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Cancelling one interview to attend another?


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So I'm in a bit of a jam.

I was invited to an interview/recruitment weekend with School A, but I am scheduled to attend their "alternate" weekend date because of a conflict. I have already called their travel agency and booked plane tickets (so I presume the university has already paid for my flights).

However, School B just contacted me and invited me to their recruitment weekend which is at the same time as when I am scheduled to visit School A.

I would rather go visit School B, because it's in a location I've always wanted to visit (yay for free travel!) and because they have a lot more faculty that I would be interested in working with. Also, I fear that School A's alternate weekend won't give me the full recruitment experience, and that because I'm not attending the regular weekend I will have lowered my chances of acceptance anyway.

I've asked School B if they have an alternate weekend, but I suspect that they don't. Would I completely tank my chances of acceptance at School A if I cancelled my trip? If I'd paid for the tickets myself I wouldn't feel so bad about doing that, but because they have already put down the money I would feel really horrible if they ended up not being able to get a refund.

TL;DR I'd really rather attend the proper interview weekend for School B than attend the alternate weekend for School A, but School A has already paid for my plane tickets. I'd like to ideally be accepted to both schools (though this isn't imperative, as I've already got an offer from a really exciting program somewhere totally different, but I want to keep all my options open).

Also, I don't know if this is relevant, but I've already had a half-hour phone call with two profs at School B which I assume went well (because I got the weekend invitation less than 24 hours later).


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Pretty bad form to cancel an interview especially the way you played it out.  An alternate weekend for a school is going to very likely the same "feel" as the first weekend interview; especially since there are usually more than one applicant there. 

Stick to what you promised to school A (think how awful you'd feel and respond if school A decided to cancel you for another applicant they thought they liked better after they told you to come!).

Inquire about an alternate weekend for school B. 

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I do not think attending the alternate weekend for A will affect admission chances. However, if you cancel on A now, I think you are essentially guaranteeing that you will not be admitted there, and may even potentially be burning some professional bridges. As others have said, you should instead inquire about an alternate date for B.

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I agree with everyone else---attend School A as scheduled and visit School B another time.

I don't think an alternate weekend is going to be that bad, after all, it's the designated alternate weekend so it's likely a bunch of others will be visiting then too. And the department (faculty, staff, students etc.) will be prepared for the visit!

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