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What You Need to Know About the College Application Fee Waiver

Last updated October 26, 2023

College application fees are expensive, and add up quickly as you expand the range of colleges you’re applying to. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to receive an application fee waiver and save some money. Here are some ways you can save money on college application fees!

Screenshot that links to guide on how to get your college application fee waiver - What You Need to Know About the College Application Fee Waiver

Income Fee Waivers

There are multiple ways a student is identified to be considered income eligible for an application waiver.

  • You are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the federal free or reduced price lunch program (FRPL).
  • You have received or are eligible to receive an SAT or ACT fee waiver.
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., GEAR UP, TRIO such as Upward Bound or others).
  • You live in a federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless.
  • You have received or are eligible to receive the Pell Grant.
  • You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.

If you qualify for a fee waiver and have taken the SAT with a fee waiver or as part of an SAT School Day administration while in high school, you’ll automatically receive college application fee waivers in your online College Board account to use when applying to college for the 2024-2025 academic year. You should submit the forms along with your college applications, and only to institutions listed here. If you think you’re eligible for college application fee waivers but didn’t receive them online, talk to your counselor.

Campus Waivers 

Beyond being income eligible, some colleges allow you to request a waiver directly from the college. If your family is facing hardship, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a waiver. Waiver requests have zero impact on your admission decision.

Common Application (No Fee, No Problem!)

Nearly half of common application schools do not have an application fee. Using the common application college search tool can help you identify colleges that have the best deal on application fees, FREE!

Don’t let an application fee hold you back from applying for the college of your dreams! Explore all options and advocate for yourself if you can't cover the costs. 

Have any questions about the college application process? Just text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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