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Backing out of an offer that was accepted...


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Greetings, everyone. I was accepted to a terminal master's degree early on this application cycle, and I felt pressured to accept the offer since I had not yet heard from several other programs I had applied. I have not yet had to submit a deposit but I accepted via a card they sent me. I have since been accepted to a program I really wanted to attend. The other degree would mean I would have to move quite far away and possibly lose my job. What would be the best way to let them know I will now have to decline?

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I don't think there is any easy way out of this, but honestly your decision at least to me is understandable. If I was in a similar situation, I'd just get straight to it and say something in the lines of:

"I am am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity and I had all the intention to attend; however unforeseeable and new circumstances have made it difficult for me to join (Inset name of school) and I regret to inform you that under these circumstances I have had to make the difficult decision of not attending your program.

Thank you very much for your consideration and understanding.

-The Mountain Goat"


Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest joshw4288

There is no problem with doing this. In my 2012 applications for masters program, I accepted an offer and later reneged in lieu of another program. I didn't regret it then and I don't regret it now. 

I would be more cautious about doing this at the doctoral level where circles of speciality are very small. A note like that suggested by @The Mountain Goat would be appropriate. 

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I agree that this is more common at the masters level. Doing so at the doctoral level without excellent cause can hurt future relationships with that department. The Mountain Goat had a great suggested response. 

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