Accept admission offer now to get better residence hall?

My son, who will be studying Mechanical engineering, has narrowed down his college list to 3 schools: Iowa State, Valparaiso and Bradley University. We just visited Iowa State for a second time. I think there is a good chance he will select Iowa State because of all the opportunities and the affordability. However, I think he will wait until April 30 to make his decision official.

I have heard some people say accept the admission offer ASAP, and submit housing contract so he has the best chance of getting the residence he wants. Since he will be a Engineering student, it would be ideal if his residence hall is near the engineering buildings, so that would be Martin, Eaton or Friley.

Does it make sense to accept admission offer and housing contract now, even though he isn’t 100% sure he will attend? If we wait until April 30, is there is a chance he wont get Martin, Eaton or Friley?


@howdo5 Yes, 100% accept admission now and get that housing contract in. Your son will be placed in line for his choices, based on the order of when he submitted his housing contract. If he decides prior to May1st to choose another school, he will only lose a small deposit. Totally worth it.

We accepted admission early too, before our son had finally decided on ISU. It seemed like a small price to pay if he decided on another college.

We accepted admittance and made residence hall requests as soon as possible at all 3 colleges my son was looking at: we made housing reservation for Iowa State in July 2018 for Fall 2019. When he made his final decision April 15, I got all but a small amount back ($25 and $35) from the other two colleges (both had May 1 deadlines for refunds). That is a tiny price to pay, in my opinion, for getting your housing of choice. A friend of mine’s son delayed his decision until late – when he finally decided to go to University of IL and made his housing request, he was placed way out in ten buck two (middle of nowhere). He was unhappy that year and transferred to another university the following year: I think housing location can make a huge difference in some instances.

Does anyone know if you still need to do housing early if you also did the cylclone advantage? That in itself is supposed to give advantage on housing so wondering if she also needs to put in her app early. Also - honor housing is in the mix too.

@suzeo99 - What’s the cyclone advantage? DS20 was accepted to ISU last month and we don’t know if he’s going there. We decided to just accept to secure housing in the area of campus he wants to be in. It stinks to have to tie up all that money but with the 90% refund it seemed worth it for the peace of mind.