pbehzad

Faddayy
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2002
714
2
Atl and soon to be OKC
Status
I was thinking about writing a letter of intent to my top choice, but I am worried that they may not give a favorable financial aid package. I was fortunate enough to receive an acceptance to my state school, but would rather go to this other school. If you write a LOI, indicating that so-so med school is your top choice and if given acceptance you will attend yet they offer a crappy financial aid package, what do you do? Are letters of intention binding? Thanks.
 

AnotherDork

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2004
215
0
40
Massachusetts
Status
Resident [Any Field]
As I understand it, intent letters are not binding; it just makes you look like a jerk if you go back on your word (and someone once told me it reflects poorly on your undergrad school).

I think the financial aid awarding process is separate from the admissions process, so I don't think an LOI would affect the school's decision to give you more or less money. But it could vary from school to school.
 
OP
P

pbehzad

Faddayy
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2002
714
2
Atl and soon to be OKC
Status
im wondering if i get accepted to my top choice (after i have written the letter of intention) but they do not offer too much financial aid, and decided not to attend because it would be too expensive, would that look bad?
i know money is definitely going to play a role in where i decide to go.

any help would be appreciated.
 

fun8stuff

*hiding from patients*
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2003
3,068
42
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
pbehzad said:
im wondering if i get accepted to my top choice (after i have written the letter of intention) but they do not offer too much financial aid, and decided not to attend because it would be too expensive, would that look bad?
i know money is definitely going to play a role in where i decide to go.

any help would be appreciated.

as the last guy said: yes, it would look bad. it is basically going back on a promise.... i mean, it's not like you are going to say in your letter of intent: "If accepted, I promise I will attend AS LONG AS you offer me a great financial aid package."

However, with that said- the contention is that a LOI is not LEGALLY binding, so therefore it is not like you would be in any serious trouble for breaking your promise to attend.

Whether to write one is going to be a personal decision. The effectiveness of LOIs vary from school to school.
 

KiKat37

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2004
499
0
Status
In theory, the admissions office and financial aid are separate. So, if you write a letter and you are accepted, that should not affect how much money they are going to offer you in any way.

Now, if you are accepted after writing the letter, you are expected to attend. If you don't, it will look bad on you. It doesn't matter if it's for financial reasons or not. You gave your word. A letter of intent is not legally binding, but it is ethically binding.
 

DaveinDallas

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2004
417
1
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Question about LOI:

I've been waitlisted at my top choice of schools. In the secondary I indicated that this particular school was my top choice. I've also communicated that to the people in admissions on more than one occasion.

They have an early decision program where you only apply at this school and get the results about 6 months ahead of time. I've communicated verbally that I am going to do that next cycle if I'm not pulled off the waitlist this cycle.

Would a letter of intent be seen as pestering? Is it something I should do?
Any former adcom/admissions types out there care to comment?
 

inthe4cast

What's in the 4-cast?
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2005
90
1
Status
I wouldn't send an LOI saying anything you don't intend.
If you have reservations - you should, in good conscience, indicate it in your LOI.
Why exactly would you submit an LOI if you didn't really want to go there?
 

APTX

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2005
104
0
Status
inthe4cast said:
I wouldn't send an LOI saying anything you don't intend.
If you have reservations - you should, in good conscience, indicate it in your LOI.
Why exactly would you submit an LOI if you didn't really want to go there?
Another question: if I'm addressing the LOI to the dean (or, more likely, the associate dean who signs the letters), should I write his/her name on the envelope and send it to the Office of Admissions? (don't have the address for the Dean's office)