I got PhD offers from a few US universities this year, and I've been deciding between two of them. I needed to defer my start date to the next year, so I asked both departments. University A deferred my admission (so I'm already admitted for the next year), but University B deferred my offer, but I should accept it now, if I want it deferred.
Question 1: Now I'm wondering, if I accept Uni B's offer and defer it, will I be required to comply by the terms of April 15th agreement as if I've accepted an offer next year, or as if I accept one this year? I mean, if I decide to take Uni A's offer next year, can I just withdraw my acceptance of B's offer next year and simply accept A's offer (as if I'd been given the offer that year and accepted but changed my mind before April 15th), or will I need a release letter from B?
Question 2: Even if allowed, is doing that so bad that it would destroy bridges for me for later contact with any of the departments (e.g. for getting a job there later)?
I'm more inclined to Uni A, but they deferred my admission without guaranteed funding. They say every PhD student there is funded for the duration of the PhD, but since only my admission is deferred and not my financial package, it is possible (not likely) that they won't offer me a financial package next year. Uni B though, deferred the exact same offer, with guaranteed funding, but asked me to accept my offer this year. I don't know if I can do that, but take A's offer next year.