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College Application Fee Waivers-See Your School Counselor

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College Applications

The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form and SAT® Fee Waiver are mutually exclusive. As such, students who meet the eligibility requirements may use BOTH the NACAC and College Board forms when requesting fee waivers.  In other words, students may theoretically use the NACAC form at four (4) colleges and the SAT® College Board Fee Waiver at a maximum of four (4) separate colleges.

College Board Fee Waivers - Four (4) Fee Waivers

If you plan to enter college in the 2018-19 academic year and you have used a fee waiver while in high school for the SAT or SAT Subject Tests, you will have four Request for Waiver of College Application Fee waiver forms in our Collegeboard account.  You should only send the forms with your college applications, and only to institutions listed in The SAT Fee Waiver Directory of Colleges.  The directory is available online collegeboard.org/feewaivers.

NACAC Fee Waiver - Four (4) Fee Waivers

Students who have limited financial resources and meet the requirements below may use the NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver Form when applying for college. The form helps ensure that access to college is possible for all students. The form is for traditional high school students applying to postsecondary colleges or universities in the fall immediately following high school graduation.

Students are eligible to use the form if:

  • Student has received or is eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
  • Student is enrolled in or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL).
  • Student's annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Student is enrolled in a federal, state or local program that aids student from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Student's family receives public assistance.
  • Student lives in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or is homeless.
  • Student is a ward of the state or an orphan. 

Requirements for completing the form:

Students must complete the student section in its entirety.
The student’s secondary school counselor, independent counselor or TRIO representative must verify that the student is eligible to use the form. 
The high school’s raised seal or stamp must be included on the form.
The form must be mailed directly to the admission office of the college or university to which the student is seeking admission.

How many fee waiver requests may I submit?
The Application for Fee Waiver Request Form is intended to be used at the schools to which a student is most interested in attending. NACAC recommends limiting the use of the form to no more than four (4) schools. If the Request for Application Fee Waiver is not accepted by the college or university, the student must pay the application fee. 

Does my school counselor need to sign the fee waiver form?
Yes. A secondary school counselor, Independent Counselor or TRIO representative must verify that the student is qualified to use the form. 

My counselor is not a NACAC member; can I still use the form?
Although not required, it is preferable that the form is used by a NACAC member or member institution.  

Where do I mail the form?
Mail the Fee Waiver Form directly to the admission office of the institution to which you are applying.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the school seal required?
Yes, the school seal or an official business card of the counselor is required to verify the information is accurate.  

Is there a directory of colleges/universities who accept the forms? Does every school accept the form?
Beginning in 2011-12, all Common Application member institutions agreed to accept both the NACAC and College Board fee waiver requests.  However, NACAC does not maintain a directory of institutions that accept the fee waiver form. Some institutions have their own institutional application fee waivers as well. If you are seeking information as to an institution’s fee waiver policies, NACAC strongly encourages contacting the Office of Admission for the school(s) in question.

What happens if I apply to a school and they do not accept the NACAC fee waiver?
Each institution makes the final decision to accept or decline fee waiver forms. If a fee waiver is declined, the student will be asked, by the institution, to pay the application fee. 

Can I use a fee waiver if I am using the Common Application online?
Yes. For more detailed information, NACAC encourages you to consult the Common Application Support Center’s payment section. Please note that if the school to which you are applying does not accept electronic documents, a paper form must be submitted to the institution’s admission office.

Do I have to send a hard copy of the fee waiver after I indicate that I’m using a fee waiver on the Common Application?
Beginning in 2012-13, it is no longer necessary to send a hard copy of the NACAC waiver if the student’s high school has the capability to submit the form online (either via The Common Application Online or Naviance). If a student cannot submit the form online, he or she must mail a paper copy to each institution’s office of admission with his or her application for admission.

When will I hear from the college that they have accepted my fee waiver?
In most instances, colleges will only initiate contact with a student if a fee waiver has been denied. 

A college denied my fee waiver request. What should I do?
Each institution reserves the right to accept or decline the request form. Some colleges do not grant fee waivers at all, which is a common reason for a denial. Clerical errors and illegible/incomplete forms also have a higher incidence of denial. If you have questions about why your request was denied, please contact the institution from which the denial was administered. 

Can I still use a fee waiver if I have not met the financial eligibility guidelines?
NACAC understands the presence of extenuating circumstances for which the form does not account. If the designated school official is aware of a situation that, within the context of professional judgment, warrants a fee waiver, he or she may sign the form. The signee should check the “Other” box in the Economic Need section and provide written justification as to why the student should have his or her application fee waived.

Should I send the fee waiver form before or after I send my application?
Students submitting the NACAC fee waiver online are required to initiate this request prior to submission of an application. For students using the paper form, it should be sent along with all other application materials.

Can I fax the fee waiver form to the college?
For security purposes, the form must be submitted either via postal mail or a verified electronic server (e.g., The Common Application Online, Naviance).

Do I need to fill out a separate fee waiver for the additional colleges to which I’m applying?
Students using the Common Application must indicate their intention to use the NACAC fee waiver in the “Payment” section before the application can be submitted. The student’s high school counselor is then issued a prompt to authorize the form.  Students must follow this process for each Common Application institution to which they apply (if they intend to use a fee waiver). If the school is not on the Common Application but accepts the NACAC fee waiver via Naviance, the same process applies.  If a student is applying via postal mail, a hard copy of the NACAC fee waiver must be sent directly to the school’s admission office.

Can I use the NACAC fee waiver for the SAT or ACT?
No. The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form is only intended to assist with college admission application fees.