Friday, June 14College Admissions News

Colleges With No Application Fee (Updated)


Trying to save money on college applications? Good news! There are actually quite a few colleges that allow you to apply for free. In this article, I’ll provide some general information about application fees along with a comprehensive list of all the schools that offer free applications.


Application Fees at a Glance

Most colleges charge application fees in the $50-60 range, but they can sometimes be as high as $90 (looking at you, Stanford). Many top schools charge application fees of $75 or more.

To put this in context, suppose you are applying to five different schools. If three have $50 application fees and two have $75 application fees, you’ll be spending $300 on applications alone. (And that doesn’t include the cost of any ACT or SAT scores you might send as well.) That’s not small change for most people, so application fees are something you might take into account in your college search process.

Fortunately, many schools, even ones that have very high application fees, offer waivers to students with financial need. In order to be eligible for a fee waiver, you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You were provided with a fee waiver to take the SAT or ACT
  • You are enrolled in a Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program
  • Your family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
  • You’re enrolled in a federal, state or local program that aids students from low-income families
  • Your family receives public assistance
  • You live in federally subsidized housing or a foster home

You can request a fee waiver form here. Once you fill out the form, your guidance counselor has to sign it, and then you should mail it to the admissions office of the college you have selected. Alternatively, if you want to avoid paying hundreds of dollars in application fees or going through the process of obtaining a fee waiver, you should consider applying to some of the schools with free applications that are listed in this article.


Making Smart Choices With Application Fees

If your dream school has a $75 application fee and you’re considering not applying because of the cost, you need to consider the costs versus the long term benefits. Compared to the total cost of attending college, that fee is a drop in the bucket. Over the course of four years, if you plan on attending a private college, you’ll end up paying close to $200,000 on average in total cost. Even for public schools the price tag will be close to $100,000. The fee is a very small part of the overall expenses that come along with attending college.

Don’t sacrifice the opportunity to attend a school that’s a perfect fit for you because of an application fee. You’ll most likely end up regretting your decision later. Similarly, you should try not to choose schools that don’t fit what you’re looking for just because they have lower application fees. If you check out some of the no fee schools that I’ve listed and find that you really like them, then it’s a win-win, but don’t let it influence you too much if there are other fee-charging schools that you think you will really love!

Want to build the best possible college application?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world’s best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We’ve overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School


Colleges That Don’t Require Application Fees (By State)

Here is our complete and updated list of colleges that don’t require an application fee. (Note that some schools may require a fee for paper applications.)



Auburn University at Montgomery

Huntingdon College

Miles College

Spring Hill College



Alaska Pacific University



Grand Canyon University

Williams Baptist College



Arkansas Tech University

Henderson State University

Hendrix College

Southern Arkansas University

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff



California College San Diego

Deep Springs College

Dominican University of California

Holy Names University 

Laguna College of the Arts

La Sierra University

Northwest College

Notre Dame de Namur University

Pacific Union College

University of the Pacific

Thomas Aquinas College



Colorado College

Colorado Mountain College

Johnson & Wales University – Denver

Regis University

US Air Force Academy



US Coast Guard Academy

University of Hartford (fee waived only if you apply by November 15)

Mitchell College 

University of Saint Joseph 



Ave Maria University

Florida Gateway College

Florida Institute of Technology

Indian River State College

Johnson & Wales University – North Miami

Polk State College

Saint Leo University

Santa Fe College



Agnes Scott College

Berry College

Brenau University

Oglethorpe University

Piedmont College

Savannah State University

Wesleyan College 



College of Southern Idaho 

College of Idaho



Augustana College

Aurora University

Bradley University

Elmhurst College

Eureka College

Greenville College

Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Wesleyan University

Lake Forest College

Loyola University Chicago

McKendree University

Millikin University

Monmouth College

Rockford University

Saint Augustine College

University of St. Francis



Anderson University

Butler University

Calumet College of St. Joseph

DePauw University

Earlham College

Franklin College

Grace College 

Hanover College

Holy Cross College

Indiana Wesleyan University

Manchester University 

Purdue University-North Central

St. Mary’s College

Trine University

University of Evansville

University of Indianapolis

Valparaiso University



Buena Vista University

Central College

Coe College

Cornell College 

Drake University

Graceland University

Grand View University

Grinnell College

Iowa Wesleyan College

Loras College

Luther College

Morningside College

Mount Mercy University

Northwestern College

Simpson College

St. Ambrose University

Upper Iowa University

Wartburg College



Baker University

Barclay College

Bethany College

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Sterling College



Alice Lloyd College

Asbury University

Berea College

Centre College

Lindsey Wilson College

University of Pikeville

Thomas More College

Transylvania University



Centenary College

Loyola University New Orleans

Tulane University



Colby College

College of the Atlantic

St. Joseph’s College

Unity College



Capitol Technology University 

Hood College

St. John’s College

Stevenson University 

US Naval Academy

Washington Adventist University

Want to build the best possible college application?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world’s best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We’ve overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School



