50-50 Highlights: Colleges with Free Application Fees

Student working on application representing colleges with free application feesge applicationEveryone knows that the college has become expensive but just applying to them can set you back a nice chunk of change as well. Application fees are hitting $100 for some institutions. Think about the next time you hear about some student applying to 20 schools.
According to the Integrated Public Education Data System (IPEDS), among all public and private schools with 500 or more full-time undergraduates, the average application fee is $34, with the public universities having a higher average of $39 than private ones at $31. I have a list of all free schools at 426 Colleges with Free Application Fees.

There are 82 50-50 schools that list their application fee as $0, nine more than last year. Only four of these schools are public, the rest are private.

Colleges Charging $50 or More to Apply

Many schools will waive their fees if you apply online through the Common Application or while visiting the campus. These schools along with those that don’t charge any fee, combine for a total 146 50-50 colleges. Only five are public.

Unfortunately, there are 200 50-50 schools that reported application fees over $50 including 110 public institutions. There are 17 50-50 schools with application fees of $70-all public universities.

  • Clemson University
  • East Carolina University
  • James Madison University
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • Texas A & M University-College Station
  • The College of New Jersey
  • University of California-Merced
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Connecticut-Stamford
  • University of Connecticut-Tri-Campus
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus

The following table shows the 50-50 schools that list $0 as the application fee in IPEDS or no fee required in the Common Application. There are 41 schools that have an application fee of $25 or less but they aren’t listed here. As usual, the four-year graduation rate is used for private schools, the five-year rate for public ones.

50-50 Colleges with Free Application Fees

Link to spreadsheet listing colleges with free application fees