May 15 scenario

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15+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2004
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I had wondered if you are considered to be holding a spot at a school before you accept, and I found the answer here if anyone is interested...something to be careful of...

May 15 Multiple Acceptance Deadline

The key phrase is, " which he or she has been accepted."Applicants often misunderstand this "traffic rule" to mean that they must decide where to enroll by May 15. That is not the case.

*The Nightmare Scenario You Should Take Precautions To Avoid*

You are holding a position in our entering class. You are also holding one or more wait list positions. You decide to go on a fishing trip to the South Pole, or backpacking in Siberia, or someplace where you are inaccessible. While you are gone, one of the schools where you are wait-listed makes you an offer. You don't know that has happened because you're not getting your mail. The school that just made you the offer reports the action to AMCAS, and now you appear as holding at Tufts and holding at the other school (even though you have not responded to their offer, see above).

We send you a request to decline all but one of your acceptances, but you don't receive it and reply because you're inaccessible. So we rescind your position in our class. The other school does not receive your reply before their offer expires, so they rescind you too. You come home from the South Pole to find you have lost your place at both schools.

If you will be inaccessible during portions of the summer, you can avoid this scenario by either withdrawing all of your wait list positions (so that no new offers can possibly arise) or by designating someone (like a parent) to act on your behalf while you are inaccessible.

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thanks for the good, albeit obvious, advice. in this age of cell phones and email it's hard to imagine someone being completely cut off from society, but in either case it's a good idea to give a parent the ability to act for you, and to make sure they know your wishes (ie, an absolute ranked list of where you'd want to go).
I guess I just wasnt paying attention before...I didnt realize you dont have to accept an offer to be considered as "holding" multiple acceptances. Sorry if this was obvious to everyone.
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I thought it was useful info, as this particular scenario hadn't occurred to me. I'm gonna try to be in the mountains for a couple of weeks this summer and will probably be completely cut off from phones, email, etc., so it's good to know in advance.
sorry if i sounded snippy. didn't mean to. i just thought the advice would be obvious to anyone smart enough to make it this far, but it's always nice to have a reminder and a relevant story illustrating it. thanks.