Student Has Doubts About College Choice

Question: I was really excited when I got offered admission at a very selective college through its early decision plan. But my enthusiasm for going there has waned because all of my friends will be going to the state college.

I know that I signed an agreement saying I would attend that school; however, I want to back out of it now. Is the agreement to attend that school legally binding? Is there any way that I can get out of attending this school? — Changed My Mind

Answer: Colleges can have other acceptance programs than regular admission. One of them is early decision, in which students apply to one college in November and can be offered or not offered admission as early as December. The advantage lies in knowing earlier than most of their classmates where they will be going to college, as well as taking the stress out of waiting to see where they are accepted.

You signed an agreement to go to the early decision school if you were offered admission, and also to retract applications at other colleges where you may have applied. While an early decision is not legally binding, colleges do consider it a firm commitment, and there can be unpleasant outcomes that will not let you attend other schools where you have been admitted.

At this point in time, there are a few things that you can do if you do not want to attend the school where you were offered early decision admission. You can start by talking to the admissions office; some schools will let you out of the agreement.

If the financial aid package the school offers makes it economically unsound for you to attend the school, most will release you from the early decision agreement.

You have two other options to consider: You can attend the school and take advantage of what originally attracted you to it. If after attending the school, you still feel it is not right for you there is always the possibility of transferring to another school.

Students need to remember that it is very important to select the right acceptance program when applying to college. Unless you are dead-certain that a school is the one for you, you are likely to be better served by an early action program that will let you apply to several schools and find out which ones will admit you early. This program does not require you to attend a school if you are offered admission.

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Question: I just read your article addressing a third-grade student’s problem understanding what you describe as “content area vocabulary.” One cause of this problem that is often overlooked when a child has a problem like this is the possibility that the child may have a hearing impairment. A hearing test would indicate any hearing impairments the child might have. — Hearing Loss Problem

Answer: Whenever a child is having great difficulty in an area at school, many avenues need to be investigated to determine why this is happening.

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