Friday, July 19College Admissions News

What’s the Total Cost of the SAT?


Just like many parts of the college application process, taking the SAT (and even using your SAT scores) comes with an assortment of fees. Here, I’ll break down every possible SAT registration cost and score fee. We’ll go over strategies for saving as much money as possible on the SAT.


Registration Costs for the SAT (Updated for 2022-2023)

Registration charges are unfortunately mandatory if you are planning on taking the SAT. Registration-related fees, or add-ons that can bump up your costs, aren’t required of test-takers. These extra services could be useful in special circumstances, even though you’ll end up shelling out a few extra bucks.

It costs $60 to register for the SAT. (As a reminder, the SAT with Essay stopped being offered during normal testing as of June 2021.)

And here’s a chart outlining optional add-on fees:

Add-on Fees Cost Description
Register by phone $15 Instead of registering online. Available only if you’ve registered for the test before.
Late fee $30 Charge for registering after the normal deadline, but before the late registration deadline. Free with fee waiver.
Waitlist fee $53 Charge for being added to a test date waitlist after the late registration deadline. Charge is processed only if you end up taking the test. NOTE: Waitlist registration is not currently available for the 2022-2023 school year.
International fees $43-$53 Extra charges for taking the test outside of the US; varies by region.



Score Report & Analysis Costs for the SAT (Updated for 2022-2023)

After you take the SAT, you’ll want to receive, analyze, and send out your scores. This chart outlines all possible post-test services and their costs.

Service Cost Description
Receiving scores online $0 Checking your scores online is free of charge. You still need to send official score reports to schools, however.
Receiving scores by mail $0 This would take longer than just checking your scores online, but it’s also free of charge.
Receiving scores by phone $15 This fee is per call.
Score report (first four reports) $0 Enter up to four school score report requests at no cost (up to the Monday nine days after the published test date).
Score report (each additional report) $12 After your first four reports, you’re charged this fee per each additional score report.
Rush report request $31 This cost is per order, not per score report; there’s no guaranteed report delivery date. This fee is in addition to any fee per score report you’re paying.
Question & Answer service $16 Only available for specific test dates. You receive a copy of the SAT questions, your responses, the correct responses with scoring instructions, and information about question type and difficulty. Fee waiver available for eligible students.
Student Answer service $16 You receive information on question type, difficulty level, and whether your answer was correct, incorrect, or omitted. A watered-down version of the Question & Answers service. Free with fee waiver.
Multiple choice score verification $55 Charge for having someone manually review your multiple choice answer sheet. Fee reduction available.


How to Minimize SAT Registration & Reporting Costs

As you can see, SAT registration and reporting costs can add up pretty quickly if you’re pressed for time, if you want detailed score reports, or if you’re applying to a lot of schools. You can avoid a lot of these fees if you plan ahead.



Planning ahead can save you hundreds of dollars; your piggy bank will thank you


Take the Test Early

If you’re scrambling to get official score reports to schools before their application deadlines, you might not have a choice but to pay $31 for a rush order. This might happen if you take the SAT last minute, or if you procrastinate in sending official score reports. Although this is unavoidable in certain circumstances, you’ll save yourself money (and unnecessary stress) if you take your test earlier rather than later.

It takes about two weeks for your scores to be posted after you take your SAT. You should budget another two weeks at the minimum for colleges to actually receive your score reports. In order to avoid rush fees, try to schedule your last SAT no later than four weeks before your scores need to be in.


Register Early

If you miss the normal deadline and have to register late, you’ll end up increasing your total registration costs by about 50%. Registering months in advance won’t just save you money—it will also ensure you get the test date you want before all the seats are booked. Having a hard test deadline in mind can also jumpstart your motivation to study; you’ll be better able to budget your time.


Take Advantage of Free Score Reports

You can send up to four score reports for free if you specify the schools you’d like to send your scores to early enough. List the four schools as early as registration, and as late as the Monday nine days after the published test date. This will save you up to $48.


Apply for a Fee Waiver if You’re Eligible

Low-income families may find these SAT costs to be especially daunting. In an effort to mitigate this financial burden, the College Board offers fee waivers to certain students. You may qualify if you meet any of the following SAT fee waiver requirements:

  • You’re enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Your family income falls within guidelines for free or reduced price lunches
  • Your family receives public assistance
  • You’re enrolled in a federal, state, or local program for low income students (e.g. Upward Bound)
  • You live in subsidized housing, foster care, or are homeless
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan

With a fee waiver, you get free test registration and free score reports. You have to apply for a fee waiver through your school counselor; since this can take time, make sure to apply for a fee waiver well in advance of the test dates you’d like to register for.


What’s Next?

Now that you know how much it’ll cost you, how do you register for the SAT? Our guide walks you through each step you need to take for SAT registration (with photos)!

We’ve gone over ways you can save money on your SAT registration and score reports, but did you know that you can actually make money on the SAT? Learn more about how your SAT scores can open up some great scholarship opportunities.

Of course, you want to make sure you get the best scores possible, and not just for scholarships. Check out our guide to getting the perfect SAT score.


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