Unfortunately, there are times when applying to a college or university is not free. Although many colleges have no application fees, the vast majority do.
Even without accounting for the money, you’d have to spend on admissions tests or campus tours, applying to seven to ten colleges might cost you hundreds of dollars in application costs.
There are colleges out there that waive the pricey application fees. Check out the information on the following subjects, along with our list of best colleges with no application fees, down below:
How do You Choose Colleges with No Application Fee?
The following are some crucial considerations while selecting colleges with no application fee:
The completion of schooling: A college or university must maintain a specific level of academic performance to remain accredited. A college’s quality can be judged by its long history, good rankings, and faculty members who have significantly contributed to its subjects.
Costs: The cost of tuition can vary greatly, even at institutions that don’t charge for admissions, and there are occasionally unforeseen costs as well. For instance, you might have to pay extra for some textbooks or online resources.
Coursework. Does the program’s curriculum cover subjects you want to learn more about? Are there study materials, including the textbooks? Find out all of this before applying.
Class Structure: While some university degree programs have a more hybrid structure that combines online and in-person classes, others offer online college courses.
Student Support: Are there numerous resources for students at the college, such as career services, tutoring, technical assistance, or chances to participate in internships?
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20 Colleges With No Application Fees
Numerous schools and universities accept applicants without payment. To give you an idea of the wide range of institutions you can apply to for free, here are 20 of them.
Remember that application fee policies might change from year to year, so before you start filling out the application, you might want to double-check that your top institutions provide money-free applications.
1. Carleton College
Outside of Minnesota’s “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and Saint Paul is where you’ll find Carleton University. The student-to-faculty ratio at this liberal arts college is 8:1, and it offers students 54 majors and minors.
With 70% of students eventually continuing on to graduate school within eight years, approximately 88% of Carleton students graduate within four years.
2. Colby College
56 majors are available at this private liberal arts college, which was established in 1813. Colby College enrolls roughly 2,100 students, most of whom live on campus.
Colby College stands apart for various reasons, including its dedication to carbon neutrality. The college balances its carbon emissions by finding various ways to offset them. Colby is also the favorite of many because it is among the best colleges with no application fee.
3. Grinnell College
Grinnell College is a small, private university with a student body of only 1,700. Those who are unclear about where they want to attend college can submit a preliminary application to this liberal arts college.
Grinnell has rigorous eligibility requirements, including four years of English, mathematics, and natural science and three years of a foreign language. This makes getting into the institution tough.
4. Kenyon College
Located in a small town in Ohio, Kenyon College offers more than 50 majors and is well-known for its academic program. This private school also offers merit and talent scholarships in areas like art, music, and writing, as well as its STEM and KEEP scholarships (the latter of which is aimed at first-generation students and those from underrepresented backgrounds).
With a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, Grinnell may be a good fit for those seeking smaller classes — most classrooms have less than 20 people.
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5. Macalester College
One of Minnesota’s “Twin Cities,” Saint Paul is home to Macalester College, which was founded in 1874 by a Civil War chaplain. Average class sizes are 17 students, and Macalester has one of the best admission rates of any school on our list.
Macalester is a four-year nonprofit institution with 64 areas of study and a student body of nearly 2,000 people from 98 different nations.
6. Reed College
Using conference-style classrooms and labs to stimulate student interaction with the material, Reed College has a distinctive teaching methodology. All on-campus accommodation is gender inclusive, and the campus is spread across 116 acres.
Reed University enrolls roughly 1,500 undergraduates, and there are typically 16 students in each course.
7. Tulane University
This private university, a member of the Association of American Universities, strongly emphasizes research. This university was founded as the Medical College of Louisiana, a public institution, but changed its name to Tulane University in 1884 due to a gift of more than $1 million in cash and assets from successful businessman Paul Tulane.
Tulane emphasizes small class sizes and provides more than 75 majors and minors, despite having a student body of around 8,000.
9. United States Military Academy at West Point
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a prestigious military school, but due to its high criteria, it has the lowest admission rate on our list.
You must be between the ages of 17 and 23, single, not expecting, and not required to pay child support to be considered for admission to West Point. You must also be a citizen of the United States, however, there are some exceptions for overseas students.
10. Wellesley College
Wellesley College was established in 1870. With only 2,350 students enrolled, Wellesley is a small private school with a highly demanding admissions procedure.
Madeleine Korbel Albright (class of 1959) and Hillary Rodham Clinton are two of this school’s most well-known ex-pupils (class of 1969).
11. Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University’s mission is to enrich its student’s lives through world-class research, instruction, and creative initiatives.
The institution capitalizes on the value of active learning by having a physical campus in Cleveland’s University Circle and online courses that are convenient for students.
