Complete List of Colleges with No Application Fee

November 17, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Complete List of Colleges with No Application Fee

Applying to colleges can result in a significant amount of expenses. You can expect to be required to pay an application fee for the majority of schools, in addition to submitting application materials such as letters of recommendation and school transcripts. So, it is helpful to be aware of colleges with no application fee.

If you are looking for colleges that are quick and easy to get into, it is important that you are aware of these options because it will allow you to increase the number of schools to which you apply without incurring any additional costs.

Why do colleges have application fees?

Why do colleges have application fees? There are primarily two reasons why most colleges require applicants to pay an application fee. To begin, it assists them in covering the costs that are associated with reviewing the applications.

An empty college application form attached with US dollar bills

Even though some of these costs have decreased over the past few years because electronic systems have reduced the amount of manual labor that is involved in tracking and reviewing applications, there is still human interaction involved in each step of the process. For example, there is a staff that is responsible for conducting information sessions, reviewing applications, and answering applicant questions. By levying an application fee, educational institutions can recoup some of these expenditures.

The purpose of application fees at some colleges is to create a “soft financial barrier” so that only those students who are truly interested in attending the institution will submit an application and risk being rejected. The percentage of applicants who ultimately decide to enroll at a given institution is known as the college’s yield. Students would have an easier time increasing their options, odds, and chances of getting into the best possible school if applications weren’t charged a fee. This would make it possible for them to apply to a greater number of schools.

How do you choose colleges with no application fee?

The following are some important things to keep in mind on how do you choose colleges with no application fee:

The completion of schooling. Accreditation is a requirement for a college or university to maintain a certain level of educational excellence. A lengthy history, favorable rankings, and faculty members who have accomplished a great deal in their fields are all positive indicators of a college’s quality.

Costs. Even for schools that don’t charge for applications, tuition can range widely and there are sometimes additional unseen expenses. For some online resources or textbooks, for instance, you might be required to pay an additional fee.

A male Asian student weighing the factors to consider in choosing a college

Coursework. Does the program’s curriculum include topics that you are interested in studying? Are the textbooks and other materials for study up to date?

Structure of the class. Some college degree programs follow a more hybrid structure, with a combination of online and in-person classes, while others offer college courses that are delivered exclusively online.

Student support. Is there an abundance of student support available at the college, such as career services, tutoring, technical help, or opportunities to participate in internships?

Many universities meet all of these criteria and do not require applicants to pay an application fee.

Qualifications required to have your college application fees waived

  • The following are some of the criteria that may be used to determine eligibility for a waiver of the application fee:
  • You are exempt from paying the registration fee for either the SAT or the ACT.
  • The National School Lunch Program includes you as a participant.
  • You are currently residing in housing that is subsidized by the government, such as a foster home.
  • The annual income of your household is sufficient to fulfill the requirements set forth by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • You are a participant in a government-sponsored aid program for students who come from families with low incomes.
  • The state has taken you in as a ward or an orphan.
  • You have the option of requesting a letter of explanation regarding your current financial situation from a respected member of the community, a financial aid officer, a school counselor, or the principal of your institution.

Attendance at an official college visit is one of the requirements that some schools use to determine whether or not they will waive application fees. Additionally, some schools offer free application months, weeks, or days, which typically fall between the months of October and November.

What are the best colleges with no application fee?

What are the best colleges with no application fee? The following list of colleges and universities does not require applicants to pay a fee to submit their applications.

