potl wrote:So... I just called the admissions office and asked about how quickly I'd have to withdraw other applications if I sent in my commitment form/seat deposit (I previously requested a deadline extension because I wanted to visit NYU/Columbia the week after the deadline, but was denied). The guy said "uh...immediately. When you're sending in your seat deposit you're committing to attend the University of Chicago so I'd say it would definitely be frowned upon if you didn't withdraw from everywhere else immediately."
I also specifically asked if that included schools from which I haven't heard back yet and he said "yes."
I... don't really know what to do at this point.
Huh...? It sounds like the person who picked up the phone was not very well informed, since soj reported getting an email from the dean of admissions that contradicted at least part of what he said.
Unfortunately, Dean Perry insisted on speaking to me on the phone or in person, so I don't have a written record of what she told me. This doesn't look good--maybe the person potl was calling was misinformed. I'm starting to think the reason Dean Perry didn't want to respond to me by email is to avoid leaving a paper trail. Technically, "requesting" that students withdraw and "frowning upon" students who don't might still be consistent with LSAC Good Practices, but the vast majority of admitted students would probably be scared into thinking they'd have to withdraw all outstanding applications when they commit to Chicago.
None of this would happen if everyone had a regular May 1 deadline, since by May 1 virtually everyone has received a decision everywhere, even if it's a WL (which you're explicitly allowed to keep). I guess Chicago wants to redistribute declined scholarships before other schools' deadlines, but I don't buy the common excuse that early deadlines are "in the interest of fairness to other accepted students." If fairness were the primary concern, Chicago wouldn't mind redistributing scholarships after May 1, even when there's no need to compete with other schools for students. Chicago has literally months to give students money they need and deserve--the only reason to insist on early deadlines, which deprive students of their ability to choose from as many schools as possible, is to compete with other schools. It's true that by May 1, Chicago will have already lost many of their most deserving candidates, but that's just how admissions works. They've been doing admissions for a while, so while there are fluctuations from year to year, they should be able to predict roughly what percentage of scholarships will be accepted, and therefore how much money should be offered. There's no reason not to give students best possible offers upfront.