Is it ok to accept multiple offers?

Hope someone can provide me some insight. Is it a normal practice to pay the deposit on May 1st for two schools if a student is really struggling to make a decision? Or is this not something that would be an option?

No it’s definitely not normal practice.
It’s unethical, and unfair to waitlisted students.
Pick a school and deposit there.


Double depositing is considered Unethical and if found out, the student could have their acceptance rescinded by both schools.

Edited: I do know that the California UC system will flag students that double deposit and will be sent a warning to withdraw from one of the schools or face repercussions. I am sure other schools may have similar flags in place.


Ethics aside, no, it is not normal.

And really, at some point a decision needs to be made. What divine inspiration does the student think they will receive after May 1?

As a parent, you should help them sort out the kid’s concerns, not engage in dubious behavior.


I have heard parents put in multiple deposits at large schools with housing issues and such to be in the game but most will withdraw before May 1.
What is your kid struggling with? That is what you need to sort out with him/her.

I will explain the ethical part of it to him, luckily he has more than two months to figure it out before we hit that May 1st deadline. Thanks all for your input.


100% no. And if the colleges find out a person has double deposited both offers may be rescinded.

On the very positive side it sounds like he has the opportunity to choose between some great options which is what you want in the end. Congratulations!

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A lot can change in two months. Maybe he is struggling to decide because friends are still waiting for RD and he isn’t ready to be ahead of their process.

Could you revisit the schools or make some pros/cons lists? I have heard of people flipping a coin and if they feel badly about which side they get, they try again with the other choice to see if that one feels better. I even know people who try out wearing a school sweatshirt to see if it feels right!

Your son is not alone in feeling indecisive at this point. Most kids do. With two months to go, I would really try to figure out what might help him with a decision and do those things…even if it means ignoring it all for a couple of weeks so he can let it percolate.

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The reason he asked me if this was an option is because he is worried that his first choice school might rescind his offer because he’s at risk of a “D” in AP physics. So he was wondering if he should also pay the deposit for his safety school which he thinks will not rescind. He’s very stressed that by the time he would know for sure about his grade, it would be too late. He’s doing everything in his power, we’ve hired a tutor, and he goes to the teacher after school as often as she’s willing to give him extra help. Yesterday he said to me that he thought it was unfair that one bad grade could change everything, and that there isn’t a way to hedge his risk by accepting two offers. Even though this class is not needed to meet his A-G requirements, a bad grade will be an issue.

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Ah…that makes sense. Poor kid!

I think a C is usually safe, but a D might be a grey area. It sounds like his first choice is a UC. Could his guidance counselor reach out to admissions on your son’s behalf to find out what the policy is, when he would be notified, or if it’s a case-by-case decision. In that way, you can have a clearer answer but your son doesn’t have to “out” his grade struggles.

Are his other grades representative of what his overall performance was at the time of application?


He doesn’t have to make a college choice now, and by May 1 things should be more clear with his physics grade. So, for now, keep both offers open, and don’t make any deposit. Just have him focus on his grades.

It sounds like he is doing the right things to get his grade up…talking to the teacher, getting tutoring, etc.

If he still has a D as we are nearing May 1, it would make sense for the HS GC and/or your S to reach out to admissions at both schools and tell them about the D.

We can help prepare for him if he ultimately has to tell either/both schools that he has a D. He definitely does not want to have the AO be surprised when they receive his final transcript (and his HS GC can only send one final transcript, so that typically takes care of any double deposit situations).

Good luck to him and keep us updated.


I am playing devil’s advocate, but the app was submitted with the AP physics class. Perhaps that helped him get in over another student. It could be argued that it isn’t fair to another student who maybe didn’t get in and has maintained a high grade in physics.

This site for counselors explains it well.

Your son will likely know well before May 1 if he is going to get a D. I suspect he won’t, given all he is doing to raise the grade. Definitely discuss with a school counselor, as suggested by others.

He doesn’t have to deposit for quite a while yet and so he should wait until he is able to deposit knowing he will pass with a C.

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You can put in multiple HOUSING deposits but not multiple acceptance offers.

You might lose the housing deposit, but often it is only $25 or $50.


Perhaps your son should talk to his guidance counselor now… and let them know what is going on with this class and his ultimate college decision. Given that he is trying to turn things around maybe the counselor could intervene on his behalf. Clearly his application was compelling and landed him two admissions options. Schools generally do not like to rescind offers and high schools want their students NOT to be rescinded.


Yes that is a good point… by May 1st we will have a much better idea about his AP Physics grade. If the tutoring helps get it up to a “C” then he can go with his first choice school. If not, then I’ll tell him to have his HS counselor contact both school’s admissions to find out which is the better option. I think he is a little more freaked about this because he’s never had anything lower than a “B” and he’s never had to ask for a tutor…it’s a new situation for him and unfortunately it is happening senior year when college decisions are looming. Thank you so much for all the great advice. It is very helpful!


I think you can call the school, ask for an admissions counrselor, let them know you have an admitted student, and that a D in this class may be coming, and how it would be handled.

They’ll tell you - and you won’t have to give up your identity.

Also, your acceptance letter should have terms written.

I’m not sure that just because you have a safety, that 2nd school would treat the letter grade any differently.

That said, there’s lots of time to improve the grade!!

But you’re assuming he’d be bounced - and it might not be the case. He might have to redo in summer or I don’t know - but they’ve dealt with this before and they’ll know what will happen - rescinding or otherwise.

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I’d also be concerned about why the student is getting a D now. It happens, but I’d want to make sure that he isn’t depressed or has some other things weighing him down.


My son has a housing deposit in at a large public school right now. The normal housing deadline has already passed and you have to accept your admissions offer and pay the enrollment fee in order to put down the housing deposit, which also requires a housing and dining contract.

I called (twice to be safe!) to ask about how they want undecided students to handle housing. I was explicit that he doesn’t know if he wants to attend. They said to accept the offer and put down the deposit. Then cancel for a refund before May 1. That’s their regular process.

I think that’s a weird way of doing things. He is likely to attend there, but if he picks a different school, he’ll cancel at this school and then accept at the other school. I don’t like it, and I’m glad none of his other schools do it this way. Then we’d be faced with the prospect of depositing 2 places, which seems wrong.

I know that’s not the scenario that OP asked about, but I’m annoyed at the schools who put parents in that particular situation for housing.


In @ColdWombat 's student’s case, the student would not be reserving a seat at more than one college at the same time, so it is different from the situation of someone reserving seats at two or more colleges simultaneously.

@ColdWombat 's student’s case is more analogous to a student who has reserved a seat at one college and then gets off a wait list and switches to the other college while decommitting from the first college.

However, as pointed out, if multiple colleges did housing that way, that could put the student in a position to be pressured into multiple depositing at the same time.

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Not normal, and not OK.

But I think you’ve heard that from everyone.

Just be patient. His D grade might not actually happen…and you will know well before May 1 if that is a probablilty.

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