Colleges with no application fee in Alabama

  • Bevill State Community College
  • Calhoun Community College
  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College
  • Drake State Community & Technical College
  • Gadsden State Community College
  • Huntingdon College
  • Lawson State Community College
  • Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
  • Miles College
  • Northeast Alabama Community College
  • Northwest-Shoals Community College
  • Shelton State Community College
  • Southern Union State Community College
  • Spring Hill College
  • Wallace Community College


  • Alaska Christian College
  • Ilisagvik College
  • University of Alaska – Fairbanks


  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College
  • Eastern Arizona College
  • Estrella Mountain Community College
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Paradise Valley Community College
  • Scottsdale Community College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • University of Advancing Technology
  • University of Phoenix
  • Williams Baptist University

Colleges with no application fee in Arkansas

  • Henderson State University
  • Hendrix College
  • Lyon College
  • Ouachita Baptist University
  • Southern Arkansas University
  • University of Arkansas at Monticello
  • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • University of Arkansas Community College
  • University of Arkansas Fort Smith


  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Barstow Community College
  • California State University
  • Dominican University of California
  • Laguna College of Art and Design
  • Lake Tahoe Community College
  • Pasadena City College
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • West Valley College
  • Westmont College


  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Colorado College
  • Emily Griffith Technical College
  • Front Range Community College
  • IBMC College
  • Morgan Community College
  • Northeastern Junior College
  • Otero College
  • Pueblo Community College
  • Regis University
  • Trinidad State College

Colleges with no application fee in Connecticut

  • Connecticut College
  • Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  • Gateway Community College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Mitchell College
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College
  • Tunxis Community College
  • University of Bridgeport


  • Delaware Technical Community College


  • Ave Maria University
  • Barry University
  • Connecticut College
  • Florida Gateway College
  • Florida Southern College
  • Florida Tech
  • Rasmussen University
  • Rollins College
  • Santa Fe College
  • Seminole State College of Florida

Colleges with no application fee in Georgia

  • Altierus Career College
  • American InterContinental University – Atlanta
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Reinhardt University
  • Truett McConnell University
  • Wesleyan College
  • Woodruff Medical and Wellness Training
  • Young Harris College


  • Pacific Rim Christian University
  • University of Phoenix – Hawaii


  • Carrington College – Boise
  • College of Southern Idaho
  • College of Western Idaho
  • North Idaho College
  • Oliver Finley Academy of Cosmetology
  • University of Idaho (for Idaho residents)

Colleges with no application fee in Illinois

  • Augustana College
  • Bradley University
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • College of Lake County
  • Concordia University – Chicago
  • DePaul University
  • Elgin Community College
  • Elmhurst University
  • Eureka College
  • Greenville University
  • Heartland Community College
  • Illinois Tech
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Kishwaukee College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lake Land College
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • McKendree University
  • Millikin University
  • North Park University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Parkland College
  • Rock Valley College
  • Roosevelt University
  • University of St. Francis
  • Waubonsee Community College


  • Butler University
  • Calumet College of St. Joseph
  • Earlham College
  • Franklin College
  • Grace College
  • Hanover College
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Oakland City University
  • Saint Mary’s College
  • Taylor University
  • Trine University
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Saint Francis
  • Valparaiso University
  • Wabash College

Colleges with no application fee in Iowa

  • Buena Vista University
  • Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
  • Grand View University
  • Grinnell College
  • Iowa Lakes Community College
  • Iowa Western Community College
  • Kirkwood Community College
  • Loras College
  • Marshalltown Community College
  • Mount Mercy University
  • Northeast Iowa Community College
  • Simpson College
  • Southwestern Community College
  • Upper Iowa University
  • Waldorf University
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College
  • William Penn University


  • Cloud County Community College
  • Colby Community College
  • Cowley College
  • Donnelly College
  • Hesston College
  • Highland Community College
  • Johnson County Community College
  • Labette Community College
  • McPherson College
  • Wichita State University


  • Asbury University
  • Ashland Community and Technical College
  • Bellarmine University
  • Berea College
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  • Centre College
  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  • Hopkinsville Community College
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Thomas More University


  • Bossier Parish Community College
  • Centenary College of Louisiana
  • Central Louisiana Technical Community College
  • Fletcher Technical Community College
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • Sowela Technical Community College
  • Tulane University
  • Xavier University of Louisiana