Online Colleges With No Application Fee
Far from the conventional on-site colleges with no application, there are also online colleges with no application fee you can apply to.
With the help of our research associates, below are some online colleges with no application fee you can identify with.
12. Maryville University
A degree can be earned in about 30 undergraduate majors and half as many graduate degrees through Maryville University’s substantial distant education program.
Accounting, computer science, forensic psychology, nursing, business, administration, and many other courses are available.
13. Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University, the oldest Catholic university in the nation, provides more than 40 programs for students interested in online learning. Computer Information Systems, Homeland Security, Industrial Psychology, Project Management, and other subjects are among the undergraduate programs they offer online.
The school offers a fully online nursing degree in addition to a current degree program in Cannabis Science and Operations, which is of particular relevance.
14. Ashworth College
Ashworth College, which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is fully approved by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), is frequently cited as one of the finest online colleges for high-quality distance learning.
The Norcross, Georgia-based online institution is also permitted to provide professional and technical training instruction along with associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.
15. Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago, a more established Catholic university founded in 1870, is ranked among the top 10 online colleges by U.S. News and World Report. The university provides B.A. programs in nursing, applied studies, information technology, management, and applied psychology. Additionally, Loyola is a fantastic place to pursue a graduate degree. There are 16 options available, including Public Health.
16. Norwich University
Norwich University, located in the bucolic Northfield, Vermont, is renowned for being the first private military college in America to offer leadership training to both cadets and civilian students.
The virtual online campus offers undergraduate degrees in business, nursing, data analytics, criminal justice, and cybersecurity. A road to a graduate degree in diplomacy, architecture, history, business administration, civil engineering, criminal justice, public administration, education, nursing, organizational leadership, and other fields is provided to students at the master’s level.
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Colleges With No Application Fee and No Essay
Below is a list of colleges with no application fee and no essay requirement, in contrast to the schools listed above that do not charge an application price but demand some essay or writing sample as part of the admissions process. A brief overview and a list of admissions requirements are provided for each school.
17. DePaul University
DePaul University, established in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission, a religious order that adheres to St. Vincent de Paul’s beliefs, enrolls more than 23,000 students yearly. Because of the diversity of its student body, which hails from 114 nations and all 50 states, the university was given the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award by INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine.
The following criteria must be met for admission to DePaul University:
- Official transcripts for a completed application
- SAT/ACT scores (optional)
- Recommendation letter from a guidance counselor
18. Taylor University
Taylor University is a liberal arts college that adheres to evangelical Christianity and the lordship of Jesus Christ. Each course puts you through a spiritual test when you encounter probable moral problems in your future employment.
Taylor University does not demand an essay for admission, but it does ask that you explain how God has been at work in your life. This may be accomplished through an article, a face-to-face or telephone interview, or through the uploading of an interview.
Additional criteria for acceptance include:
- High school transcript, ACT or SAT scores, and a letter of recommendation from a pastor, mentor, or other unrelated adults
19. Maryville University
Private, four-year Maryville University was established in 1872. The school maintains small class sizes to promote learning and guarantee that each student receives individualized attention. This is just one illustration of how Maryville continues to put its students first.
Another reason is that it’s one of the colleges that doesn’t require an essay or an application fee.
The following criteria must be met for Maryville admission:
- Diploma from high school
- High School GPA of 2.5 or Higher
Students who don’t satisfy the above standards are treated on a case-by-case basis and may be required to complete more admissions requirements, such as an interview or additional testing.
20. University of Dayton
The University of Dayton, a prestigious research university established in 1850, grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in addition to several certificate options.
Dayton is always prepared to integrate new technologies into education since it adjusts and adapts to the times easily. The university is also intensely dedicated to promoting the welfare of the local community.
Among the prerequisites for admission are the following:
- Completed Application
- Official Transcript
- Official ACT or SAT Scores
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Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some strategies to save money on application fees.
Visit a university.
Certain colleges will waive the application fee for those who schedule (and attend) a campus visit day.
Alumni Are Your Friends; Apply Online.
Find colleges without application fees, haggle, and provide documentation of your financial difficulty.
Ask what their fee waiver policy is when you call the admissions office of the college or university you intend to apply to.
Many schools have extremely straightforward procedures in place for fee waivers, and they may only ask you to submit a statement from your mentor or guidance counselor outlining your financial status.
The university must pay for the expense of reviewing applications. They must pay an employee to review each one, and the student is responsible for paying this fee. Unless, of course, you are a fee waiver eligible. Due to this, college applications are expensive.
As we said earlier, colleges can change policies overnight. Including colleges with no application fee. Therefore, before you apply ensure you find out if their waiver on application fees still stands.
Waivers on application fee policy can be found on the college’s websites as listed above.