How to Request a College Fee Waiver—and Get It

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How to Request a College Fee Waiver—and Get It

It’s no secret that college tuitions in the U.S. cost an arm and a leg. Many students look for a way to save as much money as possible when applying for their desired schools, and that’s where fee waivers come in handy.

In this guide, you’ll learn if you’re eligible for a fee waiver and how to get it hassle-free.

What Is a Fee Waiver?

Even though college application fees usually aren’t too pricey since the majority of universities charge around $50, most students apply for multiple safety schools. That’s why they have to pay hundreds of dollars for application fees and other college-related expenses, such as:

  • High school tests
  • On-campus visits
  • Test preparation

If you want to apply to more than one school but can’t afford to spend too much money on an application, you can try getting a fee waiver form and sending your college application for free.

You can even apply for a fee waiver for high school tests such as SAT and ACT and save hundreds of dollars that way as well.

Do All Colleges Charge an Application Fee?

Not all schools charge application fees. Some of the colleges with no application fee are:

  • Saint Martin’s University, Washington
  • Trinity University, Texas
  • Columbia College, South Carolina
  • Hilbert College, New York
  • Brandman University, California

The average application fee price is around $50, but some universities—such as the University of California, San Diego—charge about $100, which is super pricey. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular universities and their average application fees:

SchoolAverage Application Fee
Princeton University (NJ)$70
Harvard University (MA)$75
Columbia University (NY)$85
Yale University (CT)$80
University of Chicago$75

Who’s Eligible for Getting a College Application Fee Waiver Automatically?

If you get a fee waiver for your ACT and SAT, you won’t have to pay college fees either. You’ll automatically be able to send your application for free.

How To Get a Fee Waiver for Your College Application

Want to get a fee waiver on your own? You have a few options to do so, and we will explain them all.

Request an SAT Fee Waiver

By having your SAT fees waived, you have the possibility to apply for four colleges without having to pay an application fee.

Look for Free Online Applications

Some schools don’t charge an application fee if students apply online, so check if that’s the case with your desired college.

Talk With Your Counselor

Your high school counselor should be able to tell you how to proceed with your fee waiver request based on the university you’re interested in, your financial situation, and other fee waiver-related requirements. He/she should also have the right fee waiver form and explain how to complete it. Don’t forget—you’ll probably want to get the counselor’s signature to maximize your chances of having the fees waived.

Ask the Schools You’re Interested in for a Fee Waiver Form

It might happen that your school counselor doesn’t have the necessary forms or that you can’t get in touch with him/her because of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. In that case, you can ask the schools you’re interested in to send you their fee waiver forms.

Take Advantage of Your Legacy

Some colleges offer free applications to students whose parents or grandparents attended a certain school.

Apply as an International Student

International students don’t have to pay an application fee for most universities.

Visit the School in Question

Getting your fees waived is sometimes as simple as visiting the college you’re interested in. You should find out if the university in question offers that option.

Request a National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Fee Waiver

The majority of schools accept the college application fee waiver from the NACAC. If you meet the NACAC requirements, you’ll be able to apply for up to four schools without having to pay the application fee.

Consider Participating in the Realize Your College Potential Program

If you’re eligible to participate in the Realize Your College Potential program, you’ll get college application fee waivers.

Request a Fee Waiver via Common App

If you use the Common App to apply for college, you can take advantage of their fee waiver feature.

Apply for Colleges That Don’t Charge an Application Fee

This one is obvious, but it is an option to keep in mind if none of the previous resources work. If your request for a fee waiver was rejected, you can always apply for a school with no application fee.

Get Your College Application Fee Waiver the Easy Way—Rely on DoNotPay

DoNotPay has the best solution for getting a fee waiver fast and easy. Besides helping you save money, DoNotPay’s College Application Fee Waiver feature ensures you save a lot of time by making the process super simple.

With us, you can waive three types of fees:

  1. New Student
  2. Transfer Student
  3. Enrollment Deposit

DoNotPay can help you obtain a counselor’s signature if you think it could help you with your fee waiver request.

If you want to try out our helpful tool, and get a fee waiver effortlessly, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your DoNotPay account from a
  2. Click on College Application Fee Waiver
  3. Pick one of the fee waivers
  4. Select the school you’re applying for
  5. Answer a few questions
  6. Let us know if you want to obtain a counselor’s signature

DoNotPay will then complete the form, compose a formal email, and send it to a counselor—if you need his/her signature—or directly to the college in question.

Fee Waiver Requirements Explained

Colleges usually approve fee waivers to students with financial difficulties. Some universities grant fee waivers to any student who shows up for an official on-campus visit or meets other requirements.

Since each college has a different fee waiver application procedure and requirements, you should do research on the school you’re interested in or rely on DoNotPay to help you out!

Other Issues DoNotPay Can Help You With

Besides helping you get your fees waived and apply for any U.S. college for free, DoNotPay can also help cancel any subscription you don’t need. As a student, you have probably subscribed to many services that offer help with homework and studying, such as Chegg, Course Hero, and Study Edge. With DoNotPay, you can terminate your subscription in a few clicks!

Binge-watching is fun, but once the exams start, you’ll appreciate DoNotPay’s awesome feature and cancel Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, and similar streaming services in less than two minutes.

We can also help you get a Chegg refund or start a free trial on the same platform without being charged. DoNotPay offers a wide variety of useful tools to help you deal with everyday issues stress-free. Access your account in a , and we will assist you in:

Want your issue solved now?