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Deferral - flexibility to apply to other programs


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Hello. I am an international student with some burning questions on deferrals. I was accepted to a Master of Arts program from a top tier US university, and subsequently granted a deferral. I was not granted any financial aid and I will be self-financing my studies. While I feel extremely grateful to the admissions team, my personal circumstances have changed significantly since then. Long story short, I started a family and moving to a large and relatively unsafe city is not really an option anymore. I am really torn about what to do. I have a number of questions and concerns

  1. How binding is my acceptance of the deferral (other than forfeiting my deposit) and how much flexibility do I have to apply to other programs (while holding this)?

  2. If I were to apply to another program, would the admission teams of either university be able to find out? What could be the implications?

  3. Feasibility issues aside, how ethical is for me to do so? would I hurt the prospects of other candidates?


Any help, guidance and thoughts are much appreciated!

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1) You'll have to contact the school to see if it's binding. If they say it's not, then you can apply to other programs without having to worry too much.

2) No, the graduate school admissions offices don't and can't legally communicate with one another about your application. That would be a violation of FERPA (a federal law covering educational records).

3) It's not ethical but, if the program isn't offering you any funding, then you'll just need to do what you have to do.

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