colleges that waive application fee

Applying to universities in USA can be an expensive process, especially for students who are already facing financial constraints.  Application fees for USA universities range between 50-100 USD (3,720 INR to 7,400 INR). Generally, students apply to multiple colleges so this cost can go as high as 1000 USD (61,000 INR) for just application fees. Post-COVID, several popular colleges in USA   offer application fee waivers for international students. The list of universities in USA without application fees for international students includes popular names like Yale, Depaul, Rhodes, Case Western, etc. 

Universities in USA without Application Fees

Let us now look at some top universities in USA without application fees for international students:

UniversityLocationApplication Deadlines
Yale University (fee waiver)ConnecticutJanuary 2, 2024
Wellesley CollegeMassachusettsJanuary 8, 2024
Carleton College  (fee waiver)MinnesotaJanuary 15, 2024
Smith CollegeMassachusettsJanuary 15, 2024
Grinnell CollegeIowaRolling Basis
Tulane College (no fee for graduate certificate programs)LouisianaApplications closed for Fall 2023
Colby CollegeMaineJanuary 1, 2024
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaJanuary 15, 2024
Reed CollegeOregonJanuary 15, 2024
Kenyon CollegeOhioJanuary 15, 2024
Colorado CollegeColoradoJanuary 15, 2024
Denison UniversityOhioJanuary 15, 2024
St Louis UniversityMissouriApril 1, 2024
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeJanuary 15, 2024
Union CollegeNew YorkJanuary 15, 2024
Illinois Wesleyan CollegeIllinoisRolling Basis
Drake UniversityIowaMarch 1, 2024
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaJanuary 15, 2024
Hobart and William Smith CollegesNew YorkNovember 15, 2023
Lawrence UniversityWisconsinJanuary 15, 2024
Baylor UniversityTexasJanuary 15, 2024
Ursinus CollegePennsylvaniaFebruary 12, 2024
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityOhioFebruary 2024
Michigan Technological UniversityMichiganApril 1, 2024
Southwestern UniversityTexasFebruary 1, 2024
Beloit CollegeWisconsinJanuary 15, 2024
Hampshire CollegeMassachusettsJanuary 15, 2024

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Deadlines for Top USA UniversitiesIntakes in USA
Exams to Study in USAStudent Visa for USA

List of Universities with no application fee in USA – by state

Let us now distinguish universities in USA without application fees by various states:

StatesUniversities without application fee
WashingtonOlympic College | Whitworth University
TexasHoward Payne University | Houston Baptist University | Baylor University | Southwestern University 
PennsylvaniaAlbright College | Alghany College | Carlow University
OhioDenison University | John Carroll University
IndianaHanover College | Trine University | University of Indianapolis 
IllinoisAurora University | Illinois College | Millikin University | Loyola University Chicago | Lake Forest College 
FloridaFlorida Gateway College | Polk State College
CaliforniaNorthwest College | Pacific Union College | University of the Pacific

How to get application fee waivers at the universities in USA?

There are several ways to obtain application fee waivers for universities in USA. Some options include:

  • College Board Fee Waivers: If you have received a College Board Fee Waiver for the SAT or ACT, you may also be eligible for college application fee waivers. You can check your eligibility on the College Board website.
  • Common Application Fee Waivers: If you are applying to schools that accept the Common Application, you can request a fee waiver through the application itself. The Common App provides fee waivers for students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Directly contacting the university: Some universities may have their own fee waiver programs for students who meet certain criteria. Check the university’s website or contact the admissions office directly to inquire about fee waivers.
  • Automatic application fee waivers: There are some universities in USA that do not charge any application fee, thereby automatically making the admission procedure free of cost for applicants.

