How to get a college tuition waiver – Forbes Advisor
Editorial Note: Forbes Advisor may charge a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but this does not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
Most people would agree that college is expensive. But costs generally considered high include tuition, accommodation, meal plans, and textbooks.
What a lot of students don’t take into account is the total cost you will pay in college tuition. Applying to multiple schools can cost you hundreds of dollars.
If you cannot afford the fees, you may be eligible for a college registration fee waiver that allows you to apply for free. Here’s how you can take advantage of a filing fee waiver and other ways to reduce filing fees.
How much does it cost to apply to colleges?
Most universities charge application fees. In general, prestigious schools, such as Ivy League institutions, charge higher fees than other colleges.
In 2020, the average application fee was $ 44. However, some schools charge a lot more. For example, the University of California charges $ 105, while Stanford University charges $ 90.
While a school’s fees don’t seem too high at first, be aware that education experts typically recommend that students enroll in five to eight schools to give them the best chance of being accepted.
If you follow this guideline, the application fee could cost hundreds. If you apply to eight schools and each costs $ 44 on average, you would only pay $ 352 in application fees. This cost is in addition to all of your other education-related expenses, such as travel to campus, standardized tests, and tuition.
What is a university registration fee waiver?
For many students, tuition fees are simply unaffordable. If you cannot afford the school registration fee, you may be eligible for a college registration fee waiver. Income-eligible students who are eligible for a waiver can apply to the schools at no cost.
There is no single university tuition waiver that works for all schools; there are three different waiver programs that you can use when applying to different schools.
1. Exemption from the fees of the Board of Directors of the College
If you qualify for a test fee waiver for the SAT or ACT, you may also qualify for a College Board application fee waiver. If you are eligible, you can use it to apply to thousands of colleges for free.
To request a College Board registration fee waiver, contact your high school counselor for assistance. Your advisor may ask you for additional information or documents, such as tax returns or your family’s pay stubs, as they are required to verify your eligibility for the program.
If you plan to apply to multiple colleges, be aware that you can use the waiver as many times as you want.
2. Exemption from common application fees
Thanks to the common application, you can apply to several schools at the same time. While you still have to pay an application fee for each application, you only need to enter your information once and you don’t have to write multiple personal essays.
To get a fee waiver, your school counselor will need to verify your information, so contact them for assistance. As with the College Board fee waiver, the Common Application requires school counselors to confirm that the information you submit is accurate.
You can use the Common Application fee waiver to apply to multiple schools for free.
3. Exemption from NACAC fees
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has its own waiver program for low-income students. Unlike the other two programs, the NACAC usually limits the number of schools you can apply to with the waiver. Students can use the waiver for up to four applications, but you may be eligible for additional waivers in special circumstances.
Normally, NACAC requires students to request waivers through their high school counselor. However, the NACAC has revised its rules due to the coronavirus pandemic. If getting a signature from an advisor would cause you difficulty, you may be eligible for a waiver without it.
How do fee waivers work?
Not all colleges accept tuition waivers, but there are thousands that do.
Schools often have their own rules for how tuition fee exemptions are handled. Before applying, contact the college admissions office to see what information or forms they need.
Typically, you complete the application form and check a box indicating that you will pay with a fee waiver. You usually need to mail or email the fee waiver to the admissions department afterward.
How to get a waiver of university registration fees
For all three fee waiver programs, students must meet one of the following requirements:
• You are qualified for a SAT / ACT test waiver
• You are registered or eligible for the National School Lunch Program
• Your household income meets USDA Food and Nutrition Service income eligibility criteria.
• You are enrolled in a federal or state program that helps low-income families, such as Upward Bound
• Your family receives public assistance or social benefits
• You live in federally subsidized public housing, are in foster care or are homeless
• You are a ward of the State or are an orphan
If you are not sure if you are eligible, talk to your high school guidance counselor about your options.
3 other strategies to save on college applications
If you do not qualify for a waiver, there are still ways to save money on administration fees.
1. Find schools that don’t charge fees
While many colleges and universities charge an application fee, there are several that do not. You can save money by narrowing down your search and only applying to schools that don’t charge a fee.
To get started, use the College Board’s search tool to find colleges that accept fee waivers or that don’t charge an application fee.
2. Visit in person
Some schools offer incentives to encourage potential students to visit campus or speak with the admissions department. The college may waive your application fee if you meet these conditions, regardless of your income.
For example, Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., Will waive the $ 30 application fee for applicants applying online or interviewing on campus.
The University of Pittsburgh is waiving the $ 55 registration fee for students who apply online or register for online events.
3. Check with the admissions department
Some universities have their own fee waiver programs for students who do not meet the waiver criteria for other programs. With these programs, you will receive a college tuition waiver code that you can use to apply online.
Contact the admissions office at your selected school to see if there is a specific exemption code you can use.
Planning for college
By using the college registration fee waivers, you can save money during the application process and be considered for admission without worrying about the cost.
Once you are accepted, you can start thinking about how to pay for your education. You can begin the financial aid application process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).