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Housing deposit question

kirby630kirby630 Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
DS has narrowed his decision down to two schools, but we're still waiting on final merit scholarship info from one school. What are your thoughts on placing housing deposits at both schools to secure a spot in the honors dorm? I realize we'd forfeit one deposit. Having never been through this process before, I'm not sure what we should be doing. What was your experience?

Replies to: Housing deposit question

  • phoenixmomof2phoenixmomof2 Registered User Posts: 681 Member
    I think you have some time before you need to do it. Maybe February? That being said... if you do it now, you'll be sure he doesn't lose a spot as I hear Honor dorms fill up quickly. Wouldn't you hate to miss it by a week or two?
  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,292 Senior Member
    If you can afford it, do it.

    My son applied to a school with quite an expensive application fee, near $100, and we understood that if he got into his ED school, it would be a donation to the college. Which it ended up being.

    Look at it that way, and honestly, you can take it off your taxes as a donation if you had no return on your investment.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 16,678 Senior Member
    If housing is tight or important then yes I would put the deposits down and risk losing one. Check the date for getting a refund, it might be later than you think. Housing deposits are different than deposits confirming attendance in which case you should not have two attendance deposits at the same time. Housing is different.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,925 Senior Member
    You cannot take a forfeited deposit off your taxes as a charitable contribution! It is a forfeited deposit. You got something in return (a place on the waiting list). Anything you pay to a non-profit is not a charitable contribution. Examples: tuition, membership at the YMCA (whether you use it or not), a purchase at a thrift store. Sorry, this is not a donation in the eyes of the IRS.
  • Jane345Jane345 Registered User Posts: 447 Member
    I would do it. In fact, we did it with our son a few years back. Often, you can get at least a partial refund on your housing deposit (and the deadline for cancelling housing usually is May 1st or later), but getting on the housing list early can mean the difference between a decent room and an awful room.
  • kirby630kirby630 Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Very useful info! Thanks everyone.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,909 Senior Member
    To help others I offer this. It really depends on each school's policies. Some schools base dorm choice on date of housing application while others do a spring lottery. Some refund deposits if notified by a certain date (eg May, the date by which notifications and acceptances are supposed to be made). Some require a response by a certain date/time period after acceptance.
  • KKmamaKKmama Registered User Posts: 3,080 Senior Member
    The IRS auditor would get a good laugh out of that "donation" and assess tax and penalties. Really, is a couple of bucks worth the misrepresentation? The receipt for the "donation" would clearly state housing deposit....

    My daughter did get a refund for her housing deposit from her first choice school after we made the decision to withdraw due to a better financial offer from another school.
  • Muffy333Muffy333 Registered User Posts: 2,108 Senior Member
    I did that with my kids; I wanted to make sure their freshman housing situation was optimal so it was worth it to me. And I did get a refund when the final decision was made before May 1. Two of my kids had REALLY nice dorm rooms; I think because the deposit was down early.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,912 Forum Champion
    If you wait til Feb or later, it may be too late for some schools to have any hope for a good pick or even to have on-campus housing at all.
  • InthebizInthebiz Registered User Posts: 636 Member
    edited December 2014
    It depends. How is housing priority at these schools determined? I've worked at schools where it is based on date of housing deposit. I've worked at schools where it is based on date of university deposit. And I currently work at a school where it's based on date of application to the university. Find out how in demand the housing you was is. Did it fill in January last year? Or not until March? etc. All this information should help you determine whether you need to send one/two/ or no deposits at this time. Good luck!
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,925 Senior Member
    My daughter was accepted very early (rolling admissions) and I kept on her to send in her housing deposit and request, but in the long run I don't think it mattered. She was assigned a room in her requested tower in July with a roommate, the next day the roommate's info disappeared, and then about a week before she moved in she got another room assignment (same building) and a few days later a roommate. Even though she registered early, they then assign all the special interest group floors and they can bump people around.
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