If you plan to apply for college or further your education, you may need to take one or more standardized tests, including the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and more.
While the cost of taking these exams varies widely, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per exam. In addition to paying for the test, itself, you may need to enroll in an online or in-person preparation course, purchase study materials or hire a tutor. Moreover, many students end up taking these tests multiple times if they wish to improve their scores.
To ease the financial burden of completing these tests, reduced-fee waivers are available to qualifying applicants who meet eligibility requirements. Additionally, qualifying students who meet household income restrictions may be eligible to waive the entire application fee. To learn more about these fee waivers, review the information below.
If your household meets income restrictions, you may apply for the College Board Fee-Waiver Service if you wish to take the SAT, Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship (PSAT/NMSQT), SAT Subject Tests, or any Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. In most cases, you may qualify for the fee waiver if you are eligible for benefits under the National School Lunch Program (NLSP), live in subsidized housing, or qualify for another type of public assistance program.
To qualify for the SAT Fee-Waiver Service, your household income must fall within the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Guidelines. For instance, households of one must earn an annual income of less than $22,459 and households of two must earn less than $30,451 per year. Households of three must earn less than $38,443 per year, and families of four must receive an annual salary of less than $46,435.
To obtain a fee waiver, however, you must speak with your school’s guidance counselor to determine your eligibility for the program. If you are homeschooled, you must provide a local high school counselor with proof of your eligibility. Acceptable types of proof may include the following:
After obtaining a fee waiver, you’ll receive a code that can be used to register for the SAT. When you register for the exam, you’ll need to provide the code in lieu of your credit card payment information.
If you wish to take the ACT, you may be eligible for the ACT Fee-Waiver Service if you are in 11th or 12th grade, have a qualifying economic need, and cannot afford to register for the standardized test without obtaining some form of financial assistance. In most cases, the eligibility requirements are the same as those for the SAT. To apply for financial assistance, however, you must complete a fee waiver application through your high school counselor, as waivers are not available through the testing organization.
As another option, you may qualify for a state voucher, as this covers all or part of the ACT registration fee. To obtain a voucher, however, you must contact your school’s counselor or ACT Testing Coordinator for additional information.
While you generally need to obtain an ACT or SAT fee waiver from your school’s guidance counselor, you may contact the testing organization directly if these resources are not available to you. When contacting the testing company, simply let the organization know that your school does not provide students with these resources, and you’re wondering how you can apply for a waiver. To get started, you may contact the ACT at 319-337-1270 or the SAT at 866-756-7346.
Related Article: Student Loans
For tests, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), you may apply for the GRE Fee Reduction Program if you are eligible to do so. Generally, you must be a self-supporting college senior or an unenrolled college graduate who receives financial aid. To apply for financial assistance, however, you must also complete a GRE Fee Reduction Request Form and mail it to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), along with proof of your eligibility. For instance, proof of eligibility includes a Fee Reduction Request Form and:
After gathering your application materials, mail them to the following address:
PO Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
If you wish to attend law school but cannot afford to pay for the LSAT, you may apply for a fee waiver. To qualify for the waiver, however, you must be a U.S., Canadian, or Australian citizen or a permanent alien or U.S. national. Moreover, U.S. citizens may create an online account to complete a fee waiver application electronically, while Canadian or Australian applicants must complete a paper application.
As part of the application process, you must also provide the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) with proof of your eligibility for a fee waiver. For instance, proof of eligibility includes the following:
Furthermore, you may obtain a GMAT fee waiver from your school if you cannot afford to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. However, you cannot apply for the GMAT waiver directly through the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), and you must obtain a waiver from an authorized school representative. In most cases, you must be financially-needy and meet minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements to qualify for the waiver.
Related Article: Saving and Budgeting Tips for New College Grads