Application Fee Waivers & Other Resources

NACAC offers application fee waivers allowing students with limited financial resources to apply for college. The purpose for these forms is to ensure equitable postsecondary access and thus is intended for undergraduate applicants with financial need.

For first-time undergraduate applicants:

NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form

STEP 1 – Click on the link above and download the form on your computer.

STEP 2 – Open the form you downloaded and complete it with the instructions below.

  1. Name of the college or university: The student completes this part. The student writes the name of the college or university. Students can submit to a maximum of four universities. (One form for each university they are applying to).
  2. Student: The student completes this part. The student can sign by using the “Fill & Sign” tool on the PDF or simply type up the initials.
  3. Authorized official: The authorized official completes this part. A school counselor, postsecondary support personnel, or principal at the student’s school OR an official from a community-based organization completes the Authorized Official section and verifies the student’s economic eligibility. Note: CEEB# or PROGRAM# field can be found on the College Board website: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/k-12-school-code-search. If not found, this field can remain blank.
  4. Economic Need: The student completes this part. International students should check the “Other Request” box in the Economic Need section and explain their financial barrier(s) to paying the application fee on the lines provided.

STEP 3 – Save the form.  The completed form must be sent directly to the institution’s office of admission. The student should contact the office of admission to determine the school’s accepted mode of delivery (e.g., mail, email, fax). The student should follow up with the office of admission 2-4 weeks post submission to check on the approval status.

For undergraduate transfer applicants

NACAC Request for Transfer Admission Application Fee Waiver Form

STEP 1 – Click on the link above and download the form on your computer.

STEP 2 – Open the form you downloaded and complete it with the instructions below. Note: There are two columns to this form. If you are Eligible for Pell
Grant focus on the left column. If you are not eligible for Pell Grant complete the right column.

1.       Office of Admission at:
The student completes this part.  The student writes the name of the college or university. Students can submit to a maximum of four universities. (One form for each university they are applying to).

2.       On page 1- Certificate Statement: The student completes this part. The student completes the Certificate Statement and sign by using the “Fill & Sign” tool on the PDF or simply type up the initials.

3.       On page 1 (RIGHT COLUMN) –
Ineligible for Pell Grant:
If not Pell Grant eligible, student can check one of the indicators. If the family income falls within the income eligibility guidelines, the student may self-certify their eligibility.

4.       On page 2 (LEFT COLUMN) –
Eligible for Pell Grant:
If student is Pell Grant eligible, follow Option 1 or Option 2.

  •  Option 1: Student performs this step. The Student Aid
    Report (SAR) will confirm the economic need. If student applied
    for FAFSA, log into FAFSA by using your FSA ID and download the
    SAR into your computer
    OR
  •  Option 2: Financial Aid officer completes this part.
    Student visits the current financial aid officer at the current
    institution to confirm Pell Grant eligibility.

5.       Email the completed form to the institution you are transferring to. Please ensure to attach the Student Aid Report (SAR) or Option 2 financial aid official information to your email.

6.       Follow up with your university’s admission representative that all has been received and obtain a timeline when the application will be processed.

Other NACAC waivers

NACAC’s former Inclusion, Access, and Success (IAS) Committee crafted an article addressing the financial micro-barriers students from low-income backgrounds face in the college admission process. Given these obstacles, the committee suggested NACAC offer an enrollment deposit waiver for students experiencing significant financial hardship. Similar to NACAC’s current application fee waiver, the enrollment deposit waiver is used by students to request a fee waiver or deferral.  NACAC and the former IAS Committee understand the importance of the enrollment deposit and acknowledge waiving the fee is not feasible for every postsecondary institution. The hope is colleges and universities will continue to be supportive and flexible regarding financial hardships for our most marginalized students, especially during these uncertain times.

NACAC Enrollment Deposit Fee Waiver

Students should download the form on their computers, fill out the form, add a signature using the “Fill & Sign” button on the top right of the PDF, and save it on their computers. The form must be sent directly to the institution’s office of admission.

Applicants who are not eligible for a Pell Grant, but whose annual family income falls within the form’s alternate income eligibility guidelines, may self-certify their eligibility.

Testing Fee Waivers

Still have questions? We have you covered.

ELIGIBILITY

What are the income eligibility guidelines for the Free and Reduced Lunch (FRPL) program?
Current guidelines effective through June 30, 2023 are available here.

Can I still use the fee waiver request 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, they may sign the form. The school official should check the “Other request…” box in the Economic Need section and provide written justification as to why the student should have their application fee waived.

I have been out of high school for a while and want to apply to college. Can I use the fee waiver form?
Yes. Applicants must seek out a professional who can certify their economic eligibility to complete the Authorized Official section on their behalf. Examples of appropriate professionals include a community-based organization staff member (e.g., social services) and a pastor.

I am a current college student who is interested in transferring to another institution. Can I use this fee waiver form?
Transfer students should use the NACAC Request for Transfer Admission Application Fee Waiver Form.

I am a homeschooled student. How can I obtain the necessary signature to complete the form?
Try 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 you’re unable to obtain permission from a designated school official, the individual responsible for oversight of the homeschooling may complete the form. The individual completing the form should provide their 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 am an international student who is applying to a US college or university. Can I use the form?
Yes, international students who will be first-time undergraduate students and can justify their economic need for a fee waiver are welcome to use the fee waiver form. International students should check the “Other Request” box in the Economic Need section and explain their financial barrier(s) to paying the application fee on the lines provided. Remember that fee waiver forms must be submitted directly to the college or university and that it is ultimately their decision whether the fee waiver is approved.

Students may also wish to consult with an EducationUSA advising center in their home country, that offers support and advice to international students interested in studying in America. EducationUSA advising centers are supported by the US government.

The EducationUSA Opportunity Funds program assists highly qualified students who are likely to be awarded full financial aid from US colleges and universities, but lack the financial resources to cover the upfront costs to apply, such as testing, application fees, or airfare.

FILLING OUT THE FORM

Does my school counselor need to sign the fee waiver form?
It is preferable that a high school counselor completes the Authorized Official section. However, an independent counselor or community-based organization official who is in a position to verify the student’s economic eligibility can complete this section on behalf of the student.

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.

Is the school seal required?
No, the school seal is no longer required.

SUBMITTING THE FORM

How many fee waiver requests may I submit?
The Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver is intended to be used at the colleges or universities a student is most interested in attending. NACAC recommends limiting the use of the form to four schools. If the Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver is not accepted by the college or university, the student will be responsible for paying the application fee to the institution in order to have their application reviewed.

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 colleges.

Where do I mail the form?
Mail the fee waiver form directly to the admission office of the institution to which you are applying.

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 colleges have their own institutional application fee waivers. If you are seeking information about an institution’s fee waiver policy, contact that college directly.

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 institution will ask the student to pay the application fee.

AFTER SUBMISSION

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 that administered the denial.

OTHER FEE WAIVERS

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 colleges and the SAT Fee Waiver at a maximum of four separate colleges.