Inside Higher Ed reports that the University of Florida collects housing deposits from students who never enroll. By Nancy Griesemer
In the increasingly pressure-driven world of college admissions, one of the more concerning trends is the intensity of demands students receive to submit tuition and/or housing deposits before the May 1 “candidate’s reply date.”

For example, one university sent the following demand to students admitted earlier in the year under its rolling admissions plan:

“Enrollment in our Fall 2016 class is limited and will fill on a space available basis. In previous years, many of our academic programs, as well as our residence halls, have filled quickly. Therefore I encourage you to send your deposit of $550 in the next six weeks.”

Although families are usually assured that deposits are “refundable” until May 1, they are also being threatened with the possibility that the student’s place in the class or some other desirable perk will be withdrawn without this early commitment.

The same university goes on to say, “Upon written request, extensions will be granted until May 1, 2016. You should know however, you might be sacrificing a space in your academic program and/or residence halls.”

So now the student is looking at the possibility of not only having nowhere to live, but there’s also a clear threat of academic repercussions including loss of desired major and/or forfeiture of a place in a desired program.

In this case, the university was referring to its highly desirable physical and occupational therapy programs, which do “fill” early. But the housing threat was a little less clear as housing is guaranteed for freshmen and all freshmen housing is virtually the same!

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