A major North American PhD program is pressuring a student to accept by this Friday (today)--in violation of (sensible) APA rules--in order to get a particularly good scholarship. I know this because another major North American PhD program is interested in the same student, and alerted me to the misconduct I will not name names just yet, but the guilty parties know who they are. Abide by the rules, children! Or face exposure!
UPDATE: It turns out there is a university rule with respect to some forms of financial aid that this department must abide by. Once I get permission, I'll post more.
ANOTHER: The Chair of the Department in question kindly gave permission to post the following explanation:
Allow me to make two clarifications: (1) Our program abides by the APA rules. All admitted graduate students have until April 15 to decide on whether or not they accept our offer of admission. We do not pressure students to accept earlier. (2) Our university has two university-wide graduate student entrance fellowships reserved for international students, for which more than 70 different graduate programs compete. There are only two dozens of these fellowships in total, so the competition is fierce. Now it is these - extremely selective - fellowships that come with a shorter deadline. We are constantly lobbying our university for future changes and we ask as forcefully as we can for deadline extensions. But given that our university is not bound by the CGS deadline, there isn’t much else our department can do. (We are a Canadian university and the April 15 pledge is a resolution of the US Council of Graduate Schools; only US schools are signatories to the pledge.) However, we’d like to emphasize that we take our department to be bound by the April 15 pledge just as much as if our university had signed the CGS agreement. But with respect to these rare university-wide fellowships, our only other option is not to apply for them, and this would just deprive some international students from the opportunity to have a more attractive financial package. This is why we choose to continue nominating students for these fellowships with the understanding that they would still receive one of the standard financial packages if they cannot give us an answer by the fellowship deadline.