College Series: ACT & SAT 102 - Getting Them For Free!

In an earlier College Series post, ACT & SAT 101, I went over the most common questions about the ACT and SAT, including the cost. If your student takes both and takes them multiple times, the cost can really add up fast.


The college application process as a whole can seriously break the bank! Besides testing and application fees, parents can look at paying over $300-400 just to apply. Fortunately, for families who need assistance there is help. Both ACT and SAT offer 2 free waivers to students who qualify. The SAT (College Board) also allows you 4 free application fee waivers!

For those who do not qualify for a waiver based on the criteria of the testing organizations, I suggest when you visit colleges, ask them about any waivers they may have. Sometimes if you apply early, they waive your fees! Any bit helps so be sure to ask!

The ACT Fee Waiver

If you click over here, you can learn all about who's eligible and how to apply. Here are a few highlights:

  • Up to 2 fee waivers may be used during junior and senior years.

  • Does not cover late or standby registration fees.

  • If a student uses the waiver to register and does not test, he/she loses this waiver.

  • Can use one fee waiver for a college application.

The SAT Fee Waiver

This link will take you to an overview page about Requesting Waivers. On that page you'll see some basic information, including downloadable fee waiver guidelines.

If you want to get straight to the eligibility requirements and specifics about how they work and how to get one, click here.

Here are a few highlights:

  • May use up to 4 fee waivers during junior and senior years.

  • Does not apply to late registrations.

  • May sign-up for 3 subject tests during one registration.

  • Can take up to 6 subject tests.

  • May use up to 4 college application fee waivers if student used SAT fee waivers AND approved by college admissions officer.

    I hope this post helps everyone who could use the help obtain fee waivers for these important parts of the college application process.