vanwinkle wrote:Two things to consider:
1) It depends on how you phrase the offer. If you say such a thing in the same letter as "I will be eagerly waiting for a space all the way up until the first day of class," that probably is a reasonable amount of time for them to accept. Otherwise it could be something less clear.
2) You can always rescind an offer, and it no longer becomes acceptable once you do. You could do this either by withdrawing your application or just sending a new LOCI that changes the offer terms (perhaps by stating your continued interest and saying you are still interested in attending, if the offer comes in time for you to make arrangements to attend). That changes things and reserves you a right to consider whether an acceptance is "in time" or not.
So there are ways to back out of such a statement if it's not accepted immediately, but you'd still want to weigh the ramifications of doing it first. A good general rule is, if you make a clear and definite offer like that, and it feels like you'd be going back on your word by breaking it, you probably are.
I'm interested in how to artfully walk back a promise to attend. I meant it when I said it but then one of the other schools I'm applying to upgraded their LRAP and made themselves about as attractive as the first school. Now I'd rather not have to withdraw my app from the second school if the first school admits me, even though I still very well might choose the first school if admitted to both, I'd like to visit each one and then decide. But I haven't been able to come up with a tactful way to say all this to the first school without hurting my chances of admission, so I've just been prepared to let my original commitment stand. Any advice would be welcome.