Dec 2, 2015

Great colleges with NO application fees

Stanford University

As many families are finding out, applying to college can be an expensive proposition—never mind what follows. US News and Money, About 80 percent of all colleges charge fees, and according to the average cost hovers somewhere around $41 to $42 apiece.  And given the selectivity of some schools, it sometimes feels as if these fees have become a form of fundraising for college admissions offices.

The highest application fee in the country has been for several years that charged by Stanford University.  For $90, U.S. applicants have the honor of joining a pool of almost 42,500 hopefuls from which about 2140 will receive letters of acceptance. Factoring out fee waivers, it’s not hard to imagine that these payments represent a significant source of revenue for the folks in Palo Alto.

According to information provided on the Common Application website, 13 colleges charge a domestic application fee of $80 or more.  These include Boston University, Duke University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Southern California, and Villanova University. Although all will waive the fee for students with financial need, the average applicant can plan to incur significant expense by applying to a large number of these schools.

It’s worth noting that a number of institutions charge extra for international or out-of-state applicants. Others charge if the applicant submits a paper application but waives the fee for online submissions.

And not surprisingly, fees are mostly going up.  After analyzing data provided through both the Common App and the Integrated Post-secondary Education System (IPEDS), DIY College Rankings found there are now 501 colleges with application fees of $50 or greater, as compared with 490 from last year. The number of public institutions charging $50 or more increased from 239 to 246. As with the rest of life, nothing is getting cheaper.

But there is a bright side.  DIY reports that 413 colleges charge no application fees at all—an increase from 348 last year.  These include all of the military academies—West Point, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy—as well as a tremendous range of selective and not-so-selective colleges and universities located in every corner of the United States. In the Washington metropolitan region, Emory and Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Hood College, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, St. John’s College, and Stevenson University charge no fee to apply.

And here are 30 additional colleges to consider offering with FREE applications:

  1. Agnes Scott College, GA
  2. Beloit College, WI
  3. Bradley University, IL
  4. Bryn Mawr College, PA
  5. Carleton College, MN
  6. Case Western Reserve University, OH
  7. Christian Brothers University, TN
  8. Colby College, ME
  9. Cornell College, IA
  10. Dennison University, OH
  11. DePaul University, IL
  12. Florida Institute of Technology, FL
  13. Florida Southern College, FL
  14. Hampshire College, MA
  15. Juniata College, PA
  16. Kalamazoo College,  MI
  17. Kenyon College, OH
  18. Lewis and Clark College, OR
  19. Marquette University, WI
  20. Mount Holyoke College, MA
  21. Oberlin College, OH
  22. Reed College, OR
  23. Smith College, MA
  24. Southwestern University, TX
  25. Trinity University, TX
  26. Tulane University, LA
  27. Union College, NY
  28. Washington and Jefferson College, PA
  29. Wellesley College, MA
  30. Xavier University, OH

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