Plan b college is angry

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Mom22, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    What contract?

    Holding a spot a one school is still depriving another student of a spot. That should still be at least as 1/2 as unethical as holding spots at two schools.

    What about accepting and holding two xROTC scholarship while waiting for an SA LOA?
     
  2. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    To the original OP and thread -- do not worry about the "gentleman" (I use this term very loosely) from plan B college. All bark and no bite; WP admin would have a field day with him.

    To hijack this thread just a bit farther on ethics and morality of paying a $200+ deposit to plan B college, knowing it will be forfeited when DD/DS makes it through basic...

    Let me ask those who say it is wrong, double-dipping, double-committing, unethical, immoral, etc...

    First, are you the same people who urge or insist candidates apply to more than one SA for whatever reason?

    Let us take a hypothetical (although based on threads in this forum, a very real) situation:
    - DD/DS applies to multiple SAs. However he/she prefers or really wants to go to SA #1 more than the others.
    - DD/DS receives an appointment to SA #2, not the preferred one, and must accept/decline by 1 May.
    - DD/DS accepts the appointment to SA #2 because he/she has not heard anything from SA #1 yet.
    - At the end of May, DD/DS receives an appointment to SA #1.

    So, does DD/DS turn down the appointment to SA #1, which is the one he/she has dreamed of going to his/her entire life because it would unethical, immoral, illegal, etc. to "de-commit" to SA #2?

    Or does DD/DS contact SA #2 and very professionally and courteously explain the situation, thank them for the appointment offer, and give up appointment for SA #2 so they can then accept their dream appointment to SA #1?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

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    Don't want someone holding your spot?

    Do better than them... Or earn a lower spot with less leverage.
     
  4. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    Don't tell me. Tell jl123.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

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    Jl123, see above.
     
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  6. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

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    I am not sure I understand your claims entirely. You wrote, "There is nothing unethical about placing a deposit and then exercising your option to cancel if a better offer comes along." and then "Having deposits at two civilian colleges at the same time is unethical and in clear violation of the contract, which prohibits double commitment." These seem to conflict and I'm not sure what your intent is. As a point of decided law, a deposit to a college is not a legally binding contract any more than a deposit to purchase a car is.

    However, as a faculty member on my college's admissions board, I take exception with this: "The student that did not get the offer early in the process because of the double acceptance is the one screwed." This itself is a fallacious belief - that a spot in a college or university or service academy is some particular student's spot to lose. Claiming that a student who didn't get into a particular college would have under different circumstances X, Y, and/or Z is an untestable claim. Even if we want to compare "merit" among applicants, there are hard variables (ACT/SAT scores, GPA, class rank) but the soft variables and context matter just as much if more. Do two applicants with 32 composite ACTs compare if one of them took the ACT once, and the other took it five times? Is a 3.7 at Thomas Jefferson HS in Reston VA comparable to a 3.7 GPA at Des Moines Dowling HS? I don't have answers for these questions, but this is what people like me on admissions boards grapple with when we have more applicants than space for matriculants.

    Your claim that "in most cases, wait lists are not managed in order of merit (most colleges, including USMA, explicitly state this)" is dubious. My college's wait list is both short, and placed in rough order of merit (merit being impossible to quantify in all respects). Other institutions we communicate with practice similarly. We are aware that the Ivies and other institutions may wait-list far more applicants than they ever expect to have spots to fill, but their purpose there is different than ours. We want to have full freshman-transfer classes of the students who, to the best of our experience and ability to discern, will do well here, contribute to the college community, and make themselves into educated adults. Perhaps you have access to some information we do not about how other colleges manage their wait lists, but our experience is that it is closely-held precisely because "merit" is so difficult to quantify.

    I'm puzzled why service academies are a special situation, but here again, I see no evidentiary support for this claim. I do understand you have closely-held opinions, but unless you are aware of a lot of information that we on the admissions board are not, then it is your opinion, not supported by facts.
     
  7. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    What contract? The contract you enter into (whether you realize it or not) when you submit applications, accept offers, and make deposits. It's in the fine print and is specific.

    One example - from Common Application signature page:

    Required: I affirm that I will send an enrollment deposit (or equivalent) to only one institution; sending multiple deposits (or equivalent) may result in the withdrawal of my admission offers from all institutions. [Note: students may send an enrollment deposit (or equivalent) to a second institution where they have been admitted from the wait list, provided that they inform the first institution that they will no longer be enrolling.]

