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Can You Un-Accept an Offer?


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I had a terrible interview at my top school last month, and a decent interview at my second choice school. My second choice school accepted me the very next business day (interview on a Friday, acceptance on a Monday), and I waited a couple days and then accepted their offer.


Just yesterday, I received the big envelope from my first choice school, and I'm SUPER EXCITED!!! to have gotten in to both schools, as they're both good fits for me.


But how do I tell school #2, whose offer I've already accepted, that I'm going to have to rescind it? Is that bad form? Will the schools talk to each other, and black list me? Is that paranoid? I honestly didn't think I'd be hearing good news from the other school.


People tell me that nothing is official until I write them a check. But what say you, commentariat?

Edited by legan
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You should be fine but the right thing to do is to formally ask your second choice school if you can rescind your acceptance and go to another school. Although, if there's no funding from either school involved, you should be fine...

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That's awesome news, congratulations!


It is unfortunate that you have to tell the first school that you want to be released but these things happen! I don't think there's a blacklist for things like this ;) From what I can tell, this is a pretty common question on this site so you are definitely not alone in this situation and I'm sure the school has had this happen to them before!


Just make sure that the school officially (get it in writing!) releases you from their program before you accept the offer from your #1 school

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There definitely wasn't any funding, and it felt so unceremonious. School #2 just sent me a very casual-sounding email, and I was all, "Yeah, okay".


But School Choice #1 was all, WELCOME HERE IS A PARADE AND YOUR OFFICIAL EMAIL ADDRESS, which is more official-feeling all around.


At this point, I'm not really sure what there is to be released from. What should I say? "Circumstances have changed, and I am sorry to say I will not be attending this school"?

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I'm from an 'Ivy' the USA and accepted an offer to a Scottish University for PhD in order to have them process funding availability. The offer is conditional from the Scottish Uni, pending my completion of the Masters degree I am now finishing.


I am awaiting word on another uni in England for doctoral study. 


If the English Uni  says yes I would like to go there instead. Can I change or 'get out' of the Scottish offer in order to go to the English one.  I had heard that undergrads can't do this but can international grad students?

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