Are initial school deposits binding?

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sosociety
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Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby sosociety » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:05 pm

Does this vary school by school, or are all deposits non-binding? I know they are non-refundable.

Thanks for your help.

showNprove
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby showNprove » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:06 pm

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Last edited by showNprove on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pirouette
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby pirouette » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:09 pm

No, I do not think they are binding. I read somewhere that it is quite common for students to submit deposits to several schools in order to hold their places while they make a final decision. A friend of mine paid the deposit for 6 schools last cycle. I will be paying 3 if I don't make any decisions in the next few weeks...

awesomepossum
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:14 pm

There is a bit of a caveat. There has been talk that schools are now sharing information about who has paid their deposit.

I would look at the wording of your acceptance to see exactly what it says. If you're not sure I would just ask the school. The school isn't going to remove you from the rolls for just asking, but they could remove you if they find that you broke an agreement that they consider binding.

Again, it's just cost/benefit. It doesn't hurt to ask and you run no risk that way. You can ask anonymously if you're uncomfortable with the question.

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Cleareyes
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby Cleareyes » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:16 pm

A few are binding, most are not. Obviously a lot of people change their mind when they get off a waitlist at a school they want more, and that's expected.

If you were to break a binding agreement without good reason that could be very bad. I believe it would have ramifications at other schools, and perhaps keep you from enrolling anywhere.

showNprove
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby showNprove » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:17 pm

.
Last edited by showNprove on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jaudette
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby jaudette » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:17 pm

Probably best to use this site as a secondary source after LSAC or the schools web site. This is lifted from LSAC:

Seat Deposits

Many law schools use seat deposits to help keep track of their new classes. For example, a typical fee is $200, which is credited to your first-term tuition if you actually register at the school; if you don’t register, the deposit may be forfeited or partially returned. A school may require a larger deposit around July 1, which is also credited to tuition. If you decline the offer of admission after you’ve paid your deposit, a portion of the money may be refunded, depending on the date you actually decline the offer. At some schools, you may not be refunded any of the deposit.

The official position of the Law School Admission Council is:

Except under early decision plans, no law school should require an enrollment commitment of any kind, binding or non-binding, to an offer of admission or scholarship prior to April 1. Admitted applicants who have submitted a timely financial aid application should not be required to commit to enroll by having to make a nonrefundable financial commitment until notified of financial aid awards that are within the control of the law school.

Multiple Deposit Notification

Each year, LSAC provides participating law schools with periodic reports detailing the number of applicants who have submitted seat deposits or commitments at other participating schools, along with identification of those other schools. Beginning June 15, 2008, those reports will also include the names and LSAC account numbers for all candidates who have deposits/commitments at multiple participating schools.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby The Zeppelin » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:20 pm

Let's be honest, schools want applicants to submit multiple seat deposits. Free money.

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jaudette
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby jaudette » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:31 pm

The Zeppelin wrote:Let's be honest, schools want applicants to submit multiple seat deposits. Free money.


Wrong. Schools absolutely do NOT want multiple deposits. In fact they would probably do away with them if it weren't necessary. When you submit a deposit, that's your "Yes I will see you on August 30th" message. There's a ridiculous amount of people who submit multiple deposits and never contact the schools to let them know they wont be attending. That's why schools keep their WL open all the way up to the first day of orientation, because they just don't know who will be matriculating. The problem is not so bad for the higher ranked schools because there is usually someone ready to slam on the brakes and change directions to go to the better school, but if your school is in the middle of the pack, they will have a lot of trouble filling those "summer melt" (no I didn't make that term up) spots.

sosociety
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby sosociety » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:37 pm

Thanks all for your helpful information.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby The Zeppelin » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:41 pm

jaudette wrote:
The Zeppelin wrote:Let's be honest, schools want applicants to submit multiple seat deposits. Free money.


Wrong. Schools absolutely do NOT want multiple deposits. In fact they would probably do away with them if it weren't necessary. When you submit a deposit, that's your "Yes I will see you on August 30th" message. There's a ridiculous amount of people who submit multiple deposits and never contact the schools to let them know they wont be attending. That's why schools keep their WL open all the way up to the first day of orientation, because they just don't know who will be matriculating. The problem is not so bad for the higher ranked schools because there is usually someone ready to slam on the brakes and change directions to go to the better school, but if your school is in the middle of the pack, they will have a lot of trouble filling those "summer melt" (no I didn't make that term up) spots.

