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How bad is it actually to back out?


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Hello, first time poster here. I applied to Canadian schools, so the April 15th deadline isn't applicable.

So, school A has already offered me a spot and the deadline to accept/decline is on Tues (April 19th). No funding available, but tuition is the cheapest of everywhere I applied to (about 4K a year). School A is also located in the middle of nowhere, the temperatures are below freezing 8 months of the year and the school itself doesn't have the best ranking. I also don't intend on staying in that particular city after graduation. On the bright side, my partner is currently studying there so living costs would not be very high :) As well, the program is small and has a decent reputation.

School B (my top choice) has waitlisted me. There is a possibility for funding, my POI there is my academic kindred spirit (our research interests are nearly identical), the city is large/vibrant/there are lots of things to do and the institution is one of the best in Canada. But I still need to see a tangible offer :(

I contacted the department advisor at School A and they are unable/unwilling to give me an extension. I then contacted my POI at School B, who advised me to e-mail the department secretary and the program director, and inform them about my other offer. I did on Wednesday, inquiring about the chances to get off the waitlist, and have not heard back.

So now I have to make a decision by Tuesday... how bad is it to accept the offer at School A and back out if School B offers me a spot afterwards? As well, I don't know why School B hasn't gotten back to me! If they want to reject me, can't they just let me know? Arrrrrghhhhh. Sorry for the long post, but I'm pretty sure my partner/family/friends are all sick of hearing me go on and on ;) Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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