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Students’ Union concerned about $500 admissions deposit

By Babur Ilchi, October 22 2015 —

The Students’ Union isn’t sold on the University of Calgary’s new $500 admissions deposit for incoming students.

SU president Levi Nilson thinks the new policy will help ensure fewer problems with enrolment, but still has some concerns.

“I think it puts a lot of pressure and extra stress on students coming out of high school,” Nilson said.

University registrar Angelique Saweczko said the practice is common among other Canadian universities.

“We were finding, especially in some of the high demand programs, that students were accepting the admission offer but weren’t intending on coming,” Saweczko said. “We have programs with lots of waitlists and we want to ensure we are maximizing our space for students.”

Nilson argues students will not have financial aid in the form of student loans and grants available before the deposit’s deadline.

“I don’t know the exact right amount to incentivize somebody. If you pay $500, is that going to make you stay compared to $300?” Nilson said.

Nilson argues making the deposit due after students receive financial aid would make it easier for students to pay.

“Timing is the biggest thing by far,” Nilson said. “That was the concern we raised last year when this went to our tuition consultation committee.”

Saweczko isn’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.”

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