Legal/ethical ramifications of withdrawing

zrkarenzrkaren Alum Member
in General 60 karma

I have a question on the ramifications of committing to attend a school while waiting to get off the waitlist at another. I got a waiver on my second deposit for school X under the condition that I would withdraw all other offers. I collected all my withdrawal letters and forwarded them to the Dean of Admissions. My question is, does this mean that I have to withdraw my name from the waitlists as well? Technically waitlists are not offers. I am wondering the ethical/legal ramifications if I were to get off the waitlist at my first choice and not attend school X.

Thank you for the insight!


  • MissChanandlerMissChanandler Alum Member Sage
    3256 karma

    I think that this does mean you should withdraw from the waitlists. Technically, you were "offered" a place on the waitlists (which you presumably accepted), so I think that they would fall under that umbrella of offers.

  • zrkarenzrkaren Alum Member
    60 karma

    That’s what I was afraid of

  • ChardiggityChardiggity Alum Member
    336 karma

    What does it say exactly in the conditional waiver? If it says "offers of admission", then a spot on the waitlist shouldn't count.

  • turnercmturnercm Alum Member 🍌
    770 karma

    Waitlist is different from an offer of admission. Unless they ask you specifically to withdraw from all waitlists then you should be fine.

  • zrkarenzrkaren Alum Member
    60 karma

    I just re read all the correspondence and nowhere do they specify or even mention the word “waitlist.” They do, however, mention a commitment to attend after withdrawing all other offers. A part of me is afraid that if I ask I won’t get the answer that I expect. Another part of me just wants to believe that I should be fine. I’m a little worried of the legal repercussions if I miraculously were to get off the waitlist and I had to make a dangerous move

  • turnercmturnercm Alum Member 🍌
    770 karma

    They already have your first deposit and you could always argue that the language doesn’t specify it. But an offer of admission is simply not the same as an offer to remain on the waitlist. In fact that’s not really an offer at all, it’s a way to see if you have continued interest in the school in case spots open up. I actually don’t know if any school expects you to remove yourself from waitlists. The only thing to lose is that deposit. If you’re worried still then just call and ask!

  • kpj744___kpj744___ Alum Member
    231 karma
  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2032 karma

    You can (1) commit to attend a school by paying a second seat deposit (or accepting a waiver of the seat deposit) and (2) formally withdraw from all other schools where you have received offers of admission AND (3) continue to ride out waitlists, provided that there is no binding language in your waiver of 2nd seat deposit. You should withdraw from the waitlists that you are no longer considering ( but can continue to wait at your top choice(s) until the very end. Sometimes candidates are admitted in mid or late August depending on the school's needs and the behavior of the applicant pool. Good luck!

  • zrkarenzrkaren Alum Member
    60 karma

    Thank you! @"selene.steelman" that makes me feel better! Here’s to riding that waitlist wave and hoping for good surprises! I appreciate the response so much!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Unless you have a binding offer (like most early admission programs are), then I don't believe they can require you to withdraw from waitlists. WLs aren't offers of admission - you haven't actually received an answer yet. So if they were to argue about it, you could genuinely tell them that you did not have that decision yet, it's a new offer. I think you're fine. I'd just be careful about burning the bridge - like if you do receive a WL offer that you want to accept, I probably wouldn't approach the school you are currently committed to about it until you know 100% you are accepting the other offer.

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    I'm in the minority. I interpret the language "withdraw all other offers" as meaning rescind all the applications you submitted to other schools. Else, the language "reject all other offers" would make more sense to me.

    Regardless, I don't think they'll do anything other than keep your deposit.

  • 5 karma

    Legally the issue is germinating with the constraints of the waiting list, for which, it is a classic example of under promotion on, how to attain an offer from waiting, so the liability is with the school of course, to tell you how long the waiting list takes to adjourn. My waiting list was from Brown, but I did not accept to pursue, so it is an interesting question for me. As it was undergrad and I wanted to go.

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