With college admissions decisions coming out, students need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities. I have recently heard about students being pressured into deciding which college to attend. Specifically, some colleges have been telling students that they need to give an answer to a particular college whether they will attend, or will accept a particular scholarship, before May 1. This often involves the requirement to deposit money to hold a student’s place in the class.
May 1 is the important date because virtually all colleges belong to the National Association for College Admission Counseling or NACAC. The “Statement of Principles of Good Practice” of that organization states that colleges shall
“permit frst-year candidates for fall admission to choose among offers of admission, fnancial aid and scholarships until May 1 and will state this deadline explicitly in their offers of admission”.
Here is a brochure from NACAC the describes a Students Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admissions Process.
As the brochure makes clear, as a student applying to college you have certain responsibilities. But, you also have certain rights, and one of those rights is the right to wait until May 1 to decide which college you will attend and which financial aid packages you will accept. If you are being pressured by a college to respond before May 1, you should call and talk with the director of admissions of that college and ask whether they abide by the Statement of Principles of Good Practices of NACAC. You can also ask if the deposit they are requesting is refundable until May 1.