What Fee Waivers are Available in the College Process?

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From registering for standardized tests to completing the CSS Profile, the college application process involves several different fees. This can add up over time, especially if you’re applying to a lot of schools. 

Here are a few of the most important few waivers in the college application process:

College Admissions Tests

SAT Waivers

Eligible students can get a fee waiver for the SAT, which covers two free SATs (with or without the essay), six free SAT Subject Tests, and unlimited score reports to send to colleges. You can also get 2 free Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports.

Students are generally eligible if they qualify for help from community based organizations or government assistance program such as the National School Lunch Program. If you have any inkling your student might qualify, your teen should ask their high school counselor if they could recommend them.

Note: SAT waivers cover simple SAT registration and score reporting. You may pay for fees to receive rushed scores or change your test center or test date.

ACT Waivers

The ACT also offers fee waivers to eligible students, which cover the registration fee for the ACT (with or without writing), one report to their high school, up to six score reports at the time of registration, and up to 20 additional score reports after registration. Students can use a maximum of two separate ACT fee waivers. Free test prep tools are included, but additional products and materials aren’t. 

College Applications

If you received an SAT fee waiver, you get unlimited application fee waivers at participating colleges.

If you received or are eligible for an SAT or ACT fee waiver, you may be eligible for college application fee waivers. The process for requesting fee waivers, however, is different depending on which application you’re filling out and test you took.

If you’re using the Common Application, indicate on your profile page that you’ll be using a fee waiver and select at least one indicator of economic need from the list provided.

The Common Application can be a bit easier to get a fee waiver for than the SAT and ACT tests. In addition to the reasons stated for approval of their fee waivers, the Common App also allows you to seek approval for other economic circumstances. You’ll need “a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.”

If you received an SAT fee waiver, you get unlimited application fee waivers at participating colleges.

Then, there are the fee waivers that require submitting a form. For example, if you received an ACT fee waiver, you are eligible to use their Request for Waiver or Deferral of College Admission Application Fee Form. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) also offers a Request for Application Fee Waiver Form to students with limited financial resources. These forms can be used to contact schools directly.

Finally, you can also contact prospective colleges and ask for a fee waiver directly. Depending on the college, they might have different requirements, so you should ask their admissions offices for specific details.

CSS Profile Application

Another part of the college application process is filling out the CSS Profile, which costs $25 for the initial CSS Profile and one college or program report and $16 for each additional report. The CSS profile is a financial aid request form that some schools require beyond the FAFSA with detailed income and assets information.

Eligible students can receive a CSS Profile fee waiver, which covers all application and reporting fees. Reasons for receiving a CSS Profile fee waiver include receiving the SAT waiver, being an orphan or ward of the court under 24, or meeting family income requirements.

5 Key Takeaways

  • Fee waivers are a possibility for everything from college admissions tests to application for eligible students.
  • Eligibility for the SAT and ACT fee waivers consider more than just income. Students qualify because of enrollment in a community program. 
  • The number of college application fee waivers are more larger and simpler for SAT test takers.
  • The common application offers fee waivers for both ACT and SAT test takers.
  • The CSS Profile fee waiver can help students apply to get financial aid at a variety of schools.

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