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last minute waitlist offer to my top school...does backing out of another offer reflect poorly on me?

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Hi All, 

Looking for some feedback from those of you who currently are or have been in a similar situation. I am currently enrolled in Program A, which is 600 miles away from my current state of residence. I was placed on the waitlist for Program B (located about an hour from my current home) back in November, 2 months after accepting at Program A. Program A does not start until June. Program B starts classes the first week of May and has now offered me a seat, requesting that I respond by this coming Monday at 5pm. 

Is this switch even doable? The timeline seems pretty tight, but from the start my goal was to ultimately end up at Program B. I do feel some guilt in backing out of Program A, but I suppose this situation is exactly what waitlists are created for. Program A would surely have plenty of time to release my seat to someone else on their waitlist. One of my biggest worries is the FAFSA logistics - I have already applied and been offered my awards package through Program A, but no funds have been disbursed and are not scheduled to be until the end of May. Does anyone know if it is possible to edit my app so that a new package is recalculated and funds redirected?

Had this happened much sooner I wouldn't even have thought twice about making this decision, but being so close to the start of both terms I feel like the decision becomes a bit more complicated. Open to hear any and all suggestions/advice on this topic -thank you to all in advance! 

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Hi All, 
Looking for some feedback from those of you who currently are or have been in a similar situation. I am currently enrolled in Program A, which is 600 miles away from my current state of residence. I was placed on the waitlist for Program B (located about an hour from my current home) back in November, 2 months after accepting at Program A. Program A does not start until June. Program B starts classes the first week of May and has now offered me a seat, requesting that I respond by this coming Monday at 5pm. 
Is this switch even doable? The timeline seems pretty tight, but from the start my goal was to ultimately end up at Program B. I do feel some guilt in backing out of Program A, but I suppose this situation is exactly what waitlists are created for. Program A would surely have plenty of time to release my seat to someone else on their waitlist. One of my biggest worries is the FAFSA logistics - I have already applied and been offered my awards package through Program A, but no funds have been disbursed and are not scheduled to be until the end of May. Does anyone know if it is possible to edit my app so that a new package is recalculated and funds redirected?
Had this happened much sooner I wouldn't even have thought twice about making this decision, but being so close to the start of both terms I feel like the decision becomes a bit more complicated. Open to hear any and all suggestions/advice on this topic -thank you to all in advance! 


Go to the school that best fits your needs. You will make another applicant extremely happy.

My buddy in PA school got a slot just a few days before our classes started and drove across the country to get there. I turned in my seat at another school (after paying deposits) 4 months ahead of starting school because the new offer was better for me.

No one will fault you for making personal decisions based on your own self-interest. Just be polite, thank the school you’re not going to be attending, and move on.


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FAFSA logistics are NOT a reason to stay at program A.

You can edit your FAFSA to add program B (note to those filing out FAFSA - you can add up to 10 schools - add all of your possibilities, it doesn't hurt).

You'll just fill out new forms at program B to get financial aid.  Other than the turtle pace of some fin aid offices, and a potential slight delay in disbursement (possibly), that's the only hiccup to jumping ship.

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To play devils advocate, there is a possibility that you will not get off the waitlist and you will have to reapply this cycle. 

Are there other schools in your state you are also interested in getting into? As tuition is a hot topic, consider cost of both schools because public institutions are significantly cheaper and you will be thanking yourself in the long run! In your downtime of interview season you can work and save up, too. 

600 miles is pretty far...about 12 hour car ride? May is coming up soon! You really need to make a decision soon and ask yourself if you trust program A enough with your future. Life is long, your profession will be forever. No matter what you choose, it will work out in the end.

Best of luck!

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5 hours ago, ajames said:

To play devils advocate, there is a possibility that you will not get off the waitlist and you will have to reapply this cycle. 

Are there other schools in your state you are also interested in getting into? As tuition is a hot topic, consider cost of both schools because public institutions are significantly cheaper and you will be thanking yourself in the long run! In your downtime of interview season you can work and save up, too. 

600 miles is pretty far...about 12 hour car ride? May is coming up soon! You really need to make a decision soon and ask yourself if you trust program A enough with your future. Life is long, your profession will be forever. No matter what you choose, it will work out in the end.

Best of luck!

OP is already committed to program A and just offered a spot from the waitlist at program B - definitely won't be applying next year!  Has to decide between the two now!

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Go with program B, you said it was your top choice and now you can do it. There is someone on the waitlist at program A that will be very happy you chose a different option. I too have heard of people being offered seats a couple days before classes start because someone dropped due to illness, unforeseen circumstances, etc. A year from now you won't even remember your hectic move in the next 2 weeks. 

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Thanks everyone, very helpful! 

I think I am going to move forward with program B, but my issue at this point is getting out of a lease that I had signed for the move out of state to program A. I have two days to somehow find a replacement for me in the house, or find some sort of loophole or workaround. I really do not want something so trivial as housing to hold me up in making this decision. Has anyone been faced with a similar problem?

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1 hour ago, emhen24 said:

Thanks everyone, very helpful! 

I think I am going to move forward with program B, but my issue at this point is getting out of a lease that I had signed for the move out of state to program A. I have two days to somehow find a replacement for me in the house, or find some sort of loophole or workaround. I really do not want something so trivial as housing to hold me up in making this decision. Has anyone been faced with a similar problem?

Talk to someone on the phone and explain the situation, you'll lose your deposit but they may be sympathetic with early termination etc. If you haven't given them any money, you can always just walk away from it; politely though, tell them why.

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On 4/20/2018 at 8:00 PM, emhen24 said:

Thanks everyone, very helpful! 

I think I am going to move forward with program B, but my issue at this point is getting out of a lease that I had signed for the move out of state to program A. I have two days to somehow find a replacement for me in the house, or find some sort of loophole or workaround. I really do not want something so trivial as housing to hold me up in making this decision. Has anyone been faced with a similar problem?

Put it on a credit card, use your student loan money, borrow it from a friend, DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW, because this is NOT a reason to turn down your top choice of a school. 

Seriously, it's not. 

Congratulations. :D 

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Put it on a credit card, use your student loan money, borrow it from a friend, DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW, because this is NOT a reason to turn down your top choice of a school. 

Seriously, it's not. 

Congratulations. :D 
This! And, do not worry that you will be stuck paying rent at two places for the length of the lease. They will find someone to replace you as a tenant fairly soon unless this is a place where apartments sit empty regularly. (In which case, why would you want to live there ya know?)
Good luck!

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Thanks everyone!  I have accepted at program B and found a solution to my lease issue - I truly do appreciate all of the input, thanks again! :)

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Thanks everyone!  I have accepted at program B and found a solution to my lease issue - I truly do appreciate all of the input, thanks again! :)
Great news!

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