Colleges With No Application Fee
Attending college is an endeavor that can provide students with a vast array of benefits. However, this pursuit often comes with a large price tag. Tuition and associated fees play a large role in those costs.
Before students even take their first class or take part in an orientation program, they often need to pay money. Many colleges and universities require application fees. But some don’t!
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 take standardized tests to bolster their college applications. Sending these scores to schools also comes at a cost. When students apply to several colleges, they may find that they end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the applications.
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. Take into account the fact that admissions committees often dedicate a great deal of time to determine which students will earn acceptance and which students will not. 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. Most high school students apply to more than one college because they want to ensure that they are admitted into a desirable program. 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.
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.
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.
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 the paper applications, they might charge a fee, whereas they do not with the 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. With an online application, students may also have the option to send the material to more than one school, hastening the application process.
Review the Details
Some schools will allow students to submit an application for free as long as they are using the online submission tools. However, other schools will have their own stipulations. For example, 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 for 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 a 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.
List of Colleges With No Application Fee (By State)
Holy Names University ($20 fee for paper application)
University of Hartford ($35 fee for paper application)
Mitchell College ($30 fee for paper application)
University of Saint Joseph ($30 fee for paper application)
Wesleyan College ($30 fee for paper application)
College of Southern Idaho ($10 fee for paper application)
Grace College ($30 fee for paper application)
Manchester University ($25 fee for paper application)
Cornell College ($30 fee for paper application)
Capitol Technology University ($25 fee for paper application)
Stevenson University ($40 fee for paper application)
Emmanuel College ($60 fee for paper application)
Fisher College ($50 fee for paper application)
Lasell College ($40 fee for paper application)
Mount Holyoke College ($60 fee for paper application)
College for Creative Studies ($10 fee to upload portfolio samples for application)
Hillsdale College ($30 fee for paper application)
Rust College ($10 fee for paper application)
Carroll College ($35 fee for paper application)
Colby-Sawyer College ($40 fee for paper applications)
Clarkson University ($50 fee for paper applications)
Daemen College ($25 for paper applications)
Le Moyne College ($35 fee for paper applications)
Chatfield College ($10 fee for paper application)
Defiance College ($25 fee for paper application)
Denison University ($40 fee for paper application)
Lake Erie College ($30 fee for paper application)
Arcadia University ($30 fee for paper application)
Bryn Mawr College ($50 fee for paper application)
Cedar Crest College ($35 fee for paper application)
Elizabethtown College ($30 fee for paper application)
Gannon University ($25 for paper application)
Gwynedd-Mercy University ($25 for paper application)
Marywood University ($35 fee for paper application)
Neumann University ($35 fee for paper application)
University of the Sciences ($45 fee for paper application)
Washington & Jefferson College ($25 fee for paper application)
University of Sioux Falls ($25 fee for paper application)
Trinity University ($50 fee for paper application)
Green Mountain College ($30 fee for paper application)
Christendom College ($25 fee for paper application)
Hampden-Sydney College ($30 fee for paper application)
Lynchburg College ($30 fee for paper application)
Randolph-Macon College ($30 fee for paper application)
517 Colleges with No Application Fees for 2021 [interactive tool]
Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges