Fee Waivers Based on Financial Need
SAT Fee Waivers
The College Board offers a comprehensive set of services to assist students for whom payment of fees for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests may be a barrier to testing and applying to college. Learn more
College Application Fee Waivers
Which students are eligible and how they can apply
With the college application fee averaging $35–50, applying to several colleges can be expensive for any student. It may be prohibitive for some families, especially those on the lower end of the economic scale. Students and their parents need to know that they may be eligible for waivers of these fees
The fee waiver request forms described below should be given out on the basis of family financial hardship by the high school’s counselor
. After the student completes a waiver, the high school counselor may be asked to detail the student's financial hardship in writing.
NACAC fee waiver form
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) provides a form called the "Request for Application Fee Waiver" to be completed by students with the help of their high school counselor. This document, which can download from the NACAC site
, is updated annually.
Students are eligible to use the form if:
- Student has received or is eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
- Student is enrolled in or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL).
- Student's annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
- Student is enrolled in a federal, state or local program that aids student from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
- Student's family receives public assistance.
- Student lives in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or is homeless.
- Student is a ward of the state or an orphan.
Suggested annual family income guidelines for this waiver depend on family size. However, income is not the only determining factor in application fee waivers; many are based on the high school counselor's personal knowledge of family circumstances.
College Board fee waiver form
Students who have taken advantage of the College Board's SAT® Fee-Waiver Service
— which covers the basic test fees for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests™ — may also be eligible for up to four application fee waivers
High school counselors received these "Request for Waiver of College Application Fee" forms as part of the SAT Program fee-waiver materials shipped to during the summer, and can distribute to students as necessary. If high school counselors need additional forms, they can call the Educator Helpline at 888-SAT-HELP (728-4357). For more information, see the Counselor's Guide to Fee Waivers for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests
(.pdf/1.1MB). Requires Adobe Reader
(latest version recommended).
Note that students may have to include a copy of the SAT fee waiver form with the application fee waiver request form.
To be eligible for SAT Program fee waivers (and thus for up to four college application fee waivers), a student must be either an American citizen or a foreign national who is testing in the United States or U.S. territories. Eligibility is determined by family income or by participation in a public assistance or other program for economically disadvantaged families. The income guidelines are based on those of the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.
Maximum of four
Students must understand that each student can receive and use up to four "Request for Waiver of College Application Fee" forms. Forms should be sent with the student’s applications to institutions that are listed in the SAT Fee-Waiver Directory of Colleges
Individual colleges' policies
Although most colleges follow the general guidelines of the NACAC and College Board for determining fee waiver recipients, individual institutions' policies vary. SUNY, CUNY and many of the private colleges and institutions in New York State have provided information and it is detailed here