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Help!: Accepted offer, then received more generous offer


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I accepted an original offer a couple weeks ago but then received a VERY generous offer from a school that I'd been wait-listed on.  I'd sort of given up on this second school so did not remove my name from the wait-list.  I would very much like any information as to what might be my options in this situation.  Is it totally unprofessional to contact the original school and explain my new, unexpected situation.  Should I even consider the second offer or does my previous commitment prevent me from accepting any other offers.  Any advice or insight would be very much appreciated.

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It's still prior to April 15, so assuming that these are both CGS schools, you're well within the time frame to withdraw.  Contact School A and tell them that you appreciate their offer, but you have decided to withdraw your acceptance.  If you want, you can give them more details (that you were offered acceptance at a better-fit institution for you), but you don't have to.


However, I urge you to take a minute to think about it before you do this.  A lot of times, getting wait-listed can make people even more desperately want to attend a place - it's that psychological effect of wanting what you can't have, in essence.  So when we get accepted off the wait-list, sometimes that other place can seem so much more tantalizing and appealing.  But was this place originally a better choice?  Did you want to go to Wait List University all along, and had just given up hope; or was the original school always a front-runner?  Or were they pretty much a tie?


I am also of the personal opinion that differences between stipends shouldn't really be considered as long as they all satisfy your living costs.  This isn't a long-term job upon which all of your future salaries will be based; it's just a subsistence salary while you knock out the PhD.  So you just want to be sure that you have enough to live on (comfortably).  And don't get me wrong, I'm the queen of comfortably being the key.  But if you're offered $28,000 in Columbus, OH and then $32,000 in Atlanta, GA - but Ohio State is a far better fit for you, and better in your field, than Georgia State - then maybe you should accept the slightly lower offer in Columbus, unless $28,000 isn't enough to cover life in Columbus (which I doubt).

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