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Common App Fee Waiver

Common App Fee Waiver

Common App and our colleges want to ensure that application fees do not pose a barrier for any student. If you meet certain qualifications, you can request a Common App fee waiver. In this section, indicate whether you meet one or more of the fee waiver criteria.

If you select Yes, enter your signature in the field provided.

What is a Common App fee waiver?

The Common App fee waiver allows you to submit an application without paying an application fee if you meet any of the following qualifications. 

  • You are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the federal free or reduced price lunch program (FPL).*
  • You have received or are eligible to receive an SAT or ACT fee waiver. 
  • Your annual family income falls within the income eligibility guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Your family receives public assistance. 
  • You are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., GEAR UP, TRIO such as Upward Bound or others).
  • You live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless. 
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
  • You have received or are eligible to receive a Pell Grant.
  • You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader. 

*You must enroll or be eligible for the FRPL Students who attend schools where all students receive free lunch do not automatically qualify for a Common App fee waiver. 

Some of these government programs have websites that are hard to navigate. Please reach out to a counselor if you're unsure if you qualify. 

How do I get a Common App fee waiver?

You can request a fee waiver in the Common App Fee Waiver section. If you select that you are eligible for the Common App fee waiver, you will not be charged any application fees when you submit through Common App for transfer. 

Can international students use a Common App fee waiver?

International students may be eligible for a Common App fee waiver. Each college has varying policies so it is not guaranteed that they will accept your fee waiver request as an international student. If a college does not accept your fee waiver, they may ask you to pay the application fee after you submit your application. 

What can I do if I don't meet the Common App fee waiver criteria?

Almost half of all Common App colleges do not charge an application fee. You can use the Application Fee search filters on the Add Program page to find those schools. 

Many colleges also offer a college-specific fee waiver. Contact colleges directly or look for a fee waiver question on their application in the My Colleges tab. 

Does it look bad on my application if I apply for a fee waiver?

Definitely not! Colleges do not want application fees to prevent you from applying to your desired program. 

UStrive Mentoring

UStrive is an online mentoring platform that connects students to qualified mentors who provide guidance through the college admissions and financial aid process, as well as the transition into college, through college, and into their careers. You can learn more on the UStrive website.

How does virtual mentoring work?

Trained volunteer mentors provide students with one-on-one advising throughout the school year, following a structured mentoring curriculum. Students and mentors can connect anytime, anywhere using safe, monitored communications tools like video chat and instant messaging.

Who qualifies for mentoring?

Any registered Common App user who has financial need.

How can I connect with a mentor?

You can sign up on the UStrive website.

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