This year I had three heart-stopping incidents with credit card information at the end of the application process. They were:
1. Student lost her wallet, thought her parents would be mad, and decided to submit her application after she found the wallet, even though that would have moved her out of the Early Action pool. I told her she had to fess up, which she did. Her parents gave her their card.
2. After working very hard on her application, the parents gave their daughter a credit card number but not the security code, left the house in time to make a movie, and turned off their cell phones. Fortunately, they returned home with six hours to spare before the deadline.
3. A boy submitted his application on the last day. The college immediately accepted the application, so the parents went out for the evening. Shortly thereafter, the college refused the application because the credit card was drawn on a non-US bank. The boy didn't know what to do so he waited for his parents to come home, after midnight. The mother called the college the next morning, and , thankfully, the boy's application was moved back into the Early Decision pool.
Students dedicate paper, e-mail and document files for their applications, and most of these are (sometimes with a little coaching) very carefully managed. However, I've never seen a student with credit card information in those files. After these incidents this fall, one standard question I will always ask is: "How can your student access a working credit card?"
Photo courtesy Kevin Dooley, "Large Lecture College Classes," March 27, 2014, FlickrCC