Colleges With No Application Fee

In today’s economy, people are beginning to wonder about the benefits of going to college and earning a college degree.

It is true that in recent years college grads are having a harder and harder time finding employment –a fact typically applies to new graduates.

The rising cost of a college degree is nigh outrageous, yet the rising cost of not going to college are about the same.

Here are some compelling reasons to show that earning a college degree is still more beneficial than not.

A college grad earns more than a non-grad.

The earnings gap between Millennials with a bachelor’s degree and those without is widening year over year.

Benefits go beyond financial earnings. College-educated Millennials are more likely to be married and less likely to be living in their parents’ home.

College grads find more satisfaction with their jobs. The cost of not going to college is rising.

Compared to earlier generations, Millennials with only a high school diploma are suffering more economically.

College grads agree that a college degree is worth it. Approximately 90% of college graduates believe that their investment in college is or will be worthwhile.

College majors matter more than you know. Science and engineering majors are more likely to stay in a career related to their field of study than other majors. They are also the least likely to say that another major would have better prepared them for the jobs they really desired.

College grads are happier and healthier overall. Those with college degrees have better health, exercise more, and smoke less. They tend to live about 9 years longer than those who don’t graduate from high school.

College educated people also volunteer and vote more, creating a great addition to their communities.

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Colleges and Application Fees

An application fee means that students need to submit payment when they apply to the school. It is not as though students can pay merely one application fee and then submit their materials to as many colleges as they want. Most times, students have to pay a separate application fee to each college they apply to. Plenty of high school students takes standardized tests to bolster their college applications. Sending these scores to schools also comes at a cost.

Reasons for Application Fees

Colleges and universities have their reasons for charging application fees. For example, consider the fact that admissions boards want to know that students are serious about attending the school. If any of the students who are initially accepted ultimately decline to attend the college, the committee has lost a significant portion of the time. Having a fee attached to applications can encourage students to take the process more seriously and to apply only to schools they wish to attend.

Reasons Against Application Fees

While schools likely have their reasons for charging application fees, several issues also exist with this approach. Some students and their families cannot afford to pay for the application fees. Therefore, they need to pay multiple application fees to do so. Having application fees attached to colleges can hinder students experiencing financial distress to miss out on educational opportunities that could ultimately lift them out of poverty or negative economic circumstances. Application fees can cause a growing gap between individuals who are living in poverty and individuals who are wealthy.

Also, the costs of college are high. Families might put all of their extra money aside to pay for tuition, books and other necessities. Some might state that financial aid is available to help with these costs, implying that the families can afford the application fees. However, keep in mind that not everyone qualifies for financial aid, so this option might not be a possibility for them. Learning more about colleges with no application fee can help these students and their families.

Many Possibilities

When students first hear about colleges with no application fee, they may balk. They might think they will face limited possibilities if they pursue this route. These notions might cause them to not pursue colleges without application fees at all. However, the opposite is true. Many colleges across plenty of states offer applications that do not come with a fee attached. Students who wish to apply only to those schools that will not charge them an application fee have plenty of options to explore.

High-Quality Institutions

Another concern that some students have is that even if they can find universities with no application fees, they will have to select from only schools of poor quality. They might think the curriculum will not challenge them on an academic level or that the institution may lack opportunities for internships or for social interactions with peers. These assumptions are also false. Students can find schools with solid reputations on the list of universities with no application fees. Diverse opportunities are available.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Research School Reputations

As with any academic pursuit, conducting thorough research is necessary. While many of the schools with no application fees are reputable institutions, schools should examine each specific school to which they are applying. For example, they should typically avoid for-profit institutions. Another problem can arise if students are enrolling in non-accredited universities. A non-accredited university is not a wise decision because the degree may prove useless.

Choose Online Applications

One easy way to possibly avoid an application fee is to complete the application online. Some schools offer both paper applications and online applications. With paper applications, they might charge a fee, whereas they do not with online applications. While some students prefer to fill out forms by hand, they should take into account the money-saving benefits. Online applications are also typically faster to complete.

Review the Details

Students might discover schools that waive the application fee only if the forms are completed and submitted by a certain date. Other schools may waive the application fee only for certain semesters. Each school will have its own requirements, so reviewing the details well before all deadlines is a wise decision.

Check Qualification Criteria

At other institutions, waived application fees may apply to only certain individuals. Families who qualify as low-income might can apply to a specific college for free whereas other families do not. Adults returning to college after a period of absence from school may not qualify for waived application fees at certain schools, but students who are under 18 and are claimed as dependents by their parents might. Again, some schools do not have waived admission fees across the board but allow them in some circumstances.

Maintain a Serious Approach

Once students learn that some schools do not have application fees, they might feel tempted to apply to these institutions. However, maintaining a serious approach is important. A waived application fee does not mean that the student fails to seriously study the application material. College application packages often require several documents and a great deal of information. Packages that are incomplete or that are hastily put together may end up in rejection.

