Why do high school seniors (and their families) make the decisions they do about which college will get an enrollment deposit? These are not "normal" times in America (or in the world, for that matter). The economic wreckage that has resulted from the various collapses has put tremendous strain on many families who in better times had a different mindset about which might be the best college for a son or daughter.
Today, due to state budget cuts, Federal changes in student loans, unemployment, and -- perhaps more importantly -- the impact of the economy on college endowments, traditional college selection criteria have undergone an unpleasant transformation. State universities, which used to be a relative bargain for higher education, have now become, in many cases, prohibitively expensive for many families. Financial aid at formerly generous private schools has dwindled and some merit scholarships have either gotten smaller or disappeared completely.