Commitment–then 180–Before May 1?

Question: A school wants my daughter to commit to their acting program. It is great to be wanted, but the deadline to commit is before many schools she auditioned at send acceptance letters. Is it okay to commit to a school and then change our minds if a better offer comes around?

There’s a long thread about this on the College Confidential discussion forum (see http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1615432-are-you-being-pressured-to-send-a-deposit-before-may-1-p1.html ) and reading it has confirmed for me that many colleges are putting pressure on seniors and their families to commit before the May 1 deadline.

So, to answer your question, yes you can commit now and the college is obligated to return your deposit if your daughter notifies the school that she has changed her mind BEFORE MAY 1. However, if this college also asks you for a housing deposit, you may not get it back. Extracting non-refundable housing deposits from undecided (but nervous) families seems to be a loophole that the National Association for College Admission Counseling hasn’t yet closed.

Congrats to your daughter on this acceptance and good luck on those yet to come. Acting programs can be so unpredictable … “Harder than Harvard” is what I often call them.

(posted 3/5/2014)

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