New Guide Advises Teens on How to Avoid Paying Expensive College Application Fees


As high school seniors begin the annual fall scramble to complete their college applications, many have overlooked one important fact:

They may not need to pay those college application fees.

In a 60second Recap survey of 142 U.S. high school seniors from 24 states, 80 of the respondents said they hadn't heard that college application fees could be waived in the event of “financial hardship.”

Just as surprising: 68% of those high school seniors who said they knew that college admission application fees could be waived also said they did not know how to obtain the waiver itself. 60second Recap, a teen-oriented website (, announced the results of its poll today.

“I've heard about it, but I can't get a straight answer from my guidance counselor,” Northern California senior Phoebe R., told the Recap. Said another high school senior from New Hampshire: “News to me.”

60second Recap's survey announcement accompanied the publication of its step-by-step guide to obtaining college application fee waivers, College Application Fee Waivers: Just Ask ( The Recap's guide details the four qualifying criteria colleges use to determine “financial hardship,” and the three options available to high school seniors who need to obtain college application fee waivers.

These waivers are no small matter for those who need the assistance. While the average college application fee is $38.79, fees for the most competitive and prestigious colleges can be a lot higher: Stanford University, for example, levies a $90 fee on applications to its incoming freshman class. (This past year Stanford rejected roughly 94% of its applicants. The application fees those applicants paid, of course, were nonrefundable.)

“'Financial hardship' means that you and your family can't reasonably be expected to pay those college application fees,” 60second Recap advises. “Of course, you have to qualify for a waiver, and it's up to the college to decide whether you meet their criteria. But many colleges require little more than your assurance that you meet their requirements. In many respects, with many institutions, it's the honor code in action.”

Recently, 60second Recap published an analysis of Forbes “30 under 30″ survey of highly-accomplished recent college graduates ( Its “15 over 50% ” highlights the least selective colleges and universities with alumni among Forbes “30 over 30″ honorees in each of the 15 Forbes “30 under 30″ categories

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.