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VMCAS Application Fees and Fee Waivers

Fees

VMCAS charges $220 for the first program you apply to and $120 for each additional program. 

Some programs may have an additional supplemental fee; contact your programs to learn if they require this and how to pay it.

Supplemental Applications and Fees

Individual schools may require supplemental applications and/or fees that should be sent directly to the school. Review each program's requirements for additional information and instructions. 

To determine if your school requires a supplemental application, refer to the College Descriptor Pages.

Fee Assistance Program

Starting on May 12, 2021, a limited number of fee waivers are provided to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Each fee waiver covers only the initial application fee, so if you wish to apply to additional programs, you are responsible for the remaining balance. If you received a fee waiver during a previous cycle, you may still apply for another in the next cycle. 

Keep in mind that fee waiver funds can be quickly depleted. Contact customer service at 617-612-2884 before you submit a fee waiver request to determine if waivers are still available.

Note that all fee waiver requests must be submitted by August 13, 2021.

Qualification Requirements

There are two types of fee waivers applicants can qualify for:

  • Income-based
  • Service-based

You can only apply for one type of fee waiver per cycle. Additionally, you must request a fee waiver before you submit your application. Requests received after an application has been submitted will not be honored. 

If you are approved for a fee waiver, you are required to submit your application within 14 days (including holidays and weekends). Extensions will not be granted; failure to submit your application on time will void your fee waiver and you will not be allowed to reapply for a waiver. 

Income-based Waivers

To qualify for an income-based fee waiver, you must have either:

  • Filed a 2020 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ with an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Level listed below, or
  • Been listed as a dependent on a filed 2020 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ with an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Level listed below. If you were claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian on their 2020 Federal Income Tax Return, VMCAS requires you to use that individual's Federal Income Tax Return instead of your own. 
Low Income Levels for 2021-2022 Cycle Awards*

If applicable, use the following chart to help you determine if you come from an economically disadvantaged background. 

Size of Family**

Low Income Level***

1

$38,280

2

$51,720

3

$65,160

4

$78,600

5

$92,040

6

$105,480

7

$118,920

8

$132,360

For each additional person add:

$13,440

* The low income level is based on 300 percent of the US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. It is used to determine what constitutes a low-income family for the 2021-2022 cycle.

** Size of family means the number of exemptions listed on the qualified income tax return forms. For example, a family size of 4 may include two parents and two dependents.

*** Income Level refers to the adjusted gross income stated on the most recent filed federal income tax return 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

Service-based Waivers

To qualify for a service-based fee waiver, you must have participated in one of the eligible service-based organizations:

Click on an organization above to download the fee waiver form. Complete the form, and if necessary, also have a certifying officer or program administrator complete their section of the form.

Applying for a Fee Waiver

Determine when to apply for your waiver.

Keep in mind that fee waivers are limited and only valid for 14 days (including holidays and weekends) from the time you are approved. Be ready to submit your application if you are approved. 

Start your application.

You must have an account to apply for a fee waiver. Fee assistance applications are not accepted by mail or email. 

Complete and submit your fee assistance application.

  1. Click on your name in the upper right corner of the application, then select Fee Assistance Program
  2. Select the type of fee waiver you want to apply for. 
    • If selecting financial-based fee waiver, enter your household's adjusted gross income for 2020 and the current number of members in your household. Note that “size of family” includes the number of people claimed as dependents on the tax report. Then upload a copy of the filed 2020 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. This form was either filed by you or by someone who listed you as a dependent (such as a parent or guardian). Remember, if you were listed as a dependent, you must submit that individual's tax return form instead of your own.
    • If selecting service-based fee waiver, select your service from the drop-down and upload a copy of your completed fee waiver form.

Await notification.

Once you submit your fee waiver request, it can take up to ten business days to process. The status of your request will be sent to both your email address and your application inbox.

While your fee waiver request is pending, you are unable to submit your application. To submit your application and forfeit your waiver request, return to the Fee Assistance Program section and click Cancel Request. Once you submit your application, you are ineligible to apply for another fee waiver.

Submit your application and pay any remaining balance. 

If you are approved, the waiver amount of $220 will be automatically deducted from your total fees, and you are responsible for any remaining balance. Contact customer service immediately if you do not see the waiver amount deducted.

Remember to submit your application within 14 days of your approval (including holidays and weekends). Outstanding transcripts, recommendations, and/or test scores do not have to be received within this timeframe.

Letter of Explanation

VMCAS considers extreme financial need or living at or below 300% of the 2020 US Poverty Guidelines as potential considerations for fee assistance. If you cannot provide the required documents to apply for the VMCAS Fee Assistance Program (e.g., the 2020 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ), you can submit a letter of explanation instead.

You must submit this letter of explanation before you submit your application and wait to submit your application until a decision is made. Fee assistance only covers the initial application fee, so if you wish to apply to additional programs, you are responsible for the remaining balance. Additionally, submitting a letter of explanation does not guarantee that you will be awarded fee assistance. Note that all letters of explanation must be submitted by August 13, 2021.

The letter of explanation must include:

  • Details of extreme financial need.
  • Explanation for why you could not provide the 2020 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ for the VMCAS fee waiver.
  • Your current method of financial support. You can select one of the following for proof of financial support.​​​​​​:
    • Financial Aid Award Notification/Summary
      • Submit a copy of your Financial Aid Award Notification/Summary for the 2020-2021 academic year. If you did not receive financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year, submit a letter from your institution's financial aid office that states that you did not receive financial aid. This letter must be on official letterhead and signed by a financial aid office's representative.
    • Other Income or Financial Support Received
      • Submit proof of other income, such as:
        • Social Security
        • SNAP
        • Veteran’s benefits
        • Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
        • Housing vouchers
        • Child support
        • Alimony
        • Spousal support (monthly income, food, housing)

Letters of explanation that are missing details or supporting documentation will not be considered and will be automatically withdrawn from fee assistance consideration.

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