Are there colleges with no application fees?

The simple answer is yes; there are colleges that do not require application fees. Why should you be concerned about application fees? These are just another added cost when applying to college, and if you apply to multiple schools, the cost can add up quickly.

In fact, some schools charge almost $100 just to apply

There are many reasons why schools do not require application fees. Some schools offer cost-free applications as a marketing method, others do it to attract more applicants, and some are military schools.

Regardless of why just because a school doesn’t have an application fee doesn’t mean they don’t offer a quality education.

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Here are some top schools with no application fees

U.S. Military Academy – West Point, NY

The oldest occupied military post in America, this school dates back to the Revolutionary War Era and was officially established as a military academy in 1802 by President Thomas Jefferson. While the school does not have application fees, it is extremely competitive to get into, with a 10% acceptance rate.

In addition to high academic standards, physical fitness, and strong character, the school also requires applicants to have a service-connected or congressional nomination to attend.

Duquesne University – Pittsburgh, PA

Known for its exceptional programs in pharmacy, law, and education, this private Catholic University does not require application fees. However, they have specific testing criteria on the SAT/ACT exams and have over 70% acceptance rates.

Baylor University – Waco, TX

The oldest operating university in Texas and one of the first educational institutions west of the Mississippi River focuses on combining academics with Christian values. Baylor University is also known for having the best law school in Texas with its students testing the highest on the Texas State Bar Exam.

The school has a tradition on Tuesdays from 3-4 pm, there is “Dr. Pepper Hour” where students and professors can have open discussions. The soft drink was created in Waco, so the school embraces it with Dr. Pepper Floats during their “Dr. Pepper Hour.”  

For a full list of schools that currently do not require an application fee, click here. 

Application Fee Waivers

Since most colleges will charge an application fee, there is a process to request a waiver. To qualify for an application fee waiver, there is some criteria that you have to meet:

  • Must be eligible to enroll or currently enrolled in the National School Lunch Program
  • Family annual income must be within the eligibility guidelines of USDA Food and Nutrition Service
  • Receive aid through a federal, state, or local program for low-income families
  • Receiving public assistance
  • If you live in a foster home, subsidized public housing, or are homeless
  • You are an orphan or a ward of the state

When choosing a college, the most important thing is to find a program and campus that best suits you. Don’t let the application fees dictate where you want to go. While the schools listed above all offer quality education programs, if they are not your dream school, then don’t settle.

Work with the schools that you want to attend and see what they can do to help you out with those fees. Good luck out there and remember, file your FAFSA®!