    Not sure why there is confusion on double depositing vs cancelling an accepted offer of admission to take a better offer. One is in violation of universities' policies and the written agreement. The other is uniformly accepted as a practice that is fair, even among service academies.
     
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  8. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    These days, with most universities, everything is online, including application for admission, application fees, enrollment deposits, etc. with no place to "sign" anything until you show up at the school to attend, and very few, if any boxes to check that I have seen on three different college sites that contain the example above.

    But, I guess for the sake of argument about "double depositing", if we wanted to stretch the definition...
    when a young man/woman signs the "dotted" line at an SA, essentially becoming "property" of the US government, I guess we could (but I won't) assign a dollar value to that life and call that (or equivalent)
     
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  9. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

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    @jl123, I'll try to help clarify, and then I'm out.

    The language you quote is not a legally-binding contract, it is a promise. Even if it were legally binding, under very few circumstances - not including "I found a better offer elsewhere" - would the intent behind canceling a contract matter in any way, as you seem to suggest.

    I understand your opinion. Your claims are inconsistent and unsupported by evidence.
     
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  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    I can't refute the reasons given by various folks on why a Plan B deposit is okay. Although, we can justify and rationalize pretty much anything. However, you (candidates, not parents) should make the decision based your assessment of right or wrong, not because everyone else does it, it is not illegal, there is no contract, and etc.

    I like to think that candidates are not making a choice on what college to attend, rather making a choice to enter a profession where doing the right things is very important and you can't delay when you will start ding the right things.
     
  11. Milly

    Milly Member

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    I agree with this for the most part, except this commitment is not entirely in the young person's power. This is not about someone double-depositing because he cannot decide where he wants to go to school. Many students will deposit at a non-service academy even after committing to a service academy because sometimes, after that commitment, an injury will occur and the student will no longer be medically qualified.

    I'd also have to ask that university admissions director if HE ever takes students off of HIS wait list, after May 1. If he does, then surely he knows that he will be encouraging a student to back out of a previous commitment to another institution.
     
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  12. Milly

    Milly Member

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    To me, service academies are a special situation precisely because of the need to maintain medical qualification up to I-day. Blow your knee in a spring high school soccer game and you likely lose our chance to attend a service academy. Doesn't make sense that you'd lose your chance to attend ANY college come August.
     
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  13. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Last post on this dead horse. Got the caffeine IV started and cleared my schedule (had to cancel meetings with Trump and Hillary. This was just too important).

    It appears my comments are taken out of context by some and analyzed from a legal, rather than ethical perspective. My claims are consistent and supported by evidence, but in order to be concise, I omitted footnotes (complete bibliography and footnotes available on Amazon for $14.99).

    To address specific points made:

    1. The language you quote is not a legally-binding contract, it is a promise.
    • I apologize for conflating the terms contract, agreement, promise. I was speaking in layman's terms and only pointing to the existence of this "promise" in the the application most often used by college applicants and discussing the ethical, not legal implications. I never evaluated its legal merit, but, as I am sure LongAgoPlebe knows, under certain conditions, a promise may be legally binding. (maybe not in this case since this promise could be deemed unreasonable)
    2. I am not sure I understand your claims entirely. You wrote, "There is nothing unethical about placing a deposit and then exercising your option to cancel if a better offer comes along." and then "Having deposits at two civilian colleges at the same time is unethical and in clear violation of the contract, which prohibits double commitment." These seem to conflict and I'm not sure what your intent is. As a point of decided law, a deposit to a college is not a legally binding contract any more than a deposit to purchase a car is.
    • There is no conflict. In the first case, the deposit is held by one institution with the understanding that the deposit is forfeited if the student declines to enroll. Both the student and the college agree to this.
    • In the latter case, the student is deposited at more than one institution simultaneously. The student has violated the terms of the agreement.
    • In fact, the deposit to a college is legally binding. The agreement does not require the student to enroll, just lose the deposit if they don't follow through.
    3. Claiming that a student who didn't get into a particular college would have under different circumstances X, Y, and/or Z is an untestable claim.
    • Not trying to argue the case for any specific student. It is simply common sense that if students double deposit, it will change the outcome for other students. Not for all students and not in every case, but it is unreasonable to conclude that there is no change in outcome.
    4. Your claim that "in most cases, wait lists are not managed in order of merit (most colleges, including USMA, explicitly state this)" is dubious.
    • In my experience with several competitive colleges, more than half admit they do not rank order their wait list. Demonstrated interest, need for financial aid, meeting recruitment goals, etc factor into their selections from the wait list. If my adjective should have been many or several instead of most, I apologize.
    • To provide a smattering of the objective evidence that seems to be required, I offer the following:
    • USMA: See US Code 10. Very specific that only the first 150 must be offered according to merit. 200 - 300+ after that order of merit does not have to be applied.
    • From Boston College website: Candidates are not rank ordered on the waiting list.
    5. I'm puzzled why service academies are a special situation, but here again, I see no evidentiary support for this claim.
    • Milly said it best:
      • Blow your knee in a spring high school soccer game and you likely lose our chance to attend a service academy. Doesn't make sense that you'd lose your chance to attend ANY college come August.
     
