Plan B college

ZJ494

Member
Thanks in advance for your replies and time. So recently I was accepted to my #2 school only school above it is the Academy of course, but was wondering since Admissions decisions don't come out until March/April, should I accept my offer now to guarantee myself good housing and all those amenities. If I got into the Academy, I would just decline the offer afterwards. Or should I wait until I hear back from the Academy to accept or decline?
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Most schools require a non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot. Just be prepared to forfeit this deposit if you are fortunate enough to receive the appointment to USAFA.
 

KTMDad

Member
Thanks in advance for your replies and time. So recently I was accepted to my #2 school only school above it is the Academy of course, but was wondering since Admissions decisions don't come out until March/April, should I accept my offer now to guarantee myself good housing and all those amenities. If I got into the Academy, I would just decline the offer afterwards. Or should I wait until I hear back from the Academy to accept or decline?
Some Applicants (both of our Cadets did) will keep their "Plan B" college all the way through Basic as "insurance" just in case something happens (ie. injury that requires a Basic to leave) or just in case one determines that USAFA isn't for them. This works well with schools that have a later start. We did it with both of our Cadets and in both cases they were able to receive most of their "non-refundable" deposits back. However, both of the schools had mid to late September starts so they were able to give some notice. Even if they weren't able to receive their deposits back, we figured it was good insurance. I am sure there are plenty of opinions on this, but this was what we did. Good luck.
 
I’m not understand what you meant by “ keeping ‘plan B’ college all the way through Basic.” Are you saying my DD should accept offer from both his “plan B” school and SA? And if basic training worked out, he should “disenroll” from “plan B” school?
 

Billberna

Member
Flyingtigre, I am pretty sure that is what KTMDad meant. But I wonder what should you do with an AFROTC scholarship offer? Should you hold on to that as well as your plan B college, in case you have to leave USAFA BCT for any reason? What is the right and best thing to do in that case? (talking about a Type 1 scholarship).
 
It might be worth being honest to your Plan B school and telling them you are waiting for the results of USAFA. Not sure how they would react to being #2 but I would hope most would understand. I would plan on losing your deposit if you go to USAFA and if you don't that's an added bonus.. Still a great deal. Either way, I'd definitely have a plan B. All of the service academies have left thousands of qualified candidates disappointed when they are rejected late in their senior year.
 

Pima

10-Year Member
But I wonder what should you do with an AFROTC scholarship offer? Should you hold on to that as well as your plan B college, in case you have to leave USAFA BCT for any reason? What is the right and best thing to do in that case? (talking about a Type 1 scholarship).
This becomes a "hot" topic every year because most posters fall on one side or the other. You will read one post that will say; you are taking it away from another candidate, with only to read the next one that will say if you deserve it you will get it.

In all fairness, I am on the side of keep it. Here are my reasons.
1. HQ AFROTC and USAFA are like hotels....they overbook with the expectation that some will not show.
~ Think about it USAFA offers @1350 appointments with expectations of the incoming class size will be @1150.
~ AFROTC knows that 95% of SA candidates will apply for a ROTC scholarship as plan B. AFROTC and USAFA do not talk, thus they will just use their historical data regarding % that activate in the fall to figure out the amount of scholarships and types to offer.
2. Many USAFA candidates will play spring sports. In my years here I do not have enough fingers and toes when it comes to counting to the kid that got injured playing their sport only a few weeks from reporting for IDay. They were a medical turnback before they even got there. However, by keeping that scholarship and paying the deposit they now will go to their number 2 school with AFROTC instead of going to a CC with no ROTC.
~ It is not only playing sports, but also just being a kid. One poster here had a graduation party where they played volleyball. This party was 3 weeks before I Day. Needless to say during the game they broke their arm.
~~ Another poster went skiing during spring break (late March), they broke their leg. They had to have pins and needed PT for 6 mos. Turned back.

It is the reason the running joke here when someone posts they got appointed is responded with: Congrats, now go and bubble wrap them!

