Double Depositing and Prolonging the Agony

Double Depositing, University Double Depositing, Double Deposits at Colleges

Don’t make the mistake of double depositing at colleges (photo credit: Eustress).

For the past few weeks, colleges have been sending out their admissions decisions to applicants from across the country and around the world. The Ivy League colleges are notifying applicants today, April 1st. Hopefully, this is not an April Fool’s joke, the college has not made a mistake, and if you’re one of the tens of thousands of students who applied to an Ivy League college, you’ve been accepted to the school of your dreams!

Within the text of the acceptance letters and along with “Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I offer you admission to the ______ University Class of 2014,” the letters also state something along the lines of, “Whatever decision you make, we ask that you complete the enclosed enrollment response card and return it to us by May 1st, the admitted students national reply date.” While a deposit of $100 to $1,000 is typically required to hold a spot, some colleges only require the enrollment response card with a checkmark next to “I will attend.”

For some students, getting more than one acceptance from their top schools is a real ego-boost, but it can also force them to make a most difficult and often agonizing decision. If up until now those students have not yet figured out their first choice, they will need to do so in the next 30 days. Most of the highly selective colleges will offer students a chance to visit during their accepted students days, and this is a wonderful opportunity to help admitted students make their decisions. So, if the college offers this opportunity, it’s best to hold off on making any decisions until after attending these exciting events.

A reader recently wrote in, “Okay, so it’s May 1st, I visited all the colleges to which I was accepted and I can’t decide between two of them. I’m going to send deposits to both colleges.” This is considered “double depositing” and, yes, it is unethical. Kevin questions us further and we tell him that if either college was to find out that he double deposited, his acceptance may be rescinded to both schools as this is in clear violation of the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities as established by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

But let’s say that there are no consequences, that the two colleges don’t compare lists of students who accepted their offers, that the regional admissions officers don’t speak with one another and compare their lists, or that the high school counselor doesn’t speak with either admissions officer. What double depositing does is prolong the agony until the first semester’s tuition payment is due. At this time, the student may be no closer to making a decision and all that has been accomplished is that the inevitable has been postponed. The bottom line is that the decision needs to be made by May 1st and double depositing could very well have dire consequences.


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