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I was just accepted into a graduate program that follows the april 15th resolution, what exactly does this mean?  If I accept this offer then get off the waitlist at a preferred school does this mean I am not allowed to rescind my acceptance or just ask their permission? The april 15th resolution states:

"Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer."  

Thanks in advance!

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As @meep95 said, when a school tells you that they follow the April 15 resolution, it means that they won't require you to make a decision before April 15. In return, if you say yes to them before April 15, other schools who are part of the resolution will not allow you to accept their offers until you are "released" from this first school. However, to clarify, it is not a contractThere are no legal obligations on either party and there are no structures in place to enforce it

Of course, if you say yes to a school and then change your mind, you will likely burn bridges. So there are tons of reasons to *not* do this, but I just want to make it clear that it's not at the level of a contract. 

meep95's advice is the best one: Since you are more interested in your waitlisted school, wait and see what happens. Don't accept any offers until you are sure that your waitlisted school will not make you an offer before April 15. You might have to wait until April 14 or 15 to be able to accept the first offer. 

I'll also add a few more pieces of advice. You can probably imagine a deadlock scenario where you are waiting to hear from your waitlisted school, while someone who is accepted to that school is waiting to hear from one of the schools you've already been accepted to. Since everyone is waiting on the other to make a decision, nothing gets done. Therefore, I would also advise you to do the following while waiting:

- If you have more than one offer, review them all and decide which one of these offers is your top choice. Decline the other offers so that those waitlists can move (if those schools have waitlists). Similarly, if you have not heard from some of the other schools that are no longer as favourable to you as the ones you have offers, then withdraw your applications from those schools too. Basically, you don't have to wait until you hear back from every single application in order to start making some decisions.

- Get in touch with your top choice schools that have waitlisted you. You can tell them that you are very interested in their program. If they haven't told you anything yet, then this is a good time to ask about their expected decision timelines. If they already told you that you are waitlisted, then on April 10 or something, just contact them again and let them know that you remain interested in their program. Hopefully at this point, they will have some idea whether or not you'll get off the waitilist. If they say it's unlikely, then you might want to accept the offer you have on April 15. If they say that they might be able to make you an offer on say, April 18, then ask your first school for an extension to April 15, explaining the situation.

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it means you have until the 15th to accept their financial offer, but once you accept it is a contract and you have to have their permission to leave it. if possible, wait until you hear from your waitlisted school and respond to the other offer closer to the 15th

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