College Enrollment Deposit: What You Need to KnowSeptember 15, 2023
During your senior year of high school, you likely applied to several colleges. Generally, experts encourage students to apply to five to eight schools to give them the best chance of being accepted into college.
Once you’ve received your acceptance letters and financial aid packages, it’s time to choose which school to attend. A critical step in the admissions process is submitting your college enrollment deposit, meaning a fee that secures your place in the incoming class.
The enrollment deposit amount and its due date vary by school, but here is some important information you should know.
What Is an Enrollment Deposit?
Most colleges require students to submit an enrollment deposit as part of the admissions process. The deposit is a relatively small amount and it shows that you are committed to enrolling for the upcoming semester.
The college enrollment deposit secures your spot for the incoming class. Once it’s been paid, the college usually allows you to choose your classes and sign up for housing.
Sending in the deposit late could prevent you from enrolling in classes, or you could lose your spot entirely if the school moves to its waitlist.
How much is the college deposit?
The deposit cost can also be impacted by your year — students enrolling in graduate school typically pay larger deposits — and your housing status. Students who live on campus in Florida often pay more than commuters.
Some universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University, have done away with the deposit requirement entirely, so students don’t have to pay a fee to hold their spot. At other schools, the fee can be expensive. For example, the enrollment deposit at Carnegie Mellon University is $800.
Can I put down a deposit with multiple schools?
If you received multiple acceptance letters and are having trouble deciding which school to attend, you may be thinking of sending in enrollment deposits to multiple colleges. This strategy — known as “double depositing,” is frowned upon, and students are strongly warned against doing it.
Double depositing makes it difficult for colleges to calculate accurate class sizes. They often adjust their acceptance waitlists or financial aid based on the number of deposits they receive. When students double deposit, it can throw off the school’s numbers and cost other students a place in the college.
Worse, colleges often have strict policies against double depositing. If the school discovers that you made more than one deposit, there’s a chance they could rescind their offer of admission.
Enrollment Deposit Due Dates
With most schools, your enrollment deposit is due on Decision Day. For students enrolling as first-year students for the fall semester, Decision Day is on May 1; for students enrolling for the spring semester, the deposit is due December 1. Your deposit and other enrollment materials, such as your acceptance of financial aid options, are typically due on Decision Day.
However, some schools have different deadlines for their deposits, so check with the admission department to find out when the deposit is due.
Preparing for College
Getting accepted into college is a huge accomplishment, so take some time to celebrate your achievement. As you look forward to your upcoming college experience, it’s important to pay attention to your school’s deadlines and requirements to ensure your place is secured, so review all of the materials the school sent you.
If you need additional financing, private student loans can help cover the expenses your financial aid package doesn’t. With ELFI, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance for your program. You can use the “Find My Rate” tool to view your loan options and start the application process.