7 Ways to Get College Application Fees Waived or Reduced

When snapping back-to-school pics this year, I confess to shedding a tear. And not only because I was feeling sentimental. As my 16-year-old heads into the last year of high school, the milestone is hitting me in the feels — and the family budget.

In addition to the cost of having a high school senior (like the eye-popping insurance premiums for teen drivers), we also need to start forking over college application fees.

At a time when every dime goes towards that looming college tuition bill and related expensesfinding bandwidth in the budget to just apply to college can be challenging.

How Much Do College Application Fees Cost?

Brace yourself: Nothing about applying to college is cheap or easy.

US News & World Report indicates the average fee for applying to a college is $45but some Ivy League schools demand application fees as high as $100.

Admissions experts suggest students apply to at least three colleges — or improve your odds by applying to as many as five to eight schools. That places the cost of applying to college somewhere between an affordable $180 and a whopping $1,000. Ouch.

3 Ways to Get a College Application Fee Waiver

If the cost of applying to college isn’t in your budget, there are options. Many schools offer college application fee waivers to low-income families and those who may need financial aid.

Here are just a few ways you can snag a waiver for college fees and details on how to apply.

1. Qualify for a College Board Fee Waiver

If you qualified for the College Board SAT or ACT fee waiver, chances are you also qualify for fee waivers to over 2,000 schools nationwide. The process is straightforward, said Tobi Kinsellsenior executive director for College Advising Corps.

“A student with financial need may request an ACT or SAT test fee waiver before signing up to take the SAT or ACT,” Kinsell said. “When the student requests a test fee waiver, they are also eligible to receive college application fee.. .

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