Bay Path College

Eastern Nazarene College

Emmanuel College 

Fisher College 

Hampshire College

Lasell College

Lesley University

MCPHS University

Merrimack College

Mount Holyoke College 

Nichols College

Simmons College

Smith College

Wellesley College



Adrian College

Albion College

Alma College

Aquinas College

Calvin College

Concordia University

University of Detroit Mercy

Ferris State University

Finlandia University

Hillsdale College

Kalamazoo College

Kettering University

Madonna University

Michigan Technological University

Northwood University

Oakland University

Olivet College

Siena Heights University



Augsburg College

Bethany Lutheran College

Bethel University

Carleton College

College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University

Concordia College

Gustavus Adolphus College

Hamline University

Metropolitan State University

Saint John’s University

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

St. Catherine University

St. Olaf College

College of St. Scholastica

University of St. Thomas



Alcorn State University

Jackson State University

Millsaps College

Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi Valley State University

Rust College



Avila University

College of the Ozarks

Culver-Stockton College

Drury University

Fontbonne University

Maryville University of St. Louis

Northwest Missouri State University

Ranken Technical College

Rockhurst University

Saint Louis University

Stephens College

Truman State University

Westminster College

William Jewell College

William Woods University



Carroll College 

University of Great Falls

Salish Kootenai College



Chadron State College

Concordia University-Nebraska

Creighton University

Doane College-Crete

Hastings College

Midland University

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Peru State College

Union College

Wayne State College



Sierra Nevada College


New Hampshire

Colby-Sawyer College 

Granite State College

New England College


New Jersey

Saint Peter’s University


New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University – Main Campus

Navajo Technical University

Northern New Mexico College

St. John’s College


New York

Canisius College

Cazenovia College

Clarkson University 

Colgate University (free for non-US citizens only)

D’Youville College

Daemen College 

Davis College

Hartwick College

Hilbert College

Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Keuka College

Le Moyne College 

Medaille College

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Mount Saint Mary College

Nazareth College

Niagara University

Roberts Wesleyan College

Sage College of Albany

St. Bonaventure University

St. John’s University

College of New Rochelle/Mercy College

College of St. Rose

Touro College

US Merchant Marine Academy

US Military Academy (West Point)


North Carolina

Barton College

Belmont Abbey College

Catawba College

Guilford College

Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte

University of Mount Olive

Queens University of Charlotte

Warren Wilson College


North Dakota

University of Jamestown



Ashland University

Baldwin Wallace University

Chatfield College 

College of Wooster

University of Dayton

Defiance College 

Denison University 

University of Findlay

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Franklin University

Hiram College

John Carroll University

Kenyon College

Lake Erie College

University of Mount Union

Notre Dame College

Oberlin College

Ohio Northern University

Ohio Wesleyan University

Shawnee State University

University of Rio Grande

Ursuline College

Wilmington College

Wittenberg University

Xavier University



Oklahoma Baptist University

Oklahoma Wesleyan University



Lewis & Clark College

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus

Reed College



Albright College

Allegheny College

Arcadia University

Bryn Mawr College 

Carlow University 

Cedar Crest College 

Central Pennsylvania College

Chatham University

Delaware Valley College

Duquesne University

Elizabethtown College 

Gannon University 

Gwynedd Mercy University 

Immaculata University

Juniata College

King’s College 

La Roche College

La Salle University

Lebanon Valley College

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Lycoming College

Marywood University 

Mercyhurst University

Moravian College

Neumann University

Point Park University

Robert Morris University

Rosemont College

Saint Francis University

University of Scranton

Susquehanna University

Ursinus College

Washington & Jefferson College 

Westminster College

Wilson College


Rhode Island

Johnson & Wales University – Providence


South Carolina

Allen University 

Coker College

Columbia College

Converse College

Limestone College

Presbyterian College


South Dakota

Augustana College

University of Sioux Falls 



Freed-Hardeman University

Lane College

Maryville College

Rhodes College

Sewanee: The University of the South

Tusculum College



Austin College

Baylor University

Hardin-Simmons University

Houston Baptist University

Howard Payne University

LeTourneau University

Saint Edward’s University (fee waived for those who apply by Dec. 1)

Southwestern Adventist University

Southwestern University

St. Mary’s University

Texas A&M International University

University of St. Thomas – Texas

University of Houston-Victoria

University of Texas-El Paso

University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

Texas Wesleyan University

Trinity University 



Champlain College



Averett University

Bridgewater College

Christendom College 

Emory & Henry College

Hampden-Sydney College 

Hollins University

Liberty University

Lynchburg College 

Randolph-Macon College 

Randolph College

Roanoke College

Sweet Briar College



Olympic College

Pacific Lutheran University

Saint Martin’s University

Whitworth University


West Virginia

Alderson Broaddus University

Bethany College

Bluefield State College

Concord University

Davis & Elkins College

West Liberty University

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Wheeling Jesuit University



Alverno College

Beloit College

Cardinal Stritch University

Carroll University

Lakeland College

Marquette University

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Mount Mary University

Northland College

St. Norbert College

Wisconsin Lutheran College


What’s Next?

The Common Application makes it easy to apply to a bunch of different schools through a single online platform. Find out which colleges use it.

Are you worried about standardized tests and their role in your college application? Read this article to find out when these tests might not matter for you. Also take a look at this list of colleges that don’t require SAT scores.

Everyone knows about the really selective colleges, but what are some colleges that are actually easy to get into? Find out here.


Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We’ve written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 160+ Points

Raise Your ACT Score by 4 Points (Free Download)