Four Tips To Save On College Application Fees

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College Application Month is underway, encouraging high-school seniors to apply at schools for the next step in their education after graduation. As students put their application plans into action they find themselves dealing with the cost of submitting their application. Facing application fees can discourage students from applying to multiple colleges or, in some cases, applying to even one college.

Many schools, however, offer means by which students can reduce or waive their application fee. With a little bit of research, students can find ways to save on applying to their target schools. Here are four tips to help:

  1. Apply online and by the deadline. Most of Iowa’s private institutions do not charge an application fee if students apply online and by the deadline.
  2. Apply to schools with no application fee. All of Iowa’s community colleges are free to apply to! Search for other schools that don’t charge application fees.
  3. Submit a fee waiver. Students can request their school counselor send this form on their behalf from the National Association for College Admission Counseling if they have a financial hardship. Students on free or reduced lunch programs often qualify for financial hardship. If a student qualified for a SAT fee waiver, they will also receive four college application fee waivers.
  4. Request a fee deferment. Due to Iowa Code, the Iowa Regent Universities can’t offer fee waivers. However, they can offer a fee deferment when the application fees present a financial hardship for the student/family. This means the student pays nothing at the time of application, but if they choose to attend that school the $40 application fee will be added to his or her university bill. This allows students to use financial aid to pay the fee.

The best way for families to learn more about application fee reduction programs is to contact the financial aid office at the school to which they are applying. Iowa College Aid’s Higher Education Center offers listings of all Iowa colleges and universities, including contact information for financial aid and admissions offices at each campus.


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