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Does Accepting Admission now impact Merit Aid Offer?

WisdomSeeker821WisdomSeeker821 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
I'd like to get people's opinions on this question--Do you think accepting an offer of admission now will impact the University of South Carolina's decisions regarding merit aid? Basically, do you think if the school sees that my daughter has accepted their offer of admission that they will assume she doesn't need the merit aid? She'd like to pay the deposit early so she can fill out the housing application, etc. I'm inclined to do this as well. But I am just curious to see if this community thinks that waiting would help her yield more scholarship money. I would like to think that it wouldn't make a difference. Any current students or families have experiences they would be willing to share? I appreciate any insight and advice you all can provide.
Post edited by WisdomSeeker821 on

Replies to: Does Accepting Admission now impact Merit Aid Offer?

  • Axand238Axand238 - Posts: 118 Junior Member
    The financial aid department is separate from admissions. Accepting the offer now vs. accepting it later has nothing to do with how much aid is awarded since that is based on criteria that is unrelated to that in the first place. for example some merit aid here is based on GPA and test scores and if you meet that criteria you get the aid regardless of the exact date you paid the housing deposit..
  • WisdomSeeker821WisdomSeeker821 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    So, you think merit aid (which I believe is awarded by the Admissions Office, not the Financial Aid Office) is an objective process? I am happy to hear that because I've heard from parents at other schools that if they waited and played "hard to get," the Admissions Office would sweeten the pot with more money. I don't like playing those sort of games!!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,354 Senior Member
    Axand, you are partially wrong (again). Unversity of South Carolina awards a NUMBER of their scholarships based on the strength of the student's APPLICATION. So...the folks awarding these merit awards are WELL aware of what is in a student's application. VERY well aware...it's their job.

    It is the NEED BASED folks who don't see the application at need blind schools. Please get your facts straight.

    To the OP. the admissions folks won't penalize your daughter by submitting her housing deposit. In fact, we did the same with our daughter when she was accepted there. After we submitted that deposit, she received a McKissick Scholarship (one of the ones awarded based on application strength). I will add, our DD did NOT quite meet the criteria for this award...so we were pleasantly surprised. Clearly, that she had paid the deposit didn't matter to the scholarship folks in a negative way.

    The scholarship folks very likely do NOT check with housing to see who has submitted deposits.

    Congrats to your daughter. We all LOVED USC. Our kid matriculated elsewhere, but USC still has a special place in our home!
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    WisdomSeeker, none of us know for sure at any given college. There was a thread last year where there was the suspicion that Penn State was giving out some merit money primarily to those who had not yet sent in the any commitment. No conclusion came of it.

    Merit money is usually given out by the Admissions Office, yes. So, yes, Admissions will know if your daughter enrolls or not. One purpose of Merit awards, in fact a major purpose, is to provide incentive for a student to enroll, so it make sense that those who have already committed are not considered as each school has a limited pool of such funds.

    However, at schools of the size and type of USCarolina,there is a high % of backing out of enrollment contracts ,as many send them in to get favorable housing choices. At our state U, the housing office absolutely states that you had better get that housing contract in early, otherwise there is a distinct possibility of going on the housing wait list and getting a room as the no shows crop up. In such cases where an enrollment contract is required to ge a spot for housing, the info is not reliable.

    The important question is how this plays in at this particular school. I suggest you call and ask to talk to an Admission officer. Not the secretary, not the assistant, but someone who knows for sure and flat out ask if this has any effect, and if they are sure. I would then have your daughter send a letter saying that she would love to go to USC, and is hoping to get merit money which will figure in the final decison as to where she will go. She should ask for any suggestions to enhance her chances as well, so that the school is well aware that she is very much awaiting the award.

    Axand238, I have noticed that you give totally wrong information a lot on these boards. Please refrain from making statements unless you know for sure, or preface it with an "IMO". In this case, the title clearly shows that the OP is asking about MERIT, not fin aid, and, Admissions does most often distribute that. Also, there aren't that many merit awards that are guaranteed due to stats. If you know of any that are not already listed in our financial aid forum thread, please add them.

    Thumper, I'm glad that you have personal info about that particular school. OP, still be aware that things do change from year to year, but usually, for these large schools, things like returning the enrollment contract are not taken into consideration for awards and correlation of these things just aren't done. The whole Penn State thing was speculation, and unproven, based on anecdotes of a small sample Still, we can never know for sure.
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 2,977 Senior Member
    OP, as usual I caution that things can change from year to year, but last year the housing application wasn't up until February and so you have some time. And also all freshmen are guaranteed housing and it is based on application date, not date you fill out form or accept your spot (again, in the past and with some priorities based on learning communities, honors, etc).

    Some students hear about merit aid in December depending on stats. Final financial packages are sent out in March.

    There are also some scholarships, like Leiber for NMF, that are automatic.
  • AUGirlAUGirl Registered User Posts: 2,890 Senior Member
    Housing at USC is given based on application to the school and not by date of housing application. (IE: They don't penalize students who don't find out their acceptance until March.)

    In my opinion, I don't think USC gives out more merit aid based on if you have enrolled are not. They could still easily lose you between March and May, because as I recall the deposit is refundable up until then and most other colleges aren't due until May 1, as well. If you don't get enough money, then you have to go somewhere else.

    Anyways, I sent in my deposit in January, I think (well before I knew any of my aid info) and I still received a scholarship, so I was pleasantly surprised by that.
  • WisdomSeeker821WisdomSeeker821 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the feedback--especially from those students/families who received scholarship awards notifications AFTER paying their admissions/housing deposits :)
This discussion has been closed.