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How do I get a College Application Fee Waiver?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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There are several ways you can obtain a college application fee waiver form. Your high school guidance counselor, who must assist you in completing the form, might have a copy of the form or the means to obtain one. Also, you can contact the college’s admissions office directly or even research organizations that help students apply for college. More important than obtaining a waiver form is meeting the college’s requirements for waiving college application fees. Typically, these requirements concentrate on financial need.

To get an actual application fee waiver form for the college or university you’re applying to, talk to your high school’s guidance counselor or equivalent. If your guidance counselor doesn’t have the form, either you or he can contact the admissions department at the college or university and request one. Some colleges and universities will accept a statement from your guidance counselor on your high school’s letterhead stating you meet the requirements to receive an application fee waiver.

You and your counselor might be able to simplify the college application process by completing a generic application fee waiver form. The availability of this kind of form, as well as whether the colleges and universities will accept it, depends on factors such as where you live and the college you’re applying to. In the United States, for example, the National Association for College Admission Counseling provides a universal form for students and counselors. Note that the availability of this kind of form doesn’t guarantee your choice colleges will accept the form or waive their application fees. Therefore, it’s best to check for an official form from each college first, or at least ask if the college accepts the generic form.

Since not all applicants attend traditional secondary schools, some colleges and universities have application requirements in place for homeschooled students. If you were homeschooled, the college might accept a statement from your parents or allow your parents to help you complete the form. Be sure to talk with an admissions representative from the college before proceeding with the application fee waiver process.

Before you proceed in applying for waivers for your college application fees, make sure you meet each school’s requirements for waiving college application fees. These requirements vary by college, but usually focus on your or your family’s financial status. Typically, this means an eligible applicant’s family must meet a certain annual income requirement. Other eligibility markers might include the applicant being a ward of the state or the applicant transitioning directly from high school to college. Some colleges and universities might extend an application fee waiver for students who were eligible for other kinds of assistance, such as reduced meals at the high school or the SAT Fee Waiver Service.

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