Most reputable universities require an application fee that’s used to ensure students’ investment in their application process. However, an admission fee can be a barrier for students that can’t afford it. That’s why some colleges have ditched that requirement.
This guide will show you colleges that don’t require an application fee. We have chosen these universities based on their reputation, application fee policy, and flexible options available. You will also find some of the best online colleges that don’t require an application fee.
What Is an Application Fee and Why Is It Normally Required?
An application fee is a stated amount of money that institutions require applicants to pay during their application processes. This fee is meant to guarantee students’ actual interest in the program, which is ultimately meant to decrease or avoid the admission of applicants who don’t actually intend to attend the university.
How Much Are College Application Fees?
The average cost of a college application fee is $45, according to US News and World Report. This survey also determined that some of the highest application fees range between $75 and $100. With that, some universities don’t charge application fees and most universities have a fee waiver that qualifying students can take advantage of.
Is It Easy to Find Universities That Don’t Require An Application Fee?
Yes, it is easy to find universities that don’t require an application fee. It’s important to note that if your dream school is among the universities that do require application fees, you can always request a fee waiver. Fee waivers are granted to qualifying students based on certain factors, such as income.
How to Get Into a College That Doesn’t Require An Application Fee
To get into a college that doesn’t require an application fee, you first need to find one that you want to apply for. You can do this by examining the application requirements of your preferred schools, or you can find lists of schools that don’t require an application fee, such as the one in this guide. Once you’ve found a school that you want to apply to, you’ll need to complete the process. Below are some of the common application requirements:
- Letters of recommendation
- SAT score
- High school official transcripts
- Online application form
Which Schools Do Not Require An Application Fee for College Admissions?
|School||U.S. News National Rankings 2022||Other Admissions Requirements|
|Tulane University||42||Personal statement and letter of recommendation|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||63||Personal essay and letter of recommendation|
|75||Optional test, and report the highest ACT/SAT scores|
|Saint Louis University||103||High HiSET exam score or GED, professional CV, essay, official high school transcripts, and letter of recommendations|
|Loyola University Chicago||103||Official transcrips, letter of recommendation, submit SAT and/or ACT test scores|
|University of Dayton||127||Minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA, letter of recommendations, and test scores (optional)|
|Drake University||136||SAT score from 1110 to 1340, personal essay, letter of recommendation, and official high school transcript|
|Maryville University||202||Essay and ACT score of 24|
|University of St. Francis||249||Letter of recommendation, essays, and official high school transcripts|
|Colorado Technical University||299 – 391||Proof of high school graduation or GED equivalency|
Best Colleges That Don’t Require An Application Fee
We have compiled the following list of colleges that don’t require an application fee based on their offerings, their reputation, and other requirements. These are all accredited institutions that are part of US News & World Report rankings of the best national universities in the United States.
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Tulane University is a highly reputable school located in New Orleans. It is especially relevant in the field of engineering. This school has the highest-ranking position on our list. It doesn’t have any admission fees for engineering school applicants in PhD and certificate programs. Tulane alumni are also exempt from this fee. If you don’t fall into these categories, you will need to pay the fee.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research institution that focuses on engineering, science, and humanities. It is located in Worcester and was founded in 1865. Before 2020, this school used to charge an application fee, but it dropped that requirement to reduce barriers between students and education.
Baylor University is a private and religious Texas-based university that offers major programs in various topics. Some of its most popular programs are nursing, science, education, and business. According to US News & World Report, Baylor University had a 68 percent acceptance rate in 2020. The application fee is free for all prospective and school students.
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is known for being one of the first healthcare, law, and business schools in west Mississippi. According to US News & World Report, this school has strong curricula and a 56 percent acceptance rate. You won’t have to pay an admission fee in any bachelor’s degree programs.
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is a private and religious institution that is known for its rigorous classes in finance, nursing, psychology, and marketing. This school is ranked #103 on the US News & World Report’s national list and has a 71 percent acceptance rate. You can apply for free on its website.
Online Colleges That Don’t Require An Application Fee
The following list will show you some of the best online colleges that don’t require an application fee. These schools offer strong online programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.
University of Dayton
University of Dayton is a private Catholic school located in Ohio. This school’s application process is straightforward because it focuses only on the most important questions. A benefit of this application process is that you automatically participate in a scholarship during the selection process.
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Drake University is another excellent college for online learners. It offers programs in journalism, business administration, education, and science. The application fee is waived if you apply online, but it is $50 if you apply in person or if you are an incoming student.
Maryville University is very popular among all liberal arts schools. It is located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. This school offers multiple financing options, including loans, grants, and scholarships. There are no application fees for new or current students.
University of St. Francis
University of St. Francis is an Illinois-based institution that promotes Catholic values. The difference between this school and the rest is that it has an open-enrollment method, which means they don’t conduct admission tests. However, you have to submit proof of your high school diploma or GED equivalency. The application process is completely free and online.
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is an accredited online institution located in Colorado Springs. Its programs were designed for active students with busy schedules, so they’re available either part-time or full-time. The college experience is pretty flexible so you can choose between an online, in-person, or hybrid approach.
Should I Attend a College That Doesn’t Require An Application Fee?
Yes, you should attend a college that doesn’t require an application fee if you’re trying to cut back on college expenses. This will reduce costs significantly if you apply to multiple colleges in a particular period. All the schools mentioned above are part of US News & World Report’s national ranking of the best universities.
Colleges That Don’t Require An Application Fee FAQ
An application fee is what you pay to apply to college. A fee waiver allows you to apply to a school without paying the fee. It is frequently given to low-income students.
No, application fees are generally non-refundable unless the school specifies otherwise. However, in most cases, they will not refund your money regardless of whether or not you are accepted by the school.
According to US News & World Report, the highest application fee is $100 at Arkansas Baptist College. Many colleges charge an application fee of varying amounts before you can submit your application.
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