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Fee waivers can reduce the cost of applying to college


Thursday, November 17, 2011
After you search for colleges and narrow down your list to those schools you can see yourself attending, it is time to begin the application process. While the cost of sending multiple applications can add up, fee waivers can provide one way to reduce this financial burden.

In a Bloomberg article, writer Mary Lowengard wrote that the average cost of a college application is $60. If you apply to more than one school, your fees will quickly reach the triple digits.

If you are concerned that the college application process will become too expensive, you should see if you are eligible to receive a waiver of your application fees. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has posted information on its Web site to help students determine if they are eligible to receive an application fee waiver.

For example, students who are eligible to receive an SAT or ACT testing fee waiver may also be eligible to receive an application fee waiver for use at colleges that participate in the Colleges Cooperating with the SAT Program Fee-Waiver Service. Additionally, you may be eligible if your family's annual income falls within the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service's Income Eligibility Guidelines, or if your family receives public assistance.

If you meet any of the eligibility requirements, you can download the application waiver form from the NACAC Web site or visit your school guidance counselor to request a copy. When filling out this document, it is important for you to complete the student section in its entirety, while a high school counselor, independent counselor or TRIO representative must also confirm that you are eligible to use the form.

Eligibility to use the waiver form does not allow you to apply to as many schools as you want. NACAC recommends applying the waiver to four schools at the most. It is important to remember that not every college and university will allow you to waive your application fees. As a result, you will want to research the schools to which you are applying before you fill out your forms. This will save you time in the event that these schools do not accept the SAT Program Fee-Waiver, or that they have their own waiver applications for you to complete.

In the event that a school does not provide fee waivers and offers no alternatives, you will typically be asked to cover the cost of your application. ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800644966-ADNFCR

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