Acceptance of Admission to Get Housing or Class Registartion Preference?

<p>My son has been offered admission to a handful of colleges already. As I understand it, we won't get the financial aid offers until Spring and he has until May 1 to make up his mind. (The financial aid offers might make a difference as to which one he decides to go to.) However, it would be nice if he could apply for housing now at his top picks, so that he establishes his place in line for a better chance at his housing preferences. No problem for most in that they sent him the housing application with his admission offer and will allow him to apply for housing without accepting the offer of admissions yet. (In some instances we may lose a small part of the housing application fee if he doesn't end up going there, but not a big loss that we can live with.) However, his first choice college (at this point), will not allow a student to apply for housing until after they have returned the admission acceptance card with the $150 non-refundable enrollment fee. Considering that this is his first choice (probably about a 70 percent chance he will go here), we don't mind risking the $150 fee by accepting now so that he can apply for housing sooner. However, would this be unethical if he isn't sure he is going here yet? What would the college do (besides keeping the $150 deposit) if he later decided their financial aid offer wasn't enough and he decided to go elsewhere?</p>

<p>Also, a couple of other colleges have several orientation/registration sessions for the incoming Freshman over the summer. I think it would certainly be an advantage to go to one of the earlier sessions with respect to being able to have higher priority in registering for classes. However, they won't allow the students to sign up for the sessions until they send in the admission acceptance card with the enrollment fee. Unfortunately, the financial aid offers don't come out until after sign up starts, so he won't know for sure which college he will attend until after the orientation/registration signups are well underway. Again, would it be o.k. to accept admission to get first pick in the choice of summer orientation/registration dates without knowing he will really go there?</p>

<p>So much for a May 1 universal cut off date for making the college decision! They just find other ways to force you to make an earlier decision even before you know what it will cost.</p>

<p>It depends on the college and their policies. Some schools specifically say that they do not permit acceptance to more than one school and if they find out that you have enrolled in more than one college, they reserve the right to drop your acceptance. Also some highschools (my son's) do not permit enrolling in more than one school. You can do it on the sly, I suppose, but you are breaking policy when you do this. If no such restrictions are stated, I don't see why you cannot start reserving your spot right away. In some schools it really could make the difference between a great dorm room and a lousy one. I know that at CMU you do not want to be on the tail end of room selection, and GW is another school in that category.</p>

<p>I do not believe it is ethical to accept admission at more than one college. Depending on the selectivity of the colleges in question, your acceptance could mean denial for another student who really wants to go to that school.</p>

<p>In all of the schools I am familiar with (in the top ten), going to an earlier orientation has NO EFFECT on registering. The registration systems at these schools are very fair and well thought out, and there is NO advantage to getting a form in early. The schools you are thinking of may be different, but I find it hard to believe. BTW I double checked on this - the colleges were emphatic that the actual computer sorting doesn't begin until the end of the registration period. (However, there is, of course, a DISadvantage in registering late!)</p>

<p>As for housing - oh for heaven's sake! When WE were in college we just went with the flow. As a freshman I got both a dorm and a room-mate I NEVER would have picked for myself, and yet ended up loving BOTH of them! Not everything needs to be micromanaged!</p>

<p>As for holding a slot with a deposit - bad, very, very bad. You just torture the kids on the waiting list.</p>

<p>Check the colleges' actual policies. For most that have rules like the ones you mention, which have rolling admissions, a student is entitled to withdraw his admission acceptance without any penalty except possibly relinguishment of the acceptance fee and housing deposit through a certain date (like May 1) and if he chooses to accept another by that date, it is not improper (example: Auburn, and it will even return most of your acceptance fee and housing deposit).</p>

<p>Moondogguy, are these rollling admission schools? I think they must be. They operate on a different set of rules than highly selective colleges, so the answers you get to your question may confuse us all - please clarify. I don't think there is any conflict or ethical problem with sending in required housing deposits to rolling schools, even to more than 1 this early, just lost $s. Auburn is a perfect example, frosh housing is very tight, and you have to reserve a space early.</p>

<p>Voronwe: An example of when it matters would be Michigan. They have a priority application date for housing which is definitely before the April deadlines for other schools. Housing varies enormously there; if you don't want to live on North Campus and take a bus back and forth, you need to meet the priority deadline (there are exceptions like Honors Housing, which is guaranteed.) I've known people to send in deposits there, then withdraw after other accpetances come through. I don't see that as unethical, and I don't see how you're "taking a spot" from another student. They're not going to under-enroll; when the spot opens, it will be filled.</p>

<p>Many schools let you register for your housing early. Indiana Bloomington for $35 will let you apply for housing once you get in. This will guarantee your spot in the dorm of choice. If you decide not to attend you loose you $35, a chance worth taking. However you have not said at this point you will attend.
Holding a spot at many schools to guarantee a dorm room is not such a great idea. It is not fair to those waiting admittance, really unethical. If you need to wait to see financial aid offers, then do just that. Sometimes it is better to just get a dorm, then picking everything out before hand. Others are also in the same boat, and they are waiting for finacial aid offers too.</p>

<p>What about University of Texas-Austin that has you apply for housing with a seperate application beginning September 1? We did that for my daughter to be sure she had housing early, even before her application for admissions was sent.</p>