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Early deadline to accept offer for schools outside US



Hi, I was accepted by a Canadian university and just received my official offer letter. They ask me to accept / decline the offer within 3 weeks. I really like this program, but I am still waiting for the results from a couple of schools in the US. Would it be better to write an email to programs that I haven't heard back from and ask them about my status, or ask the Canadian program to extend my deadline for accepting the offer?



Edited by chisquare
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Do both. Write to your Canadian school and let them know that you are very interested in their offer but you would like to hear back from a few other places in the US first. Let them know that you are now going to contact these other schools to find out their expected date of decision and that you might need an extension. Don't actually ask for one yet though.

At the same time, write to all the schools that you would still be interested in attending and let them know that you have an offer from the Canadian school and that the Canadian school has given you a deadline of X to respond. Tell these schools that you are still interested in their programs and ask if they have an update on your current status and if not, if they have an estimate on the decision timeline so you can ask for an appropriate extension from Canadian school. Phrasing it this way helps to eliminate the appearance of asking them to rush a decision.

Then wait to see what happens. Often schools will "silent reject" candidates and not really inform them of a rejection until much later. Asking about it directly will allow you to find out if they had already removed you from consideration. It sucks to get a rejection but now at least you know and can move forward with your decision making process. Hopefully the schools where you are on a waitlist or have yet to make a decision will be able to give you some useful timelines.

If there is a school that you would prefer over Canadian school that gives you a later decision timeline, then ask for an extension to April 15 or whatever appropriate date. 

Overall, you should remain honest and truthful in the whole process. It is important to also keep the lines of communication open and clear. Make decisions carefully and deliberately but ensure you act promptly as well---don't keep a school in waiting once you have the information you need to decide. That is, you don't have to decide on what school you will accept before you turn down other offers. Good luck!

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