Everything you need to know about tuition fee waivers

Everything you need to know about tuition fee waivers

Most college applications require a fee. The exact amount depends on the school, but the prices commonly hover around $60. The purpose of the application fee is to help the college or university you are applying to pay for the cost of reviewing your application and making an admissions decision. A government student loan covers fees. Tuition fee waivers also reduce the Government’s student loan book’s size.

The cost of college education gets a lot of attention these days, and for a good reason: Simply applying to college can be an expensive undertaking. There is a cost of standardised tests, the application fee and travel costs for campus visits. Before you know it, you may have to spend $100 or more for each school you apply to. One way to reduce this financial burden is to obtain an application fee waiver.

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The Cost of Applying to College

According to US News & World Report, the average college application fee in 2016 was $43, while $50 was the most common application fee. The most expensive schools have prices around $80 to $90, including Stanford University, Duke University and Columbia University.

Some colleges charge no application fee, such as Averett University, Kenyon College and Carleton College. Of the colleges that do charge a small application fee, such as Wofford College, you can expect to pay around $35.

Other Costs of Applying to College

At a minimum, students will need to spend around $50 for the SAT or ACT and another $12 to have their standardised test score sent to the college they are applying to. If the student intends to mail in a paper application, there will also be postage fees.

Students who want to go out can expect to pay a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in test preparation. Then there’s the cost of an on-campus visit. This depends upon how far you live from the school or university. This might be the cost of driving across town or the price of a round-trip plane ticket and hotel room.

Who are all eligible for tuition fee waivers?

Tuition fee waivers are generally given to students who demonstrate financial need. However, some schools will allow any student to avoid paying the application fee if they meet specific requirements, such as making an official on-campus visit or more.

For students who request a fee waiver based on financial need, the exact requirements to qualify will depend on the waiver process the student is using.

For example, some schools have their fee waiver application process. However, students can expect a fee waiver if they receive government assistance based on their participation in programs for low-income families.

How to get a fee waiver?

Below we have mentioned a few processes in which you can get a fee waiver. These will require a separate student application.

The college board SAT fee waiver

Students eligible for the College Board’s SAT testing fee waiver will automatically be eligible for four college application fee waivers. Students are eligible for SAT testing fee waivers if they are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, have a family income that falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines, are enrolled in a government program for low-income students, are a member of a family that receives public assistance, are living in federally subsidised public housing or living in a foster home, or are homeless, a ward of the state, or an orphan.

Apply online

Many colleges will waive the application fee if you apply online. Examples include:

If students prefer not to apply online, they can mail a paper application, although the regular application fee will apply.

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Request directly from the school based on financial need

Most schools with application fees will allow students to apply for an application fee waiver. The process will differ for each school but often includes completing a separate form outlining their financial situation.

Legacy applicant

Some schools will grant a fee waiver for students who have parents or grandparents that attended and graduated from a particular school. One such school with this policy is Western New England University.

Visit the school

Many schools, such as the University of Pittsburgh, will provide an application fee waiver if you visit the school. The granting of this waiver does not require showing financial need. The exact process will depend on the school. For instance, the University of Pittsburgh application fee waiver requires a campus visit between June 15 and August 31. Other schools do not advertise this type of fee waiver, so you may have to contact the admissions office directly and ask for details.


If you are eligible for the ACT fee waiver, you may also be suitable for the Request for Waiver or Deferral of College Admission Application Fee. The requirements for the ACT fee waiver are very similar to the SAT fee waiver.

Simply ask for one

If you are a prized candidate with excellent test scores and a stellar high school GPA, ask for a fee waiver, and you just might receive it. This strategy will usually work best when you have numbers well above the average for accepted students.

Apply as an international student

If you are applying as an international student, some schools will waive the application fee. Ithaca College is an example of a college with this benefit.

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) fee waiver

The NACAC allows students to apply to up to four colleges without having to pay the application fee. A student will be eligible for a NACAC college application fee waiver if they meet the SAT or ACT testing fee waiver requirements.

While most colleges and universities will accept a NACAC college application fee waiver, not all of them will.

Realise your college potential program

High school students in the top 10-15% of their class but bottom third in family income may be eligible to participate in the Realize Your College Potential program, sponsored by the College Board. Eligible students will receive special packets with information about choosing, applying and attending college, as well as application fee waivers.

Special invitation

Students who express interest in a school, such as providing contact information at a college recruitment fair or considering playing a sport at the school, may receive a special invitation to apply for free. In other instances, the invitation to apply with a waived application fee can be unsolicited.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What precisely does tuition fee waiver imply?

Ans. Tuition Fees Waiver is a grant offered by the federal government of India wherein they pay your tuition cost. As a result, the slots for fee waivers and non-fee waivers are identical. It’s only that if you fall within the TWF group, your costs will be lower.

Q2. Do you qualify for a tuition fee waiver?

Ans. Tuition exemptions are often granted to students having financial hardship. However, some institutions will waive the application cost for any student who meets certain criteria, like making an authentic on-campus tour or more.

Q3. How does one go about getting a charge waived?

Ans. Here’s how to have your charge waived:

  • Request SAT and ACT fee exemptions. The costs associated with college applications begin with standardised testing expenses.
  • Request fee exemptions for college applications.
  • Find institutions that do not charge an application fee.
  • Request that the college waive the charges.

Q4. Is a tuition waiver equivalent to a scholarship?

Ans. Scholarships are frequently given for above-average scores or other accomplishments, abilities, and/or community activity. A tuition waiver is provided by your selected school and minimises the amount charged by the college.

Q5. How long does it take to apply for a fee waiver?

Ans. Usually, you should anticipate to wait 4 weeks for the response. You will be issued a code if you are permitted a fee waiver.

This was our blog on everything you need to know about tuition fee waivers for any university abroad. More or less, all abroad countries follow the same procedures and the criteria is also the same.

We genuinely hope we helped resolve any query you would have had.

Good luck!

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