Put the Money to Good Use

After saving all of these funds on application fees, put the money to good use. Starting an account specifically for college expenses or contributing to one that already exists is useful. The next four years will come with a variety of expenses. Instead of having to scramble to cover these costs, students can use money that would otherwise have been spent on application fees.

Looking at the total costs of college can overwhelm individuals. Fortunately, they can reduce at least some of those costs by opting for colleges that do not have application fees.

List of Colleges With No Application Fee (By State)


Huntingdon College

Miles College

Spring Hill College


Alaska Pacific University


Williams Baptist College


Arkansas Tech University

Henderson State University

Hendrix College

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff


Brandman University

California College San Diego

Deep Springs College

Dominican University of California

Holy Names University ($20 fee for paper application)

La Sierra University

Menlo College

Northwest College

Notre Dame de Namur University

Pacific Union College

University of the Pacific

Thomas Aquinas College


Colorado Mountain College

Johnson & Wales University - Denver

Regis University

US Air Force Academy


US Coast Guard Academy

University of Hartford ($35 fee for paper application)

Mitchell College  ($30 fee for paper application)

University of Saint Joseph ($30 fee for paper application)


Wesley College


Ave Maria University

Florida Gateway College

Florida Institute of Technology

Indian River State College

Johnson & Wales University - North Miami

Polk State College

Saint Leo University

Santa Fe College

State College of Florida - Manatee-Sarasota


Agnes Scott College

Bainbridge College

Berry College

Oglethorpe University

Piedmont College

Savannah State University

Wesleyan College ($30 fee for paper application)


College of Southern Idaho ($10 fee for paper application)

College of Idaho


Augustana College

Aurora University

Bradley University

Elmhurst College

Eureka College

Greenville College

Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Wesleyan University

Lake Forest College

Loyola University Chicago

McKendree University

Millikin University

Monmouth College

Rockford University

Saint Augustine College

University of St. Francis


Anderson University

Ancilla College

Butler University

Calumet College of St. Joseph

DePauw University

Earlham College

Franklin College

Grace College ($30 fee for paper application)

Hanover College

Holy Cross College

Indiana Wesleyan University

Manchester University ($25 fee for paper application)

Purdue University-North Central

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

St. Joseph’s College

St. Mary's College

Trine University

University of Evansville

University of Indianapolis

Valparaiso University


Buena Vista University

Central College

Coe College

Cornell College ($30 fee for paper application)

Drake University

Graceland University

Grand View University

Grinnell College

Iowa Wesleyan University

Loras College

Luther College

Morningside College

Mount Mercy University

Northwestern College

Simpson College

St. Ambrose University

Upper Iowa University

Wartburg College


Baker University

Barclay College

Bethany College

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Sterling College


Alice Lloyd College

Asbury University

Berea College

Centre College

Lindsey Wilson College

University of Pikeville

Thomas More College

Transylvania University


Centenary College

Loyola University New Orleans

Tulane University


Colby College

St. Joseph's College

Unity College


Capitol Technology University ($25 fee for paper application)

Hood College

St. John's College

Stevenson University ($40 fee for paper application)

US Naval Academy

Washington Adventist University


Bay Path College

Becker College

Eastern Nazarene College

Emmanuel College ($60 fee for paper application)

Fisher College ($50 fee for paper application)

Hampshire College

Lasell College ($40 fee for paper application)

Lesley University

MCPHS University

Merrimack College

Mount Holyoke College ($60 fee for paper application)

Mount Ida College

Newbury College

Nichols College

Simmons College

Smith College

Springfield College

Wellesley College

Wheelock College


Adrian College

Albion College

Alma College

Aquinas College

Calvin College

College for Creative Studies ($10 fee to upload portfolio samples for application)

Concordia University

University of Detroit Mercy

Ferris State University

Finlandia University

Hillsdale College ($30 fee for paper application)

Kalamazoo College

Kettering University

Madonna University

Michigan Technological University

Northwood University

Oakland University

Olivet College

Siena Heights University

Wayne State University


Augsburg College

Bethany Lutheran College

Bethel University

Carleton College

College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Concordia College

Gustavus Adolphus College

Hamline University

Metropolitan State University

Saint John’s University

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

St. Catherine University

St. Olaf College

College of St. Scholastica

University of St. Thomas


Alcorn State University

Jackson State University

Millsaps College

Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi Valley State University

Rust College ($10 fee for paper application)


Avila University

College of the Ozarks

Culver-Stockton College

Drury University

Fontbonne University

Maryville University of St. Louis

Northwest Missouri State University

Ranken Technical College

Rockhurst University

Saint Louis University

Stephens College

Truman State University

Westminster College

William Jewell College

William Woods University


Carroll College ($35 fee for paper application)

