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My Possibly Unethical Decision

CottonCandy18CottonCandy18 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
Enrollment deposits are due May 1 and I am in a bind.
I have had my heart set on University of Southern California and this is why I am in the situation I am in. I filed everything on time (FASFA, CSS PROFILE) but USC asked for 2015 taxes instead of 2014. This was an issue because my parents own a business and usually ask for an extension before they file because they need to get things together. This sped up a long and arduous process that my parents weren't ready for.
We have been going back and forth sending the required forms and information for about 2 weeks. At one point I accidentally made a mistake and that extended the process for two more days. We fixed it yesterday and my dad spoke to someone at the financial office and they said they would contact me today with a package. They didn't send me anything.
I cant afford to attend USC at their asking price and really need to know what they are offering.
I have an offer from a UC school and its 9700 per year which is really nice.
My parents want me to choose the UC (b/c it is safe) tonight so that I can get good housing, etc... but the school doesn't offer what USC does for my major.
I am worried that If I wait on USC and put a deposit down, they may only get back to me on Monday which is May 2 and there is a possibility of their financial package not being enough.
I feel like I may get stranded if USC doesn't come through and I don't have a school to go to on Monday. I don't want to put a deposit down on the UC if USC does give me a good package though..... I AM SOOO STRESSED OUT
I don't want to take anyone's spot away but I want a spot as well...

Replies to: My Possibly Unethical Decision

  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,732 Senior Member
    How much is the deposit? Call USC tomorrow morning! They were supposed to get back to you.
  • CottonCandy18CottonCandy18 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    There is a possibility of me and dad visiting tomorrow but I don't think the office will be open. Will they be working on the weekend since enrollments are due Sunday?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,033 Senior Member
    Okay. This is honestly not USC's fault (I have a small business, and it is a pain, but we have always met or come very close to the deadlines my kids' schools have set -- and the deadlines are clearly laid out on the school websites). But you are where you are. I would (1) email the USC FA office and VERY POLITELY say that you know it is the weekend, but you had expected your package today, and without it you can't make a deposit. Is there any way they can get it to you before this weekend, or allow you to deposit late if the package is acceptable early next week?

    Then (2) I would deposit at the UC if you have not heard back from USC by Sunday, and work with USC on Monday (because I am guessing you will not get a response to your email). If miraculously you can afford USC once they get you your package, my guess is that they will let you deposit a day or two late. You would lose your UC deposit, but this way you are SURE you have a spot for the fall. BUT, small businesses often hurt your FA -- so it may not be affordable anyway.
  • CottonCandy18CottonCandy18 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    edited April 2016
    @suzyQ7 $300 for USC and $100 for the UC
  • CottonCandy18CottonCandy18 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @intparent Thanks for the feedback. Would it be a waste of time to go down there tomorrow and see if I can get anything done?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,033 Senior Member
    Well, I really doubt the office will be open. You could as easily call to see if they are there before going -- but their website says their hours are 9-5, M-F. So I really doubt there is any point in it. I don't think you can really pitch a fit at them on Monday, either. It is your responsibility to know the dates for FA and get everything in. Even if they did not manage to turn it by today, you are the ones who missed the initial deadlines. I am just saying, when you do talk to them, be nice. I think it is a small price to pay to put the UC deposit down if you have not heard from USC by tomorrow. I don't see the UC as being flexible in allowing you to be late.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 30,798 Super Moderator
    "I don't want to take anyone's spot away but I want a spot as well..."

    You won't take anyone's spot; schools expect and account for some last-minute issues like this. It's part of why wait lists exist.
  • OspreyCV22OspreyCV22 Registered User Posts: 1,675 Senior Member
    Deposit at the UC. You can withdraw if USC comes through for you. This is no different than students who are on waiting lists depositing at their safeties and withdrawing when they get off the waiting list at their preferred school. I doubt anyone will be working in the financial aid office at any school on Saturday. Good luck.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 39,652 Senior Member
    Are you concerned that if you deposit at the UC you won't be allowed to enroll at usc once they reply ?
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,365 Senior Member
    OspreyCV22's response is your only option.

    Number one there is the ethical issue.

    Number two (not to discount number one), depositing at USC implies you can afford their offer and give them no motivation to work with you. Since they haven't responded to you, you implicitly have an extension. If they don't give you an extension, or don't give you more aid, you aren't going anyway.
  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    Ugh. I would put down the deposit for UC. Then send a priority email to a person in USC's financial aid office (preferably the head) explaining your situation - including the part where you were supposed to get a response by 5 pm Friday, 4/29/16. This is on USC. From what little I can tell, FA and admissions office people tend to answer their emails during weekends at this time of the year.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,365 Senior Member
    Actually, SlackerMom has a good idea. I would send an email hold off on to both FA and admissions. Then hold off on UC deposit until the last 3 hours (to give you time to mitigate server crashes). If you do end up depositing at UC, then the student or parent should call USC FA first thing Monday morning. This is the only time you'll have between the time all deposits are due, but before USC goes to their waitlist if they are so inclined. There will never be a better time than Monday 5/2 for this conversation.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,033 Senior Member
    I think an urgent email is fine, but this delay IS the student's fault, and being anything other than apologetic about that and "blaming" the FA office is not a good idea. You can say that someone had committed to getting you the package and without it you don't have enough info to deposit. But also say that you know you should have done your steps esrlier, but hope they can help you because of the Sunday deadline.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,419 Forum Champion
    edited April 2016
    IMO if you don't hear from USC you do need to deposit at UC before the deadline or risk having no spot in an affordable school next year. I'd also ask USC for an extension until you can get your financial aid offer and decide if the school is affordable before you deposit.
  • SeekingPamSeekingPam Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    You definitely need to politely email the USC Admissions Office and let them know because there is a possibility they will not let you deposit on Monday. Everyone should obviously check their spam folders as well in case you did get something. I agree that this weekend someone is around. Maybe start with the admissions office and speak to someone rather than email or do both. Obviously call FA first but if you cannot get through call admissions. If you are easy driving distance maybe go see them with all your financials, maybe someone can give you a preliminary read if they are in this weekend (obviously do not drive two hours unless someone gives you an appointment).

    The UC school will not care that you are waiting on USC whether or not it is your fault, we were in that situation with K's #1 choice (through no fault of our own, long story) and called the #2 choice to see if they would extend the deadline and they said either deposit or don't. K deposited and 3 days later withdrew after a good FA offer came from School #1. This happens all the time. The school basically did not care that K would not be going, I think they were happy getting the deposit (and it is a well known research university not a small school).

    We were in the tax return extension position with two other schools which would be East Coast Peers of USC more or less and after I spoke to the assigned FA officer, one sat on the phone with me and gave me a preliminary amount, the other based it on prior prior year tax returns (not their normal policy) and their committee gave us a provisional estimate about a week before decisions were due. K was nothing special for either school. Since for us a provisional estimate was good enough this worked for us. I am surprised USC could not do that. School #1 was a different situation that was not our fault, they misunderstood our financials and we were appealing which we got a few days later.
This discussion has been closed.