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Run
04-04-2009, 01:58 PM
Hi all, I wasn't sure where exactly to post this, but since it is mostly regarding US apps I thought I'd post it here. Mods, feel free to move this if you feel that it is not relevant to this section of the forum. I have two different (but not totally unrelated) and stupid questions that I hope can be clarified before I make any unfavorable moves.

Firstly, I'm thinking of applying to universities in the US this year. However, I already have a place in Singapore, and offers from the UK. My SAT results were not able to reach the US universities in time for the cycle which has just passed, so I have to apply to study in the US for this upcoming cycle. I read about Early Decisions, and from what I understand, if I apply for Early Decision, it is like a binding contract. To quote Wikipedia, Early Decision "constitutes a binding commitment to enroll; that is, if offered admission under an early decision program the candidate must withdraw all other applications to other institutions and enroll at that institution."

Being a typical Singaporean :P , while I'd like to get the best education, it's also in my blood to play safe. So my question is, let's say I do get my offer for Early Decision, do I HAVE to turn down my offers in the other countries? Will there be any repercussions if I decide to turn down the Early Decision offer, such as blacklisting me in case I do decide to go back there for a postgrad?

The same goes for UCAS, while I can't find it on the website, the UCAS spokesperson, who came down recently, said that by firmly accepting an offer, it is a legal and binding contract. So what happens if I turn the UK university from which I accepted an offer, and accepted an offer from a US university?

I asked quite a few people, but while they said it should not affect my long term future (postgrads and such), they weren't completely sure and it's still best to clarify with others. Obviously, if I ask UCAS or email the Common Apps staff they'd tell me to turn down all other offers or not apply to any other universities, so I'm just wondering whether anyone knows about this? Has anyone held places in multiple countries before?

Sorry for such "noobish" questions, but I hope someone would help me clarify this issue. Thanks in advance! :)

LockT31W
04-04-2009, 06:29 PM
Hi Run,

Congratulations on getting into UCL and Warwick. What course have you been offered in Singapore? That said, your situation is not uncommon, and in fact is one which some number of people find themselves in every cycle. The short, honest answer is: no, probably none of the three institutions from the three countries would know what you do. You can hold places in multiple countries/institutions and they wouldn't know until you finally decide to withdraw your places. There is a chance that your post-grad chances will be affected at the few overseas universities you would offend, but great post-grad options are everywhere.

Still, you should not do it. If you apply ED and are successful, keep to your word, or don't apply at all. Top US universities have a good memory and attract so many applicants from schools here. If you break your ED contract, you risk blacklisting your whole school for the next few application cycles. Hundreds of your juniors will be denied a chance at a top university simply because of your personal indecision over universities. The mere holding of a place that you will eventually give up will reduce that university's admission quota for the following application cycle, and you will deny a place to someone else who really wants to go to that university. If you can live with that, I have nothing to say and nobody can stop you. But please look beyond your personal needs and carefully consider the external consequences of your actions.

Run
04-04-2009, 10:09 PM
Hi Run,

Congratulations on getting into UCL and Warwick. What course have you been offered in Singapore? That said, your situation is not uncommon, and in fact is one which some number of people find themselves in every cycle. The short, honest answer is: no, probably none of the three institutions from the three countries would know what you do. You can hold places in multiple countries/institutions and they wouldn't know until you finally decide to withdraw your places. There is a chance that your post-grad chances will be affected at the few overseas universities you would offend, but great post-grad options are everywhere.

Still, you should not do it. If you apply ED and are successful, keep to your word, or don't apply at all. Top US universities have a good memory and attract so many applicants from schools here. If you break your ED contract, you risk blacklisting your whole school for the next few application cycles. Hundreds of your juniors will be denied a chance at a top university simply because of your personal indecision over universities. The mere holding of a place that you will eventually give up will reduce that university's admission quota for the following application cycle, and you will deny a place to someone else who really wants to go to that university. If you can live with that, I have nothing to say and nobody can stop you. But please look beyond your personal needs and carefully consider the external consequences of your actions.

Thanks for your reply :)

There's still a few months before the US applications cycle opens again, so I'll give it a lot of thought before applying for early decision. I'd most probably go to the college I applied under ED anyway, since I'd apply to a top school for a top-notch education. Given my standard, I might not even be able to get in :P

Thanks again for clarifying.

Cheers :)