3. Colleges vary. It may not be you lose that $300-500 deposit. I have seen many posters that contacted the det. and the school very early on after accepting admittance and being told okay, we will reimburse you if you tell us by this date. Personally I think has to do with their wait list pool. For example, VT has had years where nobody comes off their wait list. I am not saying they would refund the deposit, but to illustrate that if you compare it to another school where a lot come off their wait list they may not refund the deposit due to the 5 of matriculation rate.

Finally, I have seen here candidates that get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, etc. and not get an appointment, a bird in your hand is better than the one in the bush.
 

jl123

Member
This has been discussed in excruciating detail in many previous threads. The following puts it in a nutshell.

There are two Plan B routes:
  1. The upfront route where you discuss the plan with the college and they agree to be Plan B - no risk, but not all colleges will agree to this.
  2. The "stealth" route where you don't tell Plan B and take your chances that you will not get caught.
Before going the route of a "stealth" Plan B read all the previous threads on the subject and decide for yourself. Here is a summary of the pertinent facts:
  1. When you submitted the application to almost all civilian colleges you signed a statement agreeing not to be committed to more than one college at the same time after May 1st.
  2. It is likely that your high school college counselor has committed to reporting violations of this agreement.
  3. Many colleges are on record that they will enforce violations of this agreement by rescinding acceptances or reporting the violation to the other school, but there is no known incident of an acceptance being rescinded for this violation.
  4. SA candidates have been caught by angry Plan B colleges and high school college counselors and gone through much turmoil hoping the violation would not be reported to the SA. In all known instances violators were not reported.
  5. The most common way of getting caught is being stupid and telling Plan B the reason you are withdrawing rather than just sending a brief email saying your plans have changed. Explaining the situation and trying to get a deposit back may be unwise. In known cases some have taken it in stride and wished the best of luck. Others were furious and threatened action.
  6. The other way of getting caught - many colleges send lists to the high school college counselor a few weeks after May 1st with the names of students that have committed to that college. Most high school college counselors are members of an organization that requires them to report double commitment violations to all colleges at which the student was accepted. Some comply, some do not, many are overwhelmed with paperwork and don't notice. In one known instance, the counselor agreed not to report it if the Plan B was withdrawn immediately.
  7. Many on this forum will argue about fairness, the leverage colleges have, and semantics over terminology, but they do not bear the risk of being wrong. The fact is no one on this forum has a clue what the SA will do if you are reported for violating the double deposit agreement.
 

jl123

Member
Thanks in advance for your replies and time. So recently I was accepted to my #2 school only school above it is the Academy of course, but was wondering since Admissions decisions don't come out until March/April, should I accept my offer now to guarantee myself good housing and all those amenities. If I got into the Academy, I would just decline the offer afterwards. Or should I wait until I hear back from the Academy to accept or decline?
Accept the offer now if you are willing to lose any money deposited. There is no other downside.

If you get an appointment, read the above about Plan B's and make an informed decision. My advice is to be upfront and ask #2 to be Plan B.
 

time2

10-Year Member
Rather then rehash all of the prior, often contentious threads on this topic, you can do a site search to find those discussions. Civilian colleges are probably aware of the fact the SA application process takes longer and an applicant might not know if they get an appointment until the February-April timeframe. Many of those are very understanding if you simply explain your situation to them.

Committing to multiple CIVILIAN universities (when not applying to an SA) is an entirely different scenario, in my opinion and isn't relevant to the SA Plan B discussion. However, things often get jumbled when multiple scenarios are being discussed in the same thread.

If you do not yet have an appointment to an SA as of mid-December, then you are simply being pro-active by continuing to work your Plan B option(s).
 

justdoit19

Member
A question: I have read about plan B's 'threatening to take action'. I don't understand? I know we will loose a deposit (not much if dis-enrolled by June if I remember correctly). What legal action is referred to?

Another: When an appointment is accepted, doesn't that automatically 'unaccept' ROTC (nrotc and afrotc in DS's case)? So should the appointment acceptance wait until the last day in case of injury or such? Maybe a better question for ROTC thread..
 

jl123

Member
A question: I have read about plan B's 'threatening to take action'. I don't understand? I know we will loose a deposit (not much if dis-enrolled by June if I remember correctly). What legal action is referred to?
The action threatened is that the Plan B college could report the violation to SA admissions.

