Online Colleges with No Application Fees

College application fees can add up to hundreds of dollars for the average student. Find online colleges with no application fees and fee waivers.

February 24, 2022

Online Colleges with No Application Fees

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How to Find Schools Where You Can Apply for Free

Applying to even a handful of colleges can end up costing hundreds of dollars, with most application fees costing between $40 and $60. Most colleges and universities charge a nonrefundable application fee for processing a prospective student’s application. Some schools offer application fee waivers to students who qualify. Other institutions do not charge an application fee to any student who wants to apply. Students should seek out online colleges with no application fees to reduce expenses.

College Application Fee Waivers

Application fees can sometimes be waived in certain situations. For example, applicants who cannot afford the fee or meet special requirements, like being an in-state resident, do not need to pay it.

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.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs Picked for You

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

How to get a fee waiver

Students can obtain a fee waiver directly from a school in two primary ways.

If the student is using the Common Application, there will be a question that asks if the student believes they are eligible for a fee waiver and if so, the basis for the request. The student can choose from many reasons to automatically qualify for a fee waiver, such as receiving public assistance. Other reasons include being eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program or living in federally subsidized housing. Learners who can show a supporting statement from a school counselor, financial aid officer, or other similar official may also qualify.

If the student is not using the Common Application, they should check with each individual school to determine the fee waiver request process. Many times this means asking for a specific form or submitting a letter explaining the basis for the fee waiver request.

Other than financial need, application fee waivers can be granted if the student:

Schools that offer application fee waivers include:

Universities and Online Colleges With No Application Fee

Even applying to college can be expensive. Most colleges and universities charge a nonrefundable application fee of $50 to $80, even if the applicant is not accepted to that school. And since most students apply to many schools, application fee costs can add up. Luckily, there are many online colleges with no application fees.

Students who plan to attend college online can benefit from more program options. Degree-seekers can attend an online program from any school nationwide since they do not need to relocate to enroll.


BEREA COLLEGE

Tuition: None

Berea College is a historically progressive college that provides a full scholarship to every admitted student. However, students must work at least 10 hours per week during school.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: N/A


CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

Tuition :$61,040

A small private school with about 5,000 undergraduates, Case Western is known for its top-notch research. The school offers a variety of graduate programs.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes, with three options to choose from.


LEWIS AND CLARK COLLEGE

Tuition: $57,404

Located in Portland, Oregon, Lewis and Clark College offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with an extensive study abroad program.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes


MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY

Tuition: $44,970

As Wisconsin’s largest private university, Marquette is a Catholic coeducational institution. It offers students hundreds of degrees to choose from, with many courses now available online.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes


REED COLLEGE

Tuition: $62,420

A private liberal arts school, Reed College provides its students with a strong foundation for later graduate work with its mandatory humanities curriculum and senior year thesis requirement.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes


SAINT BONAVENTURE UNIVERSITY

Tuition: $37,620

A private university affiliated with the Franciscan Catholic church that is most well-known for its journalism programs.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes


SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY

Tuition: Varies by department

Saint Louis University offers almost 200 undergraduate and graduate programs and has a campus in Madrid, Spain.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes, both interest-accruing and interest-free (but enrollment fee) options.


TULANE UNIVERSITY

Tuition: $60,814

Tulane offers fantastic off-campus activity options for its students, given how it’s located in New Orleans, while also offering distance learning opportunities.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Yes


UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

Tuition: None

This storied U.S. military academy provides a world-class education without charging tuition. However, students must provide active-duty service after graduation.

Tuition Payment Plan Availability: Not applicable

The College Board, the body that governs and administers the SAT, offers a list of schools that let students apply for free. It also provides information on schools offering fee waivers and how to get them.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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