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How to get a college application fee waiver

By on March 23, 2021 0

College application fees can add up quickly, with some schools charging up to $ 90 just for applying. If you can’t afford these fees, don’t worry, you may be able to get a college application fee waiver.

Application fee waivers allow you to apply to college for free so that you can save your money for future school expenses. Here’s our list of what you need to know about what a college application fee waiver is and how to get fee waivers for your college applications.

What is a fee waiver?
How To Get Fee Waivers For Your College Applications: 4 Best Programs
Don’t let the application fees stop you from applying

What is a fee waiver?

The college application fee waivers fully cover your application fees, so you can search for schools without worrying about the application cost to each. Although not all colleges accept waivers, thousands of schools do.

Carrie Warick, director of policy and advocacy at the National College Access Network, said fee waivers can help remove barriers to admission faced by many low-income students.

“Lowering all fees would help students think more broadly about where they go to college, but our first goal would be to expand the availability and use of fee waivers for low-income students. “said Warick.

Some college application fee waiver programs require proof of your household income, so it’s a good idea to research pay stubs or tax returns ahead of time to streamline the process.

How To Get Fee Waivers For Your College Applications: 4 Best Programs

If you are struggling to find the money to apply to colleges, these programs might help.

1. Exemption from board fees
2. Waiver of common application
3. Waiver of NACAC Application Fee
4. Individual college programs

1. Exemption from board fees

Income-eligible students can get an exemption from SAT or SAT subject testing and apply for free to as many colleges as they want.

The College Board’s SAT and College Application Fee Waiver Program is available to low-income students in their first or second year of high school. You are eligible for exemptions if you meet any of these university fee exemption requirements:

  • You are eligible for the National School Meals Program (NSLP).
  • Your household income is within USDA Food and Nutrition Service limits Income Eligibility Guidelines.
  • You are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that helps students from low-income families.
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You live with a host family.
  • You participate in a federally subsidized public housing program.
  • You are homeless.
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan.

To find out how to obtain fee exemption for your college admission applications through the College Board, contact your secondary education advisor. You will need to show proof of eligibility, such as your family’s income tax returns or proof of your enrollment in a government program.

2. Waiver of common application

Almost 900 schools allow students to use the Common application to apply. Using the app, students can complete a single application and submit it to all schools on their list.

Schools that use the Common App are trying to ensure that the fees won’t deter students from applying. If you’re in dire financial straits, Common App’s fee waiver can help.

The Common App waiver has the same eligibility requirements as the College Board waiver. You can request this in the common app and your school counselor will be asked to confirm your information.

3. Waiver of NACAC Application Fee

To help make the university more accessible to everyone, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is also offering a college application fee waiver.

The NACAC waiver has the same eligibility requirements as the College Board and Common Application waivers. However, NACAC requires you to send the application directly to the school of your choice.

NACAC recommends using its fee waiver to apply to a maximum of four schools.

4. Individual college programs

If you are not eligible for the above programs or have already used your exemption for four schools, don’t worry, this still isn’t the end of the story. You may be able to benefit from a fee waiver directly from the colleges you choose.

Many schools have their own waiver programs, including institutions like Dartmouth and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

School-specific exemption programs may have more flexible eligibility requirements. For example, Dartmouth offers pre-approved waivers for military veterans and students who have participated in the Dartmouth Bound campus tour programs.

If you need a waiver, contact the school’s financial aid office and explain your situation. You may be eligible for programs you didn’t know existed.

Don’t let the application fees stop you from applying

Choosing a college can be overwhelming and stressful. The last thing you need to worry about is the cost of apps.

If the application fee is too expensive for you, check out the tuition waiver programs so you can focus on getting your application (and the dreaded admission test) perfect.

Already accepted at your favorite school? If you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for four years of college (or more), check out this article on scholarships that cover tuition fees and more.

Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.

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