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Can I accept and then decline over another school?


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Hello guys, I'd like to ask if accepting one school's offer and then declining it later, to go to another school (because of better funding, etc.), is a common thing. 

Currently I am admitted to Masters of Public Health degree in University of Michigan and University of Washington. My first choice is UM, but scholarship made things a bit complicated.

U-M offered me partial scholarship when I was admitted. UW on the other hand, I had to apply for scholarship (also partial), which I did. I don't know how much I will be awarded (or awarded at all), but if I receive maximum amount I am almost sure that I will go to UW because it will cost significantly less than UM (even with scholarship). If cost is similar between UM and UW even with the scholarship, I will go to UM. 

The problem is that UW's scholarship process is rolling basis, and I don't know when they will return the answer (in email, it said that I can hear from them anytime between Feb to June). I waited for some time now, but obviously, I can't wait forever. So I was considering an option of accepting UM's admission for now, and wait for UW's scholarship offer. If I get maximum scholarship, then I will accept UW's admission. (at least that's my plan)

I wanted to know if this kind of thing is common (or, understood) among admitted students and school. I am sure it is not desirable thing to do, but I want to know how it is viewed. 

Thank you for reading my question!

Edited by kellyinus
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I have the same question as well. Different schools have different deadlines and I'm still waiting to hear from two programs but the deadlines of the other offers are coming up soon. I've already asked for an extension so I don't know how much I can stretch it further. If I accept and then get a better offer a few weeks later, is it acceptable to send an e-mail with an explanation? 

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