Page 1 of 1

Deferring and then Rejection - is it possible?

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:19 am
by optimistic

I accepted a Physics PhD admission (with funding) in a US university in April 2014. Due to some reasons I can't attend it from August 2014 so I deferred it to August 2015. As I got some time from this deferral, I want to try some other universities.

If I get acceptance somewhere else, can I reject the existing 'accepted' offer? Am I allowed to do that?


Re: Deferring and then Rejection - is it possible?

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:36 am
by TakeruK
It is not against the law, so no one can really stop you. But this is not the point of a deferral. If you request the deferral, you are making a good-faith agreement that you do want to attend the school but are not able to attend in August 2014. You would be abusing the deferral if you also tried to use that time to try to get into other schools. I don't think people will be very happy with you if you asked for a deferral, then decided that you will apply somewhere else. It's one thing if in August 2015, still more reasons pop up and you can't attend grad school at all but it's not good if they find out you have been using their deferral time and taking up a spot they've saved for you just so you can apply to different schools!

In addition, if the schools you apply to next year learn about this deferral you have from this school, they will not be very happy about it either. You may or may not have to disclose this in applications.

In short, don't do it, it's a jerk thing to do. If you are not sure you want to attend that school, you should be honest with them and instead of just asking for a deferral, tell them that you want to also apply to other schools and ask if they are willing to hold their offer for a year. If they say yes, then everything is fine. If they say no, or that you have to reapply, then do that. Having to re-apply is pretty common and a deferral is usually an excuse from having to reapply for some valid reason!

I think it's important for graduate students like us to remain professional and take personal/professional responsibility for the consequences of our actions.

Re: Deferring and then Rejection - is it possible?

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:17 pm
by optimistic
Thanks TakeruK, when I accepted the offer in April, my plan was to attend it from August 2014. It's NOT the case that I didn't like the school. But then, I realized my BS/BSc degree will not be finished before mid-August, it will take till December. So I had to defer it for a year.

So, the reason of my deferral was very strong: incomplete BS. Now that they approved the deferral, my (apparently "jerk") mind is suggesting me... "well... why not try once again to some better universities?"

Well, there is no point of saying whatever I could've or would've done... Can u pls suggest me how I should proceed now? Thanks

Re: Deferring and then Rejection - is it possible?

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:00 pm
by TakeruK
I don't know all of the details of your specific circumstances. But the way I see it is that you and the school both agreed that you will start in August 2015 and the only reason you did not start in 2014 was because you needed extra time to finish your BS. To me, this is a different case than if you had told the school "I really like this program but I am not sure I want to go to it, can I still have my spot in 1 year?"

If I were in your situation, I would do one of the following:

1. Decide to apply to other schools and inform the deferred school that I now have second thoughts about committing to their program. Ask if they want me to reapply this year, or if I can hang onto my deferred spot.

2. Decide not to apply to other schools and start in August 2015 as planned.

At this point**, I think you really just need to decide if you want to commit to this school or not. You can't use the deferral as an excuse to delay your decision and see what your other options are. You need to make a choice and decide so that this other school can know how many people they can accept in the August 2015 incoming class!

** You should probably make the decision before the application deadline for your deferred school, I think.