  14. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    My head hurts, tennis match style. It is heartening, though, to see civil discourse so focused on "what is the right thing to do?"
     
  15. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    +1 CaptMJ

    Indeed this exchange has been refreshing due to its relative civility.
     
  16. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    False dichotomy. Community college is an option. I know of a candidate that was a medical drop from one of the SA prep schools that started in the local state university. It's not the end of the world if don't start college right after high school. Some postings on how some accepted candidates with medical issues were encourged to reapply and getting accepted next year. Should cadets apply for transfer to another college every year as they can blow out their knee playing intramural sports and get medically separated?
     
  17. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Please remember from my earlier post that I think the rules SHOULD be different on this matter for kids accepted to a Service Academy. When we went up against this issue, I thought there had to be some type of a special exception for this circumstance and was floored when I found out that there was not. None-the-less, if there were to be no issue with double-acceptance after the May 1st deadline, then why wouldn't everyone who does this share the information with the Plan B school? The answer is because they know that SOME schools WILL revoke the admission and scholarships to the Plan B school due to the violated agreements jl123 mentions above. On the other hand, some schools ARE fine with it and are very understanding and accommodating due the unique nature of the service academies. Our son's plan B school was fabulous about it and others on this forum have expressed the same about their Plan B schools. So why not choose a Plan B school that is okay with it to avoid a moral dilemma? For those of you who see no moral or ethical issue with this, do you feel the same if a candidate receives appointments to multiple service academies and come the deadline of May 1st, simply accepts all the appointments to then later makes the decision right before I/R Day? As MemberLG implies above, everybody has a different moral compass and will make the decision in the end that sits right with them.
     
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  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    That's why I post my disagreement on the Plan B deposit okay idea. I am NOT trying to set anyone's moral compass as mine has many faults. Although this is an open forum where anything goes as long as we don't violate existing forum rules, we shouldn't forget we are influencing other human beings by what we post.
     
  19. Fairhope dad

    Fairhope dad Member

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    I paid a deposit for my son at Auburn. He was medically dq'd from USMMA after Indoc. Auburn honored his tuition scholarship and engineering department scholarship. If I didn't pay the deposit way back before he made his decision he would be paying for his school now. You never know what may happen.
     
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  20. Milly

    Milly Member

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    Accepting multiple service academy appointments at the May 1 deadline is an entirely different thing than having a non-service academy backup in place, should something BEYOND THE STUDENT'S CONTROL fall through prior to I-Day. Accepting multiple offers just because you can't make up your mind before the May 1 deadline is wrong, in my view. And undoubtedly a bad idea.

    On the suggestion to simply have a Plan B with a university that will be perfectly happy to play this role -- well, this is unknowable in advance!! Not everybody is that successful with their college applications to have tons of extra options sitting around, all affordable, so that this Plan B idea can be floated amongst them all, hoping that it will fly with one of them. It just isn't feasible to plan for this in advance although it seems to me to be a worthy goal.

    On the issue of the deposit with a non-service academy - the only agreement is that the student agrees to attend the school or forfeit the deposit. That's it. The student hasn't signed his life away. If the university is experiencing an unacceptable rate of "back-outs," then it has the option of raising the dollar amount of the deposit. Things change that are beyond our control all the time and universities have extensive experience with this. The experience of the original poster on this thread has to be VERY unusual. When these things happen, it is wrong to simply assume that the situation has evolved in some logical justifiable way. By that, I mean that it is wrong to assume that just because the university official expressed such discontent then he must have been correct in his reaction. It is also possible that that university admissions official was having a VERY bad day, facing difficult numbers, or even had a fight with his wife on the way to work that morning. After all, even people who work at universities are human. It was unprofessional on his part to not simply express his opinion in a respectful way and move on and it is VERY likely that he regrets his own behavior.
     
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