rahulg91 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:59 pm

LOL this sounds like Notre Dame. If so, that shit is not binding (speaking from personal experience).

NYSprague

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby NYSprague » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:03 pm

I have no idea what the remedy would be other than your deposit.

ymmv

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby ymmv » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:13 pm

FifisMilkshake wrote:I emailed them anonymously and it is clear they say it is binding.

Dear XXX,

I am an admitted student and I have a question regarding the enrollment reply form - is it binding? One of the conditions by signing the form is that I agree to matriculate as a student. The deadline for this form is rather soon and I am still exploring other options in regards to schools I've been waitlisted to.

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Should you fail to complete the Registration Forms, you will not be able to attend classes.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,


Dear XXX,

Please allow me to clarify my question, the wording on the Enrollment Reply Form suggests that if I sign it, I would have to attend law school at XXX with the phrase "I will be formally matriculated as a Juris Doctrate candidate at XXX Law". I have every intention of attending at the moment which is why I have put down the deposit but I would like to know should I get accepted off a waitlisted school and that I have already signed and submitted the enrollment reply form, would I have the freedom to choose which school I want to go to or would I be locked down to XXX for having signed the enrollment reply form?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Yes, the Registration Form is binding.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,



Dear XXX,

Thank you for the concise answer. I have read from LSAC's Statement of Good Admissions Practices that "After April 1st except under binding early decision plans, every applicant should be free to accept a new offer from a law school even though a scholarship has been accepted, a deposit has been paid, or a commitment has been made to another school." Since you said that the enrollment reply form is binding, does this mean XXX does not follow this policy? I find this intriguing because while I understand LSAC has no enforcing mechanism, almost all schools follow this policy. This leads me to my final question: what are the repercussions should I breach that contract?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Thank you for your email. These ‘rules’ on LSAC’s website are not governing rules for Law Schools. Please be advised that your question has been posed to the Admissions Committee and the response given yesterday was directly from them. Should you choose, you may not submit your Registration Form given your concern of waiting for responses from other schools. Please be advised however that if we do not receive these forms by the deadline (July) you seat will be withdrawn.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,


These adcomms sound like shitbags. Rest of the school is probably pretty shady too. Go elsewhere.

FifisMilkshake

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby FifisMilkshake » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:18 pm

ymmv wrote:
FifisMilkshake wrote:I emailed them anonymously and it is clear they say it is binding.

Dear XXX,

I am an admitted student and I have a question regarding the enrollment reply form - is it binding? One of the conditions by signing the form is that I agree to matriculate as a student. The deadline for this form is rather soon and I am still exploring other options in regards to schools I've been waitlisted to.

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Should you fail to complete the Registration Forms, you will not be able to attend classes.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,


Dear XXX,

Please allow me to clarify my question, the wording on the Enrollment Reply Form suggests that if I sign it, I would have to attend law school at XXX with the phrase "I will be formally matriculated as a Juris Doctrate candidate at XXX Law". I have every intention of attending at the moment which is why I have put down the deposit but I would like to know should I get accepted off a waitlisted school and that I have already signed and submitted the enrollment reply form, would I have the freedom to choose which school I want to go to or would I be locked down to XXX for having signed the enrollment reply form?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Dear Curious Student,

Yes, the Registration Form is binding.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,



Dear XXX,

Thank you for the concise answer. I have read from LSAC's Statement of Good Admissions Practices that "After April 1st except under binding early decision plans, every applicant should be free to accept a new offer from a law school even though a scholarship has been accepted, a deposit has been paid, or a commitment has been made to another school." Since you said that the enrollment reply form is binding, does this mean XXX does not follow this policy? I find this intriguing because while I understand LSAC has no enforcing mechanism, almost all schools follow this policy. This leads me to my final question: what are the repercussions should I breach that contract?

Sincerely,
A Curious Student

Thank you for your email. These ‘rules’ on LSAC’s website are not governing rules for Law Schools. Please be advised that your question has been posed to the Admissions Committee and the response given yesterday was directly from them. Should you choose, you may not submit your Registration Form given your concern of waiting for responses from other schools. Please be advised however that if we do not receive these forms by the deadline (July) you seat will be withdrawn.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,


These adcomms sound like shitbags. Rest of the school is probably pretty shady too. Go elsewhere.


I wish I could, lol.

InTheHouse

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby InTheHouse » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:23 pm

FifisMilkshake wrote:I wish I could, lol.


ymmv has a point. Not sure why you feel you have to enroll at a school with shady admissions practices. I'm assuming your scholarship has a stip. Hopefully, this school's shadiness doesn't extend to section stacking.

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ManoftheHour

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 pm

This sounds TTT as f@#$.

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DoveBodyWash

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby DoveBodyWash » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:28 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:This sounds TTT as f@#$.

derfs

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby derfs » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:28 pm

Just do what Dean Perez suggested you do: sign the form, pay the deposit, and wait to see if your dream school will extend an offer to you. If you get into your dream school, you lose your deposit to this school but you get to go where you want. I don't see what the big deal is.

Edit: Took a look at where you stand in terms of numbers with the dream school. I wouldn't bank on getting into the dream school.
Last edited by derfs on Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rahulg91

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby rahulg91 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:33 pm

cusenation wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:This sounds TTT as f@#$.


OP out this school for future applicants.

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ManoftheHour

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:41 pm

I've been negotiating between two schools after the deadline. They raised and re-raised offers. Yes, I feel like a d-bag but I have to get mine. The point is, despite my d-bagery, apparent greed, and holding a spot for someone that probably really wants to attend, both schools have been very kind and supportive of me in their email exchanges. Due to their responses, I actually had a hard time deciding one over the other and felt really bad when I had to finally withdraw from one.

Reading your email exchanges, the adcoms at your current school sound like total shitbags. If I got that kind of email from that school, I would not want to attend it. "Have a great day." lol All adcoms look out for themselves and their school but this exchange sounds like they do not even care at all.

derfs

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby derfs » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:43 pm

Alright, I'm bored at work... I think I figured out which TTT this is.

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rahulg91

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby rahulg91 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:47 pm

derfs wrote:Alright, I'm bored at work... I think I figured out which TTT this is.


DISH. My money is still on NDLS

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rahulg91

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby rahulg91 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:I've been negotiating between two schools after the deadline. They raised and re-raised offers. Yes, I feel like a d-bag but I have to get mine. The point is, despite my d-bagery, apparent greed, and holding a spot for someone that probably really wants to attend, both schools have been very kind and supportive of me in their email exchanges. Due to their responses, I actually had a hard time deciding one over the other and felt really bad when I had to finally withdraw from one.

Reading your email exchanges, the adcoms at your current school sound like total shitbags. If I got that kind of email from that school, I would not want to attend it. "Have a great day." lol All adcoms look out for themselves and their school but this exchange sounds like they do not even care at all.


LOL dat WUSTL/ND negotiation made me feel so sleazy.

derfs

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Re: Is my enrollment form binding?

Postby derfs » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Good chance that it's Hofstra. I gathered that from their Fall Registration Form. It uses the exact same language.

I understand that by signing and returning this form, I will be formally matriculated as a Juris Doctorate candidate at Hofstra Law.



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