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College Enrollment Deposit: What You Need to Know
You have finally been admitted to the university of your dreams–congratulations! To make your relationship status with your dream school “official,” you’ll need to submit a college enrollment deposit. What does this mean? Luckily for you, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about sending in your college enrollment deposit!
What is a college enrollment deposit?
A college enrollment deposit is a non-refundable payment made to the university or college that you have been accepted to and wish to attend. Sending in the sum will guarantee “your spot” at that particular college.
The amount of money to send in depends on the university or college you are anticipating attending. Typically, the amount ranges anywhere from $100-$400. However, some schools require that the deposit be up to $1,000.
The money is typically non-refundable, but it does count towards your tuition. Therefore, if you end up not attending the school you sent a deposit to, you will most likely lose out on your deposit. With that in mind, you want to be sure about your decision to attend.
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When is the enrollment deposit due?
Typically, the enrollment deposit is due on May 1st, which is also known as “Decision Day.” Submitting your payment prior to May 1st typically has no benefit. Some schools may link their enrollment deposit to campus housing. Sometimes, if you enroll earlier, there’s a better chance of being assigned to a top-choice dorm room assignment. You can always call the school and ask directly if this is something you want to know more about.
Therefore, take your time deciding between what schools you were accepted to. Make sure you are thinking about finances, location, programs, and proximity to home! These factors are crucial for helping you choose the right college.
Are college enrollment deposits binding?
No! The fee simply holds a spot for you at their school and is not legally binding. However, if you decide to not enroll at a school that you sent an enrollment deposit to, most schools will keep your money since they are typically non-refundable.
How do I submit my enrollment deposit?
The way to submit your enrollment deposit depends upon the school itself. At most universities or colleges, admitted students need to fill out a form and submit their deposit electronically. Students can usually submit a hard copy of the form along with a check or cash directly to the school.
Prior to the deadline, make sure you know what methods of payment your school will accept. Double check with an admissions officer or counselor at the school right away if you run into any issues. In general, it’s always a good idea to follow up and make sure everything is in order and your place on campus is reserved.
Also see: How to plan a college campus tour
What if I cannot afford the enrollment deposit fee?
Luckily, there are two options for applicants who cannot afford the enrollment deposit. You can either defer your payment or request a fee waiver.
Defer the enrollment deposit
Many universities and colleges allow applicants to defer the enrollment deposit. This means that an applicant can wait for financial aid to go through before submitting the money. While waiting for financial aid to come through, the school will save their spot.
Different schools have different processes when requesting deferment for the enrollment fee. Some schools offer the form automatically, and for others, you need to request a form and show proof of financial need as shown on your FAFSA. So, reach out to your school to find out their requirements.
Request an enrollment deposit fee waiver
If deferring the fee would not work out financially, students can request an enrollment deposit fee waiver. To qualify for the waiver, most students will need to show proof of financial need. This usually includes sharing financial documents such as the FAFSA to show your demonstrated financial need. Students who need a waiver should contact their schools as soon as possible to ensure that their documents are filled out prior to the enrollment deadline.
Also see: When do college decisions come out?
Can I put an enrollment deposit down at two schools?
Yes, you can, but that does not mean you should! Putting down an enrollment deposit at two schools is a very tempting idea. It means that you are guaranteed a spot at two different schools, which sounds ideal if you are conflicted about which school you want to attend. So, technically, you can put an enrollment deposit down at two different schools. However, it is strongly recommended that you do your research and decide which school you want to put a deposit on to “hold your spot.”
Enrollment deposits and the waitlist
There is one exception to this “no double deposit” rule. If you have been placed on the waitlist for a school, you should submit an enrollment deposit at a different school. Doing so ensures that you have a spot at a school in case you are not taken off the waitlist. However, keep in mind that if you get off the waitlist and want to attend that school, you most likely will not receive a refund of your deposit at the other school.