Nowadays, it’s not only expensive to go to college; it’s also expensive to apply. College applications have increased in cost – some of them are upwards of $80! And, for students with limited funds, it can be financially cumbersome to apply to several schools. After all, $80 spent on an application is $80 that could go towards paying for tuition. With that, students should consider applying to colleges that do not have application fees. The good news is that there are plenty of institutions that recognize that the application fee costs are expensive and no longer charge fees for their applications. Many colleges may even have a declared application fee, but will waive the charge for students who apply online, usually utilizing the Common Application. Just an aside, the Common Application is available at over 900 institutions. It allows students applying to college to fill out and submit one application for multiple schools. Students can even apply for a Common Application fee waiver. According to the Common Application website, "If you feel that your financial circumstances might qualify you for an application fee waiver, you can request a fee waiver in the Common Application Fee Waiver section in the Profile section." Niche publishes a best colleges list, which includes the top colleges without application fees. According to Niche, “The 2021 Best Colleges with No Application Fee ranking filters the 2020 Best Colleges ranking to only include colleges with free applications. Note that additional colleges waive application fees for low-income, minority, veteran, and other student types so be sure to check each school's website.” You can learn more about the methodology of Niche’s best colleges lists here. Here are 33 of Niche’s top colleges with no application fees: 1. Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota 2. United States Military Academy – West Point, New York 3. Colby College – Waterville, Maine 4. Wellesley College – Wellesley, Massachusetts 5. Macalester College – Saint Paul, Minnesota 6. Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana 7. Grinnell College – Grinnell, Iowa 8. Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts 9. Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio 10. Reed College – Portland, Oregon 11. St. Olaf College – Northfield, Minnesota 12. Colorado College – Colorado Springs, Colorado 13. Michigan Technological University – Houghton, Michigan 14. Saint Louis University – St. Louis, Missouri 15. Denison University – Granville, Ohio 16. Rhodes College – Memphis, Tennessee 17. Sewanee, The University of the South – Sewanee, Tennessee 18. University of Dayton – Dayton, Ohio 19. Hendrix College – Conway, Arkansas 20. Milwaukee School of Engineering – Milwaukee, Wisconsin 21. Gustavus Adolphus College – Saint Peter, Minnesota 22. United States Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point, New York 23. University of St. Thomas, Minnesota – Saint Paul, Minnesota 24. Drake University – Des Moines, Iowa 25. Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio 26. Augustana University – Sioux Falls, South Dakota 27. LeTourneau University – Longview, Texas 28. Hope College – Holland, Michigan 29. Lawrence University – Appleton, Wisconsin 30. Lewis & Clark College – Portland, Oregon 31. Marquette University – Milwaukee, Wisconsin 32. College of Wooster – Wooster, Ohio 33. Missouri University of Science & Technology – Rolla, Missouri
Avoid paying a college application fee by applying to these top colleges.