Application Process for Applying to Universities in US without Application Fee

The application process for applying to Universities with no application fee in USA for international students typically involves several steps, including the following:

  • Researching universities: Begin by researching universities that offer programs in your field of study. Look at rankings, location, size, cost, and other factors to determine which schools are the best fit for you.
  • Taking standardized tests: Most universities in USA require either the SAT or the ACT for undergraduate admissions, and the GRE or GMAT for graduate admissions. Be sure to check the specific requirements for each school you are applying to.
  • Gathering application materials: The application materials you will need may include transcripts, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and a resume or CV. Be sure to review each school’s requirements carefully and collect all necessary materials.
  • Submitting applications: Many universities in the United States use an online application system, such as the Common Application. You will need to create an account, fill out the application form, and upload your materials. Be sure to double-check all application materials before submitting them.
  • Paying application fees: Most universities charge an application fee, which can range from USD 50 to USD 100 or more. Be sure to budget for these fees when planning your applications.
  • Waiting for decisions: After submitting your applications, you will need to wait for each university to make a decision. This can take several weeks to several months, depending on the school.

Why Apply for Universities in USA without Application Fee 

Studying in USA is quite expensive compared to other study abroad destinations in the world. However, paying for application fee is not a huge expense but its is suggested to keep a track of your finances. If you are planning to apply in multiple univeristies, then short list universities in usa with no application fee. Some of the universities have no application fee while others may offer fee waiver on meeting certain conditions. The application fee is non-refundable in most universities in USA hence applying for universities with no application fee is if you submitting multiple applications. 

Canadian Colleges with Waived Application Fees

Canada is known for its world-class education system and welcoming international students. In recent years, many Canadian colleges have recognized the importance of making the application process accessible and affordable for all students. Here are a few Canadian colleges that are known to waive application fees or have specific criteria for waiving them:

  1. Carleton University: Carleton University, located in Ottawa, Ontario, offers an application fee waiver to students who demonstrate financial need.
  2. Dalhousie University: This prestigious institution in Halifax, Nova Scotia, offers a limited number of application fee waivers to eligible students.
  3. University of Winnipeg: The University of Winnipeg in Manitoba provides application fee waivers to international students who meet specific criteria, such as excellent academic records or financial need.
  4. University of Calgary: The University of Calgary offers application fee waivers to students from low-income families.

It’s essential to check the official websites of these institutions and inquire about their specific application fee waiver policies, as they may change over time.

No Application Fee Online Colleges in Georgia

Georgia is home to a variety of higher education institutions, including those that offer online programs with no application fees. These colleges aim to make education more accessible and affordable for all students. Some online GA colleges that waive application fees or have low-cost options include:

  1. Georgia Highlands College: This institution offers a free online application, making it easy for prospective students to apply without financial barriers.
  2. Georgia Military College: Georgia Military College is another institution with a waived application fee, allowing students to explore various academic programs.
  3. Georgia Perimeter College (now part of Georgia State University): Although it’s been merged into Georgia State University, this institution used to offer a cost-effective application process.

Please keep in mind that these details are accurate as of my last knowledge update in September 2021. It’s crucial to verify the current application fee policies of these institutions before applying.

HBCUs Waiving Application Fees

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States have a long-standing tradition of providing quality education to African American students. Some HBCUs have recognized the financial challenges students may face and have implemented policies to waive application fees. Here are a few HBCUs known for waiving application fees:

  1. Hampton University: Hampton University, located in Virginia, has a policy of waiving the application fee for students who demonstrate financial need.
  2. Spelman College: Spelman College, an all-women’s institution in Atlanta, Georgia, is known to offer fee waivers to eligible students.
  3. Morehouse College: Morehouse College, a prominent men’s college in Atlanta, Georgia, also provides fee waivers to students who meet specific criteria.

It’s important to note that HBCUs may have different criteria for fee waivers, so it’s advisable to visit their official websites or contact their admissions offices for the most up-to-date information.


Access to quality education should not be limited by financial constraints. Fortunately, many colleges and universities around the world are recognizing this and taking steps to make their application processes more inclusive by waiving or reducing application fees. Whether you are looking at Canadian colleges, online colleges in Georgia, or HBCUs in the United States, there are opportunities available for students to pursue their educational goals without the burden of excessive application fees. As the higher education landscape continues to evolve, it’s essential to stay informed about these opportunities and make the most of them.

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