Getting Out of an Early Decision Commitment

Question:  I applied Early Decision to a private university and got accepted. Unfortunately, it's an expensive school that my family doesn't want to pay for. If I get into another, cheaper university, such as the public university in my state which would be much cheaper, before I submit my deposit, is there a way I can avoid a penalty for backing out of the offer?

Did you apply for financial aid from your ED university? If you did--and if the aid you received doesn't make this college affordable--then you can withdraw for financial reasons without penalty, if you do so immediately (or you can appeal the aid award before you bail out entirely). You cannot, however, wait more than a month to find out if you were admitted to other potentially less expensive colleges and then say, "No thanks" to your ED school.

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