College Enrollment Deposits

The time has come. You wrote the essays, submitted the applications, compared your admission offers, and selected the school for you. The next step is to make it official and submit your college enrollment deposit. 

In order to hold your spot in the fall, schools require you pay a deposit on your tuition. But this requirement can bring up some questions – Is the deposit refundable? Does financial aid cover the deposit? Can my acceptance change after the deposit is made? 

We’ll cover what the enrollment deposit is, including specifics about deferrals and fee waivers, as well as questions that many new and transferring students have about the process. 

What’s an Enrollment Deposit?

There is more to committing to go to the school of your choice than simply letting them know you’ll attend. When you accept an admissions offer, you are required to pay an enrollment deposit that holds your spot for the upcoming semester. And don’t worry – this deposit goes towards your first year’s tuition. 

Enrollment deposits typically range from $100-300, though a few schools require as much as $1,000. These deposits are also most commonly non-refundable so if you change your mind, you give up the deposit you provided. Some schools allow a refund if requested by a specified date; it’s best to contact your school directly to inquire whether admission  deposits are refundable and how to apply for a refund. 

For first year students, enrollment deposits are pretty standard across the board and must be submitted by May 1, or Decision Day. Transfer student deposit due dates differ from school to school – refer to your acceptance letter for details on when your enrollment deposit is due, usually 2-3 weeks after receiving your offer of admission. 

Considering multiple schools and wondering if you can submit enrollment deposits to several schools while you try to decide? You can do this, but it is highly discouraged from making double deposits! Your deposit holds your spot & that means another student cannot use that spot. Also, schools can revoke your admission offer in the case that you make a deposit to another school. A friendly reminder that applicants on the Common Application have agreed to not double deposit upon agreeing to these affirmations

Am I Able to Postpone My Enrollment Deposit?

Some schools will allow you to postpone your enrollment deposit under certain circumstances. For example, if you have financial difficulties or constraints that prevent you from covering the deposit, you are able to apply for a deposit extension while you wait on your financial aid to be available. It is important to reach out to the admissions office as far out from the deadline as possible to submit the deposit extension request. 

You will need to check with your specific institution regarding their deposit extension process. Some schools by default will waive the enrollment deposit for those who have received an application fee waiver. Others require a separate request, additional paperwork, or submitting verification that the applicant has submitted the FAFSA, in order to approve the deposit extension. 

Is My Enrollment Deposit Binding? 

No, it is not! The deposit holds your spot for the fall semester and is applied toward your tuition and fees for your first year, but does not legally bind you to attend or pay tuition at the school. As most schools will keep the deposit if you decide not to attend, your enrollment deposit is non-refundable, but not binding. 

As we’ve highlighted, there are nuances to college enrollment deposits. If you have any questions, our team is here to help! 

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College Enrollment Deposits

• Amanda Dobias

The time has come. You wrote the essays, submitted the applications, compared your admission offers, and selected the school for…