I have a question regarding accepting offers of admission. I have been fortunate enough to have been accepted to Columbia University's CRNA program for May 2009 (SO unbelievably excited!!!). However, I am from CA and I also applied to USC and Samuel Merritt. Now, Columbia is requiring me to submit a statement of intent and $500 deposit by Feb. 6 because orientation starts May 27, but USC and SMC don't send out invites til Feb, and don't even interview til the 1st and 2nd weeks of March. I feel very honored to have been accepted to Columbia, but would like to at least interview at the other schools and check out all my options before I make my decision as to which program is best for me.

What can I do in this situation? Is it possible to ask for an extension from Columbia? Or is it possible to ask for a quicker decision from the other schools? Should I accept and pay the deposit to Columbia but interview anyway? The decision dates for the CA schools and the start date for Columbia are only 2 mo. apart, and I will have to prepare for the cross-country move in the meantime. None of these options seem right to me, but I would appreciate your advice or personal experiences with this kind of situation.

I remember coming across a thread on a similar subject but have been going crazy for the past hour and a half searching for it with no success. Thanks in advance for your advice guys, this forum is simply amazing.