deposits for state schools/safeties

<p>So these days D is up in the air. She visited a friend at a gorgeous public school over the weekend (rhymes with Marolina) and is in love with big school/big campus again. She will not hear from some of her private schools, scholarships, or special program admissions until Feb. at the earliest. But she already has (or soon will have) admission in hand to some state schools. She is truly undecided at this point.</p>

<p>The state schools all emphasize getting in the housing deposit as soon as possible. I can understand that. But then, Mizzou even wrote the following: "Students admitted for the Fall 2008 semester must submit a $150.00 enrollment fee. Space in the class is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment of this fee guarantees a place in the class and is required to be able to register for classes or to participate in any orientation activities.. If you decide not to attend MU, the enrollment fee is fully refundable UNTIL MAY 01 upon written request from the student."</p>

<p>Does this not sound backward? Usually, you pay the fee by May 1, not request your refund by May 1.</p>

<p>Anyway, the enrollment fees are all fully refundable, the housing deposits are all refundable minus nominal fees ($20). Is it crazy to pay all these fees for 2 or 3 schools to leave her options open? Or will there be plenty of time to do this later, and the schools are just trying new ways to get those enrollment fees in sooner?</p>

<p>Thanks for any input.</p>

<p>I think it's going to vary by school, but I would definitely put the deposit down for whatever her top state school choice is. At the state school my son was accepted into, we paid the housing deposit which is refundable. The choice of housing is prioritized based on when the deposits were received, so it's in his best interest to put the deposit down to insure he gets his choice of dorms if he decides to go there. I don't think you necessarily need to put deposits down on three different schools, but since they are refundable for the most part, I'd send it in to whichever is her first choice.</p>

<p>I think the fact that the deposit is fully refundable is great. Are they only asking for the housing deposit now? And the enrollment deposit by May 1st? I would do it, because many large State schools fill up their best housing quickly, and often students find themselves in closets or 3 in a double.</p>

<p>I'm not sure why Mizzou asks for en enrollment deposit this early. Its not as if students can register for fall 2008 classes until the summer at best. Nor will orientation activities be held anytime before Spring at most places.</p>

<p>It's not really fair, and in fact some U's (UF) encourage the housing deposit when you fie the application (!!) so as to get a decent priority number and not be shut out of freshman housing. I look at it this way, if it is totally refundable, or even it its "all but $20" refundable, its kinda like putting some money away, and then in May when we will need a bit more cash, we can get it back. </p>

<p>I am SURE it is a hardship for some.</p>

<p>There is nothing new in this practice. Three years ago, my D found the same thing. She went elsewhere and I got my money back with NO problem. </p>

<p>My sense is that the practice is part of a way the U encourages earlier applications and rewards those that do so with better housing. The costs are nominal, but sort out the tire kickers from those who actually have a serious interest in attending as shown by forking over deposit $$.</p>

<p>Remember too that state colleges march to different rules than privates and serve a quite distinct role in the grand scheme of things.</p>

<p>Be a little cautious about how you handle this.</p>

<p>My son was accepted early at a public that he considered his safety school, and we sent in the "housing deposit" to ensure he'd have a decent spot if he ended up attending there. </p>

<p>Months later, in speaking with his guidance counselor, she made the comment that "I thought he was going to go to ________ (where we had sent the deposit.) Obviously the school had communicated this somehow to the high school, without our knowing it would be. Also her comment had a "tone" to it that (maybe?) suggested that she felt we'd violated some unwritten rule here.</p>

<p>In any case, I can only imagine what she may have said if she received any calls from the other highly competitive schools he applied to.</p>

<p>Nothing to add, but I loved "rhymes with Marolina." :)</p>

<p>Missouri may have rolling admissions where actual admissions are on a first come-first served basis. Once students accept admission by sending in their deposits and college slots are filled they then begin denying admission to all students, even qualified ones.</p>

<p>Accepted student do not have to send in the admission deposit immediately but must be mindful that if, in May, they decide to attend, they may not be able to enroll fall semester because the college class is full.</p>

<p>In any event if a family does make deposits of a few hundred dollars to a college that your student would be happy attending, it is usually a small price to pay for a sense of security.</p>

