By Fabian Mayer, October 13 2015 —
Prospective University of Calgary students will now have to pay a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure their admission. This new policy takes effect in the fall of 2016. The deposit will then be applied to tuition if the student decides to attend the U of C.
Registrar Angelique Saweczko said the decision to implement the admissions deposit was made after the university had problems filling seats.
“We were finding, especially in some of the high demand programs, is that students were accepting the admission offer, but weren’t intending on coming,” Saweczko said.
The U of C missed enrolment targets last year, with undergraduate enrolment decreasing by roughly five per cent. The largest drop was in arts, where enrolment decreased by around 12 per cent.
“We have programs with lots of waitlists and we want to ensure we are maximizing our space for students,” Saweczko said.
She hopes the new policy will allow the university to more accurately predict enrolment.
“By implementing the tuition deposit it gives us a better sense of the students who are really planning on coming in the upcoming year,” Saweczko said.
Saweczko wasn’t sure what will happen to the money from deposits paid by students who don’t wind up attending the university.
“We’re not looking to make money from these deposits, that’s not really the intent. We just want students to make a firm commitment.”
According to Saweczko, the university has been working with high school guidance counsellors to ensure prospective students are aware of the new practice.
“Because this is common practice at other universities, it wasn’t a surprise and there wasn’t really any negative reaction to it.”
Update: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the largest enrolment drop was in engineering. The Gauntlet apologizes to our readers for this error.