How to Get a College Application Fee Waiver

You can save money on college admissions by getting a fee waiver to apply to colleges for free. This article will tell you about different ways to get an Application Fee Waiver and their requirements.

Updated by Kashish C on 26th February 2020

Expenses keep adding up once you go to college from tuition fees to living expenses. Even before you go to college you have to pay for application fees just to get the college to consider your application. With the help of a fee waiver, you can save up money on application fees.

Before we get started you may wanna know what is a fee waiver?

A college application fee waiver allows you to apply to college without paying an application fee. There are different types of fee waivers, some colleges even offer to waive off your college tuition fees if they think that you are an exceptional candidate.

The SAT fee waiver and Application fee waiver are the most commons ones offered and in this article, we tell you different ways to get an application fee waiver for more than one application.

How Much Do College Applications Cost?

College application fee differs from college to college but most colleges charge at least $30.

You have to pay application fees for every single college that you apply to, yes, you heard that right and it doesn't end there. Applying to colleges like NYU and Duke University will charge you a hefty application fee of $70 to $90. 

The wise thing to do is to apply to more than 3 colleges to have a better chance of acceptance to at least one college. If you apply to a lot of colleges the cost can quickly add up and you will be paying $500 on application fees and that is after having to pay for SAT and ACT fees and for books and study materials for standardized tests.


There is a solution, you can get an application fee waiver and save money on more than one college application thanks to us.

The easiest thing you can do is to apply to colleges that don’t require any application fees such as Carleton College and Yale University but not all colleges offer that. Fee waivers can help you a lot in that situation especially if you are applying to more than 5 colleges.

Cost of College Applications

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How Do You Qualify for College Application Fee Waivers?

There are multiple different things such as your grade and the financial situation in your family that comes under consideration for a college application fee waiver. 

Apply online

The second easiest thing you can do after applying to colleges that don’t have application fees is applying to colleges online. There are several colleges that don’t ask for application fees if you apply online such as Manchester University and the University of Hartford. And let’s be honest, it's easier to apply to colleges online than to mail your application.

Check SAT eligibility 

If you were eligible for College Board SAT fee waiver then you also qualify for college application fee waiver. The guidelines for both SAT and College Application Fee Waiver is the same making you eligible for both or none. This way you can save up Application fee and SAT fee

Fill Waiver Requests Forms

The students can use a NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver Form or Common App if there is financial need. Students can apply up to 4 colleges using NACAC. It is important to remember that not all colleges will accept NACAC.

Common App Fee Waiver form can help you apply to colleges for free if you are a first-generation college student. If you are the first person to go to college from your family then you are eligible for a Common Application Fee Waiver. Apart from that, there are several other things that make you qualified for a fee waiver like being a ward of the state.

Request the College Directly

You can also directly request an application fee waiver to the admissions office. You fill waiver requests forms or mail waiver requests showing financial need. If your high school counseller requests the college for a fee waiver on your behalf on the bases of financial hardships in your family or any other genuine reason then there is a great chance the college will let you apply without any application fees. 

If nothing works out then there are other ways that you can try such as 

  • If you have a great SAT score, an excellent application with good academic scores and lots of extracurricular activities and are better than most of the applicants then you can simply just ask for an application fee waiver. The standard for this is very high the chances of students getting this is less but if you are really phenomenally good then you can ask the admissions office.

  • Colleges want international students to help them promote culture and diversity and because of that, you can get your application fee waiver by just being an international student. 

  • If you had attended college recruitment fair and had shown interest by filling up a form online or something similar, then chances are that you could get an invitation to apply for free.

One of these methods will surely help you get at least 1 college application fee waiver. But If that’s not the case talk to your school counselor to see if there is anything they can do for you based on your need or just pay for the application fees and try to get other methods of financial help. There are several organizations that want you to help you get loans and scholarships to ease the financial burden on you.