Accepted to College: Should I Hold Out for More Money Before Committing?

Accepted but not committed till Decision Day, May 1st

Accepted to College: Should I Hold Out for More Money Before Committing?

Published February 9, 2019 | Last Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 09:51 am

Accepted but not committed till Decision Day, May 1st

As an experienced mother in the college admissions process, here’s my warning – once your student is accepted but not yet committed, be prepared for heavy-handed marketing tactics & “incentives” (using the age-old sales technique called the “Standing room only pitch” and the “limited-time-offer incentive.”)

Expect to get emails, text messages and even phone calls with incentives to get your student to commit once they’re accepted.

Photo of an actual award letter sent to Sabrina’s child.

This is my 4th child in three admissions seasons, and here’s what I know:

  1. Students have until May 1st to decide.
  2. **Housing is guaranteed for freshman** (this is not true at all schools, if it is at your student’s school, take advantage of it).
  3. On or just before May 1st – “additional funding” tends to suddenly become available at various colleges (usually private) that aren’t meeting their enrollment quotas.

Hold Out Till Decision Day, May 1st to Commit

If your student can hold out and not accept an admissions offer till May 1st, he has the chance to be offered more money from colleges that really want him.

May 1st is when some colleges reach out to their list of accepted but not-yet-enrolled students offering more funding.

My oldest was unexpectedly offered an extra $2,000 per year renewable from one college – and a whopping additional $4,000 per year renewable scholarship from another college – just around the time of Decision Day.

Of course the chances of being offered more money from a college depends on some factors outside of your control – the college’s available funding and their enrollment yields. But you can control when you commit!

Consider the tactic of keeping yourself “on the market” for a while – even if you already know where you’re going to enroll.

You’ve got guaranteed acceptance through May 1st, and if you also have guaranteed housing, there’s very little downside to waiting. But there could be a significant financial upside for waiting.

College Acceptance vs. Enrollment

Remember, with so many students accepted to sometimes over a dozen colleges, schools have to pull out all the stops to get students to actually enroll in their college versus another.

The power dynamics shift after you’re accepted, yet uncommitted.

THEY may need YOU more than you need them! Especially if they don’t have an extensive waitlist to pull from. It will be very interesting to see how all this plays out.

**Disclaimer: Freshman housing was guaranteed at every school that my kids have been accepted to – but always double-check with your own college just to be sure their housing isn’t actually “while supplies last?**

_______

Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

College Decision Day: It May Not Be What You Think

“We Went from $0 to $24,000 in Merit Aid Just for Asking”

A Full-Ride Scholarship Winner Shares His 7 Best Tips to Earn College Money

JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

In this article:

Upcoming Events

Similar Articles for You

Dear Roadie: Should I Drug-Test My Son to Ensure He’s Not Wasting His College Tuition?

Advice

Dear Roadie: Should I Drug-Test My Son to Ensure He’s Not Wasting His College Tuition?

Dear Roadie, My son will be attending a school that costs $80,000 per year. Am I crazy for wanting him...

How Much College Can You Really Afford? Take These 3 Simple Steps For The Answer

Advice

How Much College Can You Really Afford? Take These 3 Simple Steps For The Answer

After sending four kids to college with a fifth on the way there soon, I’ve learned a thing or two...

Dear Roadie: Should I Move to a Different State for Free Tuition?

Advice

Dear Roadie: Should I Move to a Different State for Free Tuition?

Dear Roadie, We are considering moving to New Mexico for my daughter’s final high school years as I’ve read in-state...

Become a Member

At Road2College you’ll find everything you need to make the admissions and paying for college process less stressful and more transparent.

TOOLS

Explore R2C Insights™ — your source for finding affordable colleges and merit scholarships.

Coaching

Get coaching on admissions and college financing.

Community

Join Road2College where parents and experts work together to inform and inspire college-bound families.