College application fees are a sometimes overlooked expense that can stress your budget if you apply to many schools. College application costs range from $35 to $60, or more, per college.
There are exceptions. Some examples of colleges application offers include:
- Reduced application fees to students completing their applications online
- Free online application
- Application fee waiver for students who attended various on-campus admissions programs
Check with the colleges where you plan to apply.
Application Cost Waivers
Don't let application costs get in your way of applying to the colleges of your choice. If you have trouble affording the fees, you may be eligible for fee waivers.
College Board provides four fee waivers to students who previously received a fee waiver for the SAT. Students receive these waivers directly from the College Board through their College Board accounts. The colleges and universities that accept SAT waivers are listed in the SAT Fee-Waiver Directory of Colleges.
If you did not take the SAT or are applying to more than four schools, you can use the NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver. You complete this form with the help of your high school counselor.
The State University of New York (SUNY) waives the $50 application fee for up to four college choices for students facing significant financial hardship. If you are applying to a SUNY college or university, ask your school counselor to complete and submit a SUNY Fee Waiver Request Form. When you submit your application, select "Fee Waiver" as your payment method. Be aware that if a fee waiver request is submitted and you are later found ineligible, you will be required to submit payment before the application will be processed.
Learn more about SUNY application fee waivers on SUNY’s Application FAQs webpage.
The City University of New York (CUNY) ONLY accepts CUNY fee waivers. Any other type of fee waiver, including those distributed by the College Board, is not acepted. CUNY fee waivers are distributed through high school counselors/college advisors, and each is provided a very limited quantity. Contact your counselor/college advisor to request a CUNY fee waiver.