How can I reduce the cost of applying to college?
1. If you apply online you can score free application submissions at many colleges. In addition to Washington and Jefferson College, the numerous institutions that waive application fees for online applicants include Upper Iowa University, Millikin University, Juniata College, Kettering University, York College of Pennsylvania, Drake University, Smith College, Barry University, and Mercyhurst College.
Often, schools advertise the fact that they waive application fees for online applicants. As you’re exploring the websites of colleges you’re considering, keep your eyes peeled for a money-saving application option.
2. If you’ve made an on-campus visit be sure to ask if you can have a fee-waiver for the application fee. Many schools will be glad to issue you a waiver if you have visited the campus.
3. At Western New England University in Massachusetts, for instance, students can apply for free if they have a parent or grandparent who attended or if they’re are able to secure a letter of recommendation from another grad. Be sure to ask if you have an alumni connection as well.
4.Many schools have indicated that they will waive the application fee for students who demonstrate financial need, including Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Colorado—Boulder. Ask and all they can say is NO. With proof of financial need, students may be able to secure fee waivers from the National Association of College Admission Counseling, and students who have received an SAT/ACT fee waiver can apply for free passes from the College Board. Students can also go to guidance counselors at their high schools for help; at schools such as Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa, a fee waiver signed by a counselor grants a free application.
5. Reach out to college admissions officers at your first choice school and indicate it is your first choice and here is my GPA and test scores. Ask for their opinion before you spend the money and apply. Chances are if you reach a real person they will be honest with you and save you the cost of applying if you aren’t in their target for scores.
Thanks to US New and World Report for their valuable tips.