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Made a verbal commitment to a school... Now I need to take it back


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Hi everyone. So about three weeks ago I was offered an assistantship at a school, and was told I would need to let them know within a few days if I would be taking the position and attending their school. They really emphasized that it was important to let them know asap since they need to fill the positions. Two days later, I told them through email that I would be accepting the position and attending their school. I wasn't ecstatic about attending there, but I figured it was such a great value and I couldn't pass it up. I sent in my deposit as well but it is refundable until April 15th.

 

So fast forward to now, I attended an open house at a school I didn't think I would like, but I ended up falling in love with it. I have decided that I will absolutely be attending this school and I sent in my deposit. I was wondering how I should approach the school I already committed to verbally, but now am not attending. Should I be honest and say I liked another school better? Should I be extremely apologetic and just say something vague like "another opportunity presented itself and I feel that I need to take it?" I feel guilty, but I also know this is something I need to do. I would love to hear other's opinions... Thank you :)

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You don't want to burn bridges. I would go the vague route.
 
Something like what you've already written: "Dear [name], Thank you so much for considering me for X university. I am grateful to have been offered an assistantship. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I have received an offer from another program. The university is a better fit for my interests and for my professional goals. This was not an easy decision for me to make, but I have decided to accept their offer. I wish [department] at [university name] all the best. Thank you again for your time. Sincerely, [name]."
 
Absolutely, revise this as you see fit, but something like this kind of note that I've composed  -- brief explanation, and with appreciation for what they've offered to you -- should do the trick.
 
This might be a daunting challenge at first, but I suspect, you'll feel better in time. Good luck!!
 
Edited by ArtHistoryandMuseum
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Hi everyone. So about three weeks ago I was offered an assistantship at a school, and was told I would need to let them know within a few days if I would be taking the position and attending their school. They really emphasized that it was important to let them know asap since they need to fill the positions. Two days later, I told them through email that I would be accepting the position and attending their school. I wasn't ecstatic about attending there, but I figured it was such a great value and I couldn't pass it up. I sent in my deposit as well but it is refundable until April 15th.

 

So fast forward to now, I attended an open house at a school I didn't think I would like, but I ended up falling in love with it. I have decided that I will absolutely be attending this school and I sent in my deposit. I was wondering how I should approach the school I already committed to verbally, but now am not attending. Should I be honest and say I liked another school better? Should I be extremely apologetic and just say something vague like "another opportunity presented itself and I feel that I need to take it?" I feel guilty, but I also know this is something I need to do. I would love to hear other's opinions... Thank you :)

 

Don't feel guilty, it's your life, do what is best for you!!

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I agree, keeping it vague is definitely best. Don't feel guilty, the school will simply extend your offer to another student. You absolutely need to do what is best for you. Good luck!

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