University of Great Falls

Salish Kootenai College


Chadron State College

Concordia University-Nebraska

Creighton University

Doane College-Crete

Hastings College

Midland University

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Peru State College

Union College

Wayne State College


Sierra Nevada College

New Hampshire

Colby-Sawyer College ($40 fee for paper applications)

Granite State College

New England College

New Jersey

College of Saint Elizabeth

Georgian Court University

Saint Peter’s University

New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus

Navajo Technical University

Northern New Mexico College

St. John's College

New York

Canisius College

Cazenovia College

Clarkson University ($50 fee for paper applications)

D'Youville College

Daemen College ($25 for paper applications)

Davis College

Hartwick College

Hilbert College

Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Keuka College

Le Moyne College ($35 fee for paper applications)

Medaille College

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Mount Saint Mary College

Nazareth College

Niagara University

Roberts Wesleyan College

Sage College of Albany

St. Bonaventure University

St. John's University

College of New Rochelle

College of St. Rose

Touro College

Union College

US Merchant Marine Academy

US Military Academy (West Point)

North Carolina

Barton College

Belmont Abbey College

Catawba College

Guilford College

Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte

University of Mount Olive

Queens University of Charlotte

Salem College

Warren Wilson College

North Dakota

University of Jamestown


Ashland University

Baldwin Wallace University

Chatfield College ($10 fee for paper application)

College of Wooster

University of Dayton

Defiance College ($25 fee for paper application)

Denison University ($40 fee for paper application)

University of Findlay

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Franklin University

Hiram College

John Carroll University

Kenyon College

Lake Erie College ($30 fee for paper application)

University of Mount Union

Notre Dame College

Oberlin College

Ohio Northern University

Ohio Wesleyan University

Shawnee State University

University of Rio Grande

Ursuline College

Wilmington College

Wittenberg University

Xavier University


Oklahoma Baptist University

Oklahoma Wesleyan University


Concordia University of Portland

Eastern Oregon University

Lewis & Clark College

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus

Northwest Christian University

Reed College


Albright College

Allegheny College

Arcadia University ($30 fee for paper application)

Bryn Mawr College ($50 fee for paper application)

Carlow University

Cedar Crest College ($35 fee for paper application)

Central Pennsylvania College

Chatham University

Delaware Valley College

Elizabethtown College ($30 fee for paper application)

Gannon University ($25 for paper application)

Gwynedd-Mercy University ($25 for paper application)

Immaculata University

Juniata College

King's College

La Roche College

La Salle University

Lebanon Valley College

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Lycoming College

Marywood University ($35 fee for paper application)

Mercyhurst University

Moravian College

Neumann University ($35 fee for paper application)

Point Park University

Robert Morris University

Rosemont College

Saint Francis University

University of Scranton

University of the Sciences ($45 fee for paper application)

Susquehanna University

Ursinus College

Washington & Jefferson College ($25 fee for paper application)

Westminster College

Wilson College

Rhode Island

Johnson & Wales University - Providence

South Carolina

Allen University

Coker College

Columbia College

Columbia International University

Converse College

Erskine College

Limestone College

Presbyterian College

South Dakota

Augustana College

University of Sioux Falls ($25 fee for paper application)


Christian Brothers University

Freed-Hardeman University

Lane College

Martin Methodist College

Maryville College

Rhodes College

Sewanee: The University of the South

Tusculum College


Austin College

Baylor University

Houston Baptist University

Howard Payne University

LeTourneau University

Saint Edward’s University

Southwestern Adventist University

Southwestern University

St. Mary's University

University of St. Thomas

University of Houston-Victoria

University of Texas-El Paso

University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Texas Wesleyan University

Trinity University ($50 fee for paper application)


Stevens-Henager College - Murray


Champlain College

Green Mountain College ($30 fee for paper application)


Averett University

Bridgewater College

Christendom College ($25 fee for paper application)

Emory & Henry College

Hampden-Sydney College ($30 fee for paper application)

Hollins University

Liberty University

Lynchburg College ($30 fee for paper application)

Randolph-Macon College ($30 fee for paper application)

Randolph College

Roanoke College

Sweet Briar College


Cornish College of the Arts

Olympic College

Pacific Lutheran University

Saint Martin’s University

Whitworth University

West Virginia

Alderson Broaddus University

Bethany College

Bluefield State College

Concord University

Davis & Elkins College

West Liberty University

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Wheeling Jesuit University


Alverno College

Beloit College

Cardinal Stritch University

Carroll University

Lakeland College

Marquette University

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Mount Mary University

Northland College

St. Norbert College

Wisconsin Lutheran College

517 Colleges with No Application Fees for 2021 [interactive tool]

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Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges


Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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