If that were true, the schools could easily stop the problem.

1. All schools must notify accepted students by X date.
2. Move the deposit deadline back.
3. Require that seat deposits are submitted through LSAC. Only 1 per LSAC #.
4. Once you submit a deposit, your other schools are notified and can proceed to the WL.

sienna
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby sienna » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:45 pm

I think it depends on the school. WUSTL, for example, told me that the first deposit is refundable for the first 30 days. And they have a notice posted that any scholarship recipient with deposits at multiple schools after the second deposit deadline may lose their scholarship. Certainly sounds like code for "we get that you might have multiple initial deposits, but you'd better not have multiple second deposits."

legends159
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby legends159 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:57 pm

I thought the ABA forbids multiple deposits :?:

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jaudette
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby jaudette » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:00 pm

The Zeppelin wrote:
jaudette wrote:
The Zeppelin wrote:Let's be honest, schools want applicants to submit multiple seat deposits. Free money.


Wrong. Schools absolutely do NOT want multiple deposits. In fact they would probably do away with them if it weren't necessary. When you submit a deposit, that's your "Yes I will see you on August 30th" message. There's a ridiculous amount of people who submit multiple deposits and never contact the schools to let them know they wont be attending. That's why schools keep their WL open all the way up to the first day of orientation, because they just don't know who will be matriculating. The problem is not so bad for the higher ranked schools because there is usually someone ready to slam on the brakes and change directions to go to the better school, but if your school is in the middle of the pack, they will have a lot of trouble filling those "summer melt" (no I didn't make that term up) spots.

If that were true, the schools could easily stop the problem.

1. All schools must notify accepted students by X date.
2. Move the deposit deadline back.
3. Require that seat deposits are submitted through LSAC. Only 1 per LSAC #.
4. Once you submit a deposit, your other schools are notified and can proceed to the WL.


That creates a possibly even greater problem of not having seats filled late in the summer, and you're left with the same problem of trying to change applicants minds weeks before school starts.

Trojanwarhero
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby Trojanwarhero » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:51 pm

jaudette wrote: A school may require a larger deposit around July 1, which is also credited to tuition.


Does anyone know how common this is/how much the deposit usually is? I didn't do as well on the Dec LSAT as I hoped but I'm still applying this cycle. If I don't get into any of targets (which is likely), I'm planning on putting down a deposit for one of my backups and re-taking the test in June. If my score goes up enough to give me a good chance of getting into better schools, I'm going to withdraw my deposit and re-apply next cycle. I'd be ok with burning $200 for a $30,000+ increase in starting salary, but if the 2nd deposit is a big chunk of the tuition my plan may not be feasible.

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Georgiana
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby Georgiana » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:56 pm

Trojanwarhero wrote:
jaudette wrote: A school may require a larger deposit around July 1, which is also credited to tuition.


Does anyone know how common this is/how much the deposit usually is? I didn't do as well on the Dec LSAT as I hoped but I'm still applying this cycle. If I don't get into any of targets (which is likely), I'm planning on putting down a deposit for one of my backups and re-taking the test in June. If my score goes up enough to give me a good chance of getting into better schools, I'm going to withdraw my deposit and re-apply next cycle. I'd be ok with burning $200 for a $30,000+ increase in starting salary, but if the 2nd deposit is a big chunk of the tuition my plan may not be feasible.

We definitely didn't have this, just the initial deposit, but I remember some schools having it. I think the highest it might be is $500 or $1000. It's not like $15k or anything (granted an extra $500 out of pocket for me would have been crazy).

jarofsoup
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:13 am

If you are accepted off of a waitlist and then you decided not to go after paying your deposits because you retake the LSAT and score higher are there any legal ramifications?

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existenz
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Re: Are initial school deposits binding?

Postby existenz » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:59 pm

On LSN there are people who were accepted off the waitlist in July and even August to go to T6 schools. I have to imagine they simply had to forfeit their first and second deposit at whatever schools they were previously going to.

Also, it is highly unlikely that the school recruiting them would punish them for breaking their agreement with the school they were already signed up for. It's just the way the game is played.




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