NACAC Fee Waivers

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 Fee Waiver: Students Applying to College for the First Time

 

Overview:​

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. 

Gap year students or individuals choosing to defer applying to college rather than immediately transitioning after high school graduation are not eligible to use NACAC's Request for Application Fee Waiver Form. NACAC recommends that prospective students in these categories contact the admission office of the institution(s) to which they are seeking admission regarding an institutional fee waiver. If you are a transfer student, see the Transfer Fee Waiver​.

 
 

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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

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.

What are the income eligibility guidelines for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) program?

IncomeEligibilityGuidelines.png
Source: FederalRegister2014-04788.pdfFederal Register Notice Vol. 79, No. 43


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?
NACAC does not maintain a directory of institutions that accept the fee waiver form. Some institutions have their own institutional application fee waivers. If you are seeking information as to an institution’s fee waiver policy, 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. 

Does the NACAC fee waiver apply to transfer or nontraditional students?
The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form is only intended for students who are applying for direct matriculation to college from high school. Transfer students should use the NACAC Request for Transfer Admission Application Fee Waiver Form​ and nontraditional students should contact the admission office of each school to which they are applying for information regarding possible institution-specific fee waivers.

I am a homeschooled student. How can I obtain the necessary signature and seal to complete the form?
Homeschooled students should first attempt to have the form signed by a designated official at a local high school. Students are encouraged to contact the school in advance to schedule an appointment. Remember to bring documentation of your eligibility to use the form.

If a student is unable to obtain permission from a designated school official, the individual responsible for oversight of the homeschooling may complete the form. In this instance, the school seal is not required; however, the individual completing the form should provide his or her full contact information along with a letter of explanation as to why the student is eligible to use the NACAC 
Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver.

I just graduated but did not apply to college for the fall semester. Can I still use the form in the future?
The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form is 
intended only for traditional high school students applying to postsecondary colleges or universities in the fall immediately following high school graduation.  Students who did not directly matriculate should contact the specific colleges in which they are interested for information regarding possible fee waivers.

I have been out of high school for a while and want to apply to college. Can I use the fee waiver form?
The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form is only intended for students who apply for direct fall matriculation (i.e., the fall semester immediately following their senior year). Students who did not directly matriculate should contact the specific colleges in which they are interested for information regarding possible fee waivers.

I plan on applying to more than four colleges. Can I use more than four fee waiver forms?
The final decision regarding the submission of fee waivers rests with the designated school official (i.e., the person at the high school who authorizes the form).  NACAC recommends limiting use of the form to no more than four (4) colleges. 

Can the NACAC form be used in conjunction with College Board fee waivers?
The NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form and SAT® Fee Waiver are mutually exclusive. As such, students 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® Fee Waiver at a maximum of four (4) separate colleges. 

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?
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 someone other than my school counselor sign my fee waiver form?
Yes. If someone else at your school is considered a designated official, he or she may sign the form. In addition, professionals at community based organizations, independent educational consultants, and TRIO representatives are also authorized to sign the form. 

I am authorized to sign the form but do not work at a school. What should I do about obtaining a seal/stamp and CEEB number?
If you are a non-school official signing a student’s fee waiver, please affix a business card (or a sheet that includes your full contact information) to the request form.  The stamp/seal and CEEB/program numbers may be left blank in this scenario.

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.

Please contact us if you need more information.​

 

 Fee Waiver: Transfer Students

 

Overview:​

Transfer students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant may use the NACAC Request for Transfer Admission Application Fee Waiver Form​ when applying to colleges. The transfer fee waiver is intended to be easily processed, both by students and the institutions involved in the students' transitions.

Special circumstance: Applicants who are not eligible for a Pell grant or any federal student aid, but believe their annual family income falls within the income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service may self-certify their eligibility for the transfer admission application fee waiver (*see below for more information).

Key Components:​

  • The decision to grant fee waiver requests rests solely with colleges and universities. The NACAC form is intended as a standardized resource for students, advisors and colleges—NACAC members are not required to grant the requests.
  • The eligibility criterion for the transfer fee waiver is a student’s eligibility for the federal Pell grant. While NACAC is aware of other options, Pell eligibility is a reliable indicator of need and the simplest and easiest criterion to verify. Colleges may choose to accept other criteria.
  • The transfer fee waiver request form allows a student to self-certify their Pell eligibility. If a college or university requires independent certification, the reverse side of the form allows students to either (1) attach a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal Office of Student Aid, and/or (2) provide a signature from a financial aid officer at either a sending or receiving institution.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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. 

Is there a directory of colleges/universities who accept the forms? Does every school accept the form?

NACAC does not maintain a directory of institutions that accept the fee waiver form. Some institutions have their own institutional application fee waivers. If you are seeking information as to an institution’s fee waiver policy, NACAC strongly encourages contacting the Office of Admission for the school(s) in question.​​


*If I'm ineligible for a Pell grant, what are the income eligibility guidelines for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) program I have to meet in order to be eligible for the fee waiver?

IncomeEligibilityGuidelines.png
Source: FederalRegister2014-04788.pdfFederal Register Notice Vol. 79, No. 43


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. 


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.