College Application Fee Waivers
Application fees can sometimes be waived in certain situations, such as when the applicant is unable to afford the fee or meets special requirements, such as visiting the school or being an in-state resident.
How the fee waiver works
This will depend on the school offering them and the basis for the fee waiver. For example, fee waivers granted on financial need can be obtained directly from the school or from the College Board. Students who are eligible to take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests with a fee waiver will automatically be eligible to apply to up to four of the more than 2,000 participating colleges and universities with no application fee.
How to get a fee waiver
If obtaining a fee waiver directly from the school, there are two primary ways to go about it.
If the student is using the Common Application, there will be a question which asks if the student believes they are eligible for a fee waiver and if so, the basis for the request. There will be several reasons the student can choose from for which they will usually automatically qualify for a fee waiver. The reasons include: eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program, receiving public assistance, living in federally subsidized housing or a supporting statement from a school counselor, financial aid officer or other similar official.
If the student isn’t using the Common Application, they should check with each individual school to determine the exact fee waiver request process. Many times this means asking for a specific form or sending in a letter that contains information forming the basis for the fee waiver request.
Other than financial need, application fee waivers can be granted if the student:
- Applies online
- Is a legacy applicant with a parent or grandparent who has already graduated from the school
- Makes an official college visit
- Is a member of a special group, such as the US Armed Forces
- Is being recruited by an athletic team
Schools that offer application fee waivers include: