Applying to college or graduate school can cost a couple of dollars, making it unaffordable for some to even consider applying. Application fees can range anywhere from $0 - $180 in the United States. While the cost of these fees has a potential of serving as a major deterrent to some students from applying to their preferred school of choice, it is important to be aware that, in certain cases, these fees can be waived. This post will highlight different ways you can take as a prospective student to increase your chances of securing an application fee waiver.
1. Request for an application fee waiver
If you never ask for what you want, you will probably never receive what could have been yours, in this case, an application fee waiver. If you cannot afford the application fee of the program or school of your interest, it doesn't hurt to reach out to the admission's office via phone or email to make your request known. Even if your request ends up not being approved, at least you will know you made an attempt.
2. Visit the school
A number of schools will offer an application fee waiver to prospective applicants as a way of enticing them to tour their campus or meet with the admission's team with the hopes of getting them to apply to their program/institution.
3. Attend a virtual information session
A number of institutions host virtual sessions at various times of the year during the application season. Registering and participating in these sessions portrays a prospective student as a potential and serious candidate considering the institution as a choice of study. Usually, recruiters or admission officers will email an application fee waiver code after the session to attendees as a 'thank you' or an incentive to encourage them to apply to their school.
4. Apply early
Once the application window opens, a prospective student is completely at liberty to submit their application at any time before the deadline. However, there are some institutions that may provide a waiver code to be used within a set time, as a way to encourage applicants to submit an early application. Failure to use the code within the set time given would prove invalid when used at a later time, so it's important applicants take advantage of the opportunity if interested in applying to the institution.
5. Subscribe to the mailing list
One of the most popular ways institutions communicate with prospective applicants is via email. Most pertinent information regarding the application and admissions are usually emailed to prospective students who've subscribed to the mailing list. Every now and then, an application fee waiver code would be sent out of the blue to subscribers in an effort to encourage them to hasten their application.
By utilizing application fee waivers, applicants tend to save money, especially when they intend on applying to multiple schools. However, there could be a possibility that you could be denied an application fee waiver even if you followed all of the 5 ways listed above. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that education is an investment, and application fees may be one of such costs you may have to incur in your pursuit of higher education.