If I apply for college and don’t attend, what can happen to me?

I apply for a college, I get accepted, and I say that I’ll attend there. But I don’t. I attend a different college. Is this illegal? What can happen to me? Sometimes things/plans change at the last minute and I’m not sure if I’ll attend this college or not. My family might move to a different state, I don’t know.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 days ago

    Exilement from the country.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    There are different things that might happen. 

    1. If you accept admission and pay the deposit/registration fee, you won't get your money back.

    2. If your register for classes but don't show up, you could be legally liable for the tuition for that semester. 

    3. If you say you'll go but never send in any money, the school will assume you aren't coming at some point.

    As others have said, the right thing to do is always inform a school immediately if your plans or situation changes.  Don't apply early decision if you are unwilling to make that type of binding agreement.

  • 3 weeks ago

    IF you change your mind, you let the school know IMMEDIATELY so that they can offer your place to some other applicant who is waiting for an acceptance. If you don't, you could get charged for tuition & fees since you have accepted the place at that school. Besides, you need to be professional, courteous. Somebody else wants to go there & is on a waiting list for someone to drop out.

  • MS
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Nothing happens.  There is nothing illegal about that. You might lose an enrollment deposit if you've put one down, and those can be a few hundred dollars.  But that's it.

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  • John
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    If you are talking about a reputable, traditional college, you will not have any problems as long as you didn't actually register for classes.  If its one of those for-profit fake "colleges", however, you may find yourself being sued.  Check your college paperwork and make sure you take steps to mitigate any losses.

  • 3 weeks ago

    No, it's not "illegal" to not attend a college. You may have violated a contract, but you're not going to be arrested or anything. 

    Plans do change at the last minute, quite frequently. What you should do, however, is inform the college immediately, as soon as you know you cannot attend (for the college's sake, not to expect you; for another student, who can enroll in your place; and for your own sake, so as not to burn any bridges -- who knows what the future will hold? -- you might want to go back there).

    Most colleges require a deposit when you accept an offer of admissions. If you do not attend, you will lose all or some of that deposit, depending on 1. the college policy and 2. how close to the start of the semester you drop out. 

    If you have already enrolled in classes and paid tuition, you will need to officially drop all of the classes before classes start (or at many schools, with in the first few days of the start of classes) to get a refund of tuition.

    If you drop your classes after the official refund period, or if you don't officially drop the classes, then you will owe the college tuition for the classes you enrolled in for the entire semester. If you don't drop, it's possible that you will get Fs for every class that semester, but it's more typical that if you never once showed up for class, you'll be withdrawn by the college. You'll still need to pay, but the classes won't show up on your transcript. 

  • drip
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Nothing happens.  

    If you accept the offer and don’t attend you could loose any deposit money you gave them.  You should contact the school and let them know once you are sure you won’t attend, You could get all, some or no deposit money back.

    Your only problem is if you register for classes.

    If you register for your classes then you are responding for paying tuition for those classes if you attend or don’t attend.  You would need to contact the school and officially drop out. Confirm with the bursar office you own nothing. 

    Student don’t attend last minute for a variety of reasons.  You don’t need to go into detail why you won’t attend, just say circumstances have changed and you no longer will be attending their school. 

  • DON W
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    This shouldn't be a huge problem.  If you can't attend, you contact the school and explain the circumstances.  You might lose your deposit, though, depending upon the timing.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    When you accept a spot at a school you don't just "say" you'll attend, you sign a contract by a certain date. If you don't sign a contract, you are not obligated to attend and you forfeit your chance to attend the school.

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