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Saving on Costly College Application Fees

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Parents, it's time to start warming up the credit card.  Application fees are a significant source of revenue for colleges, with some schools tagging applications north of $80 at the time of submission (I'm looking at you, Duke!)  Students who find themselves applying to an expanding pool of colleges (often unnecessary if they carefully consider their list on the front end) can expect to accrue hundreds of dollars in application fees alone.

But there are ways to trim down these initial costs by taking advantage of special arrangements that some colleges offer.  For example, students who apply in the early pool or by a priority deadline set by an individual college may be offered an application fee discount. In other instances, colleges may induce students who have visited campus to ultimately apply by offering a special discount code as a "thank you" for making the trip.  And, of course, most schools offer total fee waivers for students who demonstrate significant financial need.

There are nationally-known colleges out there across varying levels of selectivity recognizing the barrier of mounting application fees and increasingly offering students cost breaks at the time of application.  For an excellent, updated list of colleges that may reduce application fees across various scenarios, read  HERE.

Tuition bills come soon enough.  Saving where you can starts now! 


Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting,  providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admission process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC.  Contact Marla via  

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