mrrsnhtl wrote:If accepted offer from some school (which should be done until April 15), is it possible to decline it afterwards (say you were waitlisted and received a better offer after April 15) ?..It would be unethical of course, but would there be any other charges for it?
admissionprof wrote:This is very rare. We've been asked once in the past decade. Since we don't want a student who doesn't want to be here, we agreed to let them out of their agreement. But some student who desperately wanted to get in was shut out by this. It is unethical, as you say. And many institutions don't forget when someone screws them over like that.
As far as having an institution not forgetting being screwed over like this, just what are they going to do about it? For those students who will remain in academia (which is a minority I suppose), just how many choices are there for places to apply for a post doc? And will they even remember it at that institution when he gets his PhD 6 or 8 years from now? I doubt it.
It appears to me that even after a student accepts at a particular school, the school really doesn't know if they are going to show up in September. And when students do not show up, it's no big deal.
pythy wrote:So a concrete question for you ethicists and profs. Of the schools where I've been accepted, I have have a clear front runner. Good physics school (top 35 according to USN&WR) with a great overall national reputation ("public ivy"), good TA package, money to visit (haven't gone, yet, though), etc. In fact, if this was the only school I was accepted at I'd be very pleased, though one of my recommenders (my grad quantum prof) said he had hopes I'd get into a top five school and this ain't that. But I'm on the waiting list at four schools that are, according to USN&WR, ten to fifteen spots higher. I'm HET and hope to teach at the university level. (I know, if I'd said I was interested in experimental condensed matter I'd have been accepted at the other four schools already, but excuse me for following my dream.) The waiting list schools have been very candid about the fact that I might not hear till April, which based on the info in this thread probably means near April 15th. So what do I do? Do I commit to #35 now, and bag it if I get a better offer, or at least beg to be released from my commitment. Or do I make full disclosure and ask #35 to wait in case I get a better offer, in which case it may say no? I don't want to deprive someone on #35's waiting list if I get a better offer, but if I don't, #35 seems pretty sweet and I don't want to mess it up.
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