<p>Because of limited space, our state u opens deposit date for housing months before a lot of kids even do their apps. Everyone I know sent it in just in case, and it wasn't refundable! But it was only $50, so not terribly onerous. D didn't send hers in, but did apply as her safety, and they started calling that they didn't have her room deposit, but they wanted her app for Honors College where she would be accepted once they received the app and they had room in the Honors dorm. Every school is different. If you think she may go, then make sure you send in the deposit. D's friends that attended the state u and paid their deposits online the very second that it was available did not get their first choice dorms. There were so many hits then and they took them in order.</p>

<p>The whole topic of deposits was a highly contentious discussion on these boards a few years back. Private schools, and I suspect some more selective state U treat deposits as nominally binding - in the sense that they say in their materials that once you pay a deposit you are obligated to attend. Hence they "object" to double depositing. </p>

<p>Some publics have, as we see here, completely different approaches. Hence the confusion, which I suspect afflicts some guidance counselors, too.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the replies. When I first posted, I was thinking more about the hassle of sending in enrollment fees and then asking for refunds. I never thought about the possible interpretation of this, either by the schools or by GCs, that the student will now definitely attend the school and shouldn't send in another enrollment fee.</p>

<p>I agree that would possibly be more of a problem for some private schools and maybe not so much for larger publics with these early rolling admission decisions. They have to know that kids will be weighing other offers later. </p>

<p>Originaloog has a good point about rolling admissions at Mizzou: that perhaps they only offer acceptances until the class is full. But again, this must vary, even from state school to state school. I know Illinois, for example, warns students that spots may be more limited after the priority filing period, but they do not ask for an enrollment deposit before May 1st.</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>

<p>D is now at UMD, but didn't really make her final decision until late April. We SHOULD have sent the housing deposit in much earlier (we waited until she'd made her final decision). She ended up in a triple dorm room, and we later found out that the rooms and roommates were assigned in order of when the deposit had been received (I'm sure we were told this early, but it didn't sink in...) She's in a room MEANT to be a triple (i.e. it could have been worse), and she gets along well with her roommates, and loves where she is.... but, is looking forward to having a little bit more "personal space" next school year.</p>

<p>I really liked the way the public school my son attends handled housing. Nobody got to pick where they would like to live unless they had medical need for A/C, or were requesting a substance free dorm. For substance free, or medical need one would be housed in one dorm. All the other assignments were made by residence life when deposits were made. For RD they could not be made early because decisions were not received until March 31/April1.</p>

<p>My S got his acceptance letter last week from one of our state u.'s. It came with a card that asked us to send back a $30 non-refundable deposit to "reserve" his place in the 2008 entering freshman class. </p>

<p>I called the admissions office and asked if there was a "due date" for sending this deposit in and was told May 1. I also asked if this deposit was considered binding in any way and was told that it was not. I went ahead and sent the check in. This is the school S is most interested in at this point in the game and we didn't want to miss out on any housing or other important info. by not sending the check. It's worth the $30 investment for us.</p>

<p>My son was accepted into his safety and we sent in our "refundable" deposit. This will ensure excellent housing selection if he should decide to go there. If he choses another school, we have to notify them by May 1st and we get our deposit back. It's a no-brainer!!!</p>

<p>We're also wondering if we should send in the Mizzou deposit. It's not son's top choice (at the moment), but it's in the top 3. I wouldn't want to delay and then have him in a less than desirable housing situation. He was also accepted into Honors so I think he can be in Honors Housing... hmm, I should call them on Monday. After I call them, I'll post back on this thread.</p>

<p>UF has a nonrefundable housing deposit. We sent it even though it isn't my DS first choice school. It was only $30 (I think), but I certainly wasn't happy about it. That's a lot of nonrefundable money to collect before they've made any decisions.</p>

<p>My daughters State U you could send a housing deposit ($150) in before you even completed the application to go there. She did that (2 months before she sent in her application) to make sure she got the suites she wanted. If she had not gone there the deposit was refundable up to a certain date.</p>

<p>I called Mizzou and they told me what everyone else has said: the date of the paid enrollment fee helps determine housing priority, and is fully refundable. So it makes sense for me to go ahead and do it, so long as I remember to request it back by May 1 if he doesn't end up going there.</p>

<p>Thanks for checking back in with that information, oregonianmom.</p>