The candidate signed an agreement not to do something and then went ahead and did it. Civilian colleges have stated that if they received such a report, they would revoke the admission of the student, although there is no known case of revocation. What has happened is a very uncomfortable conversation with student and parents eating a lot of humble pie.

Would an SA revoke an appointment in such a case? Would an SA consider this breach of promise a more severe offense than a civilian college? No one on this forum knows. The candidates mentioned above that were caught pursued Plan B on the misinformed advice received in this forum.

Civilian colleges, with whom the candidate has an agreement, do consider it relevant to service academies. This is evident from reactions by jilted Plan B colleges and high school college counselors. Note - it is important to know whether or not your application to Plan B has an agreement against double commitments. Almost all private colleges do. The Common Application does. The University of California system does not.

As an aside, the agreement permits a student to commit to one college and then later accept an SA appointment or offer from a wait-listed college as long as the original commitment is immediately withdrawn.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
Look; I'll be short (That's rare); but this conversation has been discussed TOO MANY TIMES.

1. College/Service academy admissions is a business
2. You are the customer
3. Any college/Service academy you apply to and get accepted; YOU EARNED that acceptance
4. You have the right to accept/decline ANY options you have
5. You have the right to CHANGE YOUR MIND and which school you want to attend
6. The ONLY negative is you "May" lose your deposit you gave to a school that you changed your mind for later

There is no "Legal Violation" for accepting a college/university and changing your mind later and deciding to accept a different offer. I helped my kids apply to about a dozen schools; and I helped many others apply. I/we never signed anything legal stating that if the kid accepted a particular school; that they were committed and could NEVER change their mind. If there was such a thing, I would NEVER allow my kids to sign such a thing; nor would I recommend to any of the kids I help get into college that they sign such a thing. The only thing CLOSE to this, is an NCAA Recruited athlete who accepts an athletic scholarship and commits to a school. If they change their mind, they "Can" face having to sit out a year from the sport.

Other than that, you have every LEGAL RIGHT in the world to "Change your mind". There's NOTHING LEGALLY binding you from changing your mind. As said, the ONLY possibly negative, is the possible loss of your deposit. And you do not need to inform any school that they are your "Plan B" school and that you have others as a preference. Of course, this isn't to say that some schools won't try and "Scare" or "Intimidate" an applicant to not change their mind.

So much for being brief.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
And that "Agreement against double commitments" is a "PRIVATE AGREEMENT". E.g. If the Ivy League schools have that agreement "Among themselves", then one of the Ivy League may not accept you if you were already accepted to another Ivy. Most schools don't have such agreements with each other. Why would they? They are ALL in competition with each other for your "Business". I can see some rare times, but it's rare.

Similarly to NCAA Letters of Intent. That is a VOLUNTARY agreement among schools. If you "Commit" with a letter of intent to play an NCAA sport at a school under scholarship; and you change your mind and accept a different school that also follows the Letter of Intent rules; you could be forced to sit out the first year. However; the service academies and schools like Harvard DO NOT Subscribe to the Letter of Intent rule. You can sign a letter of intent at ohio state under scholarship; turn it down 2 months later and accept a service academy offer or Harvard offer and play D1 athletics there immediately.

Make the best choice FOR YOU. And SO WHAT if you lose your deposit? If you turn down a school you committed to because you received a military academy appointment, so what if you lose your deposit. Even if it was a couple thousand dollars. You made that up in the first WEEK of what it costs you (Nothing) to be at the service academies.
 

Billberna

Member
When you submitted the application to almost all civilian colleges you signed a statement agreeing not to be committed to more than one college at the same time after May 1st.
jl123, We have applied to three state colleges and two private colleges, and I never recall seeing such a statement in the application. Perhaps it will appear at the time we accept an offer of enrollment and send in a deposit?
 
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