Housing Deposit vs. Application Fee

  • 1.  Housing Deposit vs. Application Fee

    Posted 08-28-2019 16:29
    For those of you responsible for housing or housing budgets, why is a housing deposit necessary?  I see some schools require a $300 or $500 deposit, and some only require a non-refundable application fee.  It seems to me that it is not always a "guarantee" for housing by a student, no matter what the deposit amount may be.  We take a deposit, but it is a challenge to collect and deal with a reimbursement if needed.

    Thank you.​

    Jerry Clemmer, CASP
    University of Richmond
    Director of Business Services
    Richmond VA
    United States

  • 2.  RE: Housing Deposit vs. Application Fee

    Posted 08-29-2019 09:36



    We abandoned collecting true housing deposits approximately 20 years ago.  We shifted to a $200 pre-payment that is due at the time the housing contract is submitted.  The pre-payment is applied to the fall semester housing charges.  From a contract management perspective, the $200 pre-payment represents a good faith interest in the student's intent to reside on campus and is also motivation for the student to take action on a timely basis if they need to cancel due to withdrawing from the University or for a number of other reasons.  There are deadlines and cancellation fees assessed based on when notice is provided and the pre-payment often serves to offset those charges.  We do not have mandatory residency for any of our students.  Overall, I believe the pre-payment helps us better project our occupancy.  There is some debate as to whether $200 is a sufficient amount or if it should be increased. 






    Ronald Portwine,  MBA, CASP

    Associate Vice President for Administration & Business Affairs

    Saginaw Valley State University

    South Campus Complex A 146| 7400 Bay Road

    University Center, MI  48710


    mobile 989.295.8836




  • 3.  RE: Housing Deposit vs. Application Fee

    Posted 08-29-2019 10:06
    Hi Jerry,

    At Creighton, we collect a $100 housing deposit from each student intending to live on campus. Students here are required to live on campus for their first two years, unless they are living at home with family. We keep this deposit on file until they either graduate, or choose to leave housing after the first two years and move off campus. At that point, the deposit is refunded to them less any outstanding damage charges that they may owe. You're absolutely right, it is a challenge to manage, but for us, it's worth it to have a form of collateral if the student really damages their room. Hope that helps!

    Amanda Cleary
    Creighton University
    Business Manager
    Omaha NE
    United States