The clock is ticking down and the April 1st has arrived. High school seniors across the country are checking their email and mailboxes for the admissions decisions from the college they applied to. Many students may receive more than one acceptance. The stress and the cost of college is a major decision, so for students who cannot make up their mind where to go, they may consider double depositing.
What is the definition of double depositing? Double depositing means putting down a deposit, and thus accepting admission, at more than one college.
I often hear, “This decision is not easy!” Or “I love all my schools for different reasons.” Student re-visit their colleges and look to teachers and friends (and even parents) for guidance. So what do they do? Sending a non-refundable enrollment deposit check can cost as little as $100, while at others it can be as much as $500 or $1,000 can be costly, but the student just can’t decide.
The main reasons are:
• Students may do this to guarantee themselves a space at their favorite school.
• Buying time. The usual decision deadline is May 1; by double depositing, a student can delay deciding until fall.
• Continue negotiating for financial aid past the deadline.
• Because the student is on a waiting list at one college and wants to ensure that she is enrolled somewhere in case she is turned down by the waiting-list school. This scenario is the only one in which NACAC considers double depositing acceptable.
What many of these students and their parents don’t know is that double depositing is a violation of their responsibilities as established by the National Association for College Admission Counseling(NACAC).
So, why is double depositing unethical?
• It’s deceitful according to NACAC guidelines.
• It’s unfair to the college. Colleges don’t know how to estimate the size of the incoming class.
• It’s unfair to other applicants. The double depositor is taking up a spot that could go to another student, who will instead be wait-listed or turned down.
• Playing a dangerous game. If a college discovers a student double deposited, it is within its rights to withdraw that individual’s offer of admission.