No Double-Depositing

May 1, the National Candidates Reply Date, is fast approaching. This is the non-negotiable deadline for formally notifying one college that you are accepting its offer of admission—and sealing the deal with a deposit check.

For those who have a top-choice school, the decision about where to send that check is straightforward. For others, choosing may require further thought, return visits, or the comparison of financial aid packages. Do not be tempted, however, to double-deposit in order to delay decision-making.

Double-depositing—sending a deposit to more than one college to keep your options open —is unethical and may result in both colleges rescinding your admission.

Keep in mind that you have signed a certification on your application form promising you will send a deposit to only one institution. Your acceptance letter is conditional, and it’s easier than you think for the colleges to find out if you have deposited at more than one institution. You also have an ethical obligation. Double-depositing takes places away from other students.

Waitlisted students should take care not to double-deposit as well. Suppose you are accepted at College A and waitlisted at College B, but your first choice is College B. You would enroll at College A and send a deposit. If you are later accepted at College B, you can also enroll and send a deposit there. This is not double-depositing provided you inform College A immediately and in writing that you will not be enrolling. (You will forfeit your deposit with College A.) If you fail to inform College A and also make a deposit at College B, that is double-depositing. Don’t do it— it is irresponsible and -- again -- you could end up with your acceptance rescinded by both colleges.

And remember: there is no need to wait until May 1. If you have reflected on your offers of admission and know where you would like to be next fall, accept that offer and then inform the other schools as promptly as possible. It is good form to take yourself out of the running at any college where you have been accepted but know with certainty you will not enroll. That way the college can offer your seat to another student who may want to enroll.

 

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