  • Central Maine Community College
  • Colby College
  • Eastern Maine Community College
  • Kennebec Valley Community College
  • Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
  • Thomas College
  • Unity College
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maine at Augusta
  • University of Maine – Farmington
  • University of Southern Maine
  • Washington County Community College


  • Allegany College of Maryland
  • Goucher College
  • Hagerstown Community College
  • Harford Community College
  • Hood College
  • McDaniel College
  • St. John’s College – Annapolis
  • University of Phoenix – Maryland

Colleges with no application fee in Massachusetts

  • Bard College at Simon’s Rock
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Dean College
  • Eastern Nazarene College
  • Elms College
  • Emmanuel College – Massachusetts
  • Hampshire College
  • Lasell University
  • Lesley University
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Massasoit Community College
  • Merrimack College
  • Middlesex Community College – Massachusetts
  • Millennium Training Institute
  • Mount Wachusett Community College
  • Nichols College
  • North Bennet St. School
  • North Shore Community College
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Regis College
  • Smith College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Westfield State University
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute


  • Adrian College
  • Alma College
  • Aquinas College
  • Cornerstone University
  • Delta College
  • Ferris State University
  • Glen Oaks Community College
  • Grace Christian University
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College
  • Kellogg Community College
  • Kettering University
  • Kirtland Community College
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Michigan Tech
  • Monroe County Community College
  • Montcalm Community College
  • North Central Michigan College
  • Northwood University
  • Oakland University
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • Siena Heights University
  • Southwestern Michigan College
  • Washtenaw Community College


  • Carleton College
  • Central Lakes College
  • Concordia College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Macalester College
  • Ridgewater College
  • Saint John’s University – Minnesota
  • St. Catherine University
  • St. Olaf College
  • The College of St. Scholastica


  • Coahoma Community College
  • East Central Community College
  • East Mississippi Community College
  • Meridian Community College
  • Millsaps College
  • Mississippi University for Women
  • Mississippi Valley State University
  • Northeast Mississippi Community College
  • Northwest Mississippi Community College
  • Pearl River Community College


  • Avila University
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Maryville University
  • Missouri S&T
  • Missouri State University
  • Rockhurst University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • State Technical College of Missouri
  • Truman State University


  • Avila University
  • Carroll College
  • Flathead Valley Community College
  • Little Big Horn College
  • Salish Kootenai College


  • Avila University
  • Mid-Plains Community College
  • Southeast Community College


  • Carrington College – Las Vegas
  • Carrington College – Reno
  • Deep Springs College
  • Milan Institute – Las Vegas
  • Sierra Nevada University
  • University of Phoenix – Nevada

New Hampshire

  • Granite State College
  • Great Bay Community College
  • Manchester Community College
  • Nashua Community College
  • NHTI Concord’s Community College
  • River Valley Community College
  • Rivier University
  • White Mountains Community College

New Jersey

  • Atlantic Cape Community College
  • Bergen Community College
  • Camden County College
  • Centenary University
  • Georgia Court University
  • Ocean County College
  • Passaic County Community College
  • Saint Peter’s University
  • Salem Community College
  • Sussex County Community College
  • Union County College

New Mexico

  • Atlantic Cape Community College
  • Clovis Community College
  • Eastern New Mexico University
  • Luna Community College
  • Mesalands Community College
  • Navajo Technical University
  • Pima Medical Institute – Albuquerque
  • Santa Fe Community College
  • St. John’s College – Santa Fe

Colleges with no application fee in New York

  • Bard College
  • Clarkson University
  • Columbia-Greene Community College
  • D’Youville
  • Hartwick College
  • Hilbert College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Iona College
  • Medaille College
  • Niagara University
  • Paul Smith’s College
  • Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • St. Bonaventure University
  • St. Francis College
  • St. John’s University
  • SUNY Jamestown Community College

North Carolina

  • Brunswick Community College
  • Central Carolina Community College
  • Craven Community College
  • Lenoir Community College
  • Montgomery Community College
  • Randolph Community College
  • Sampson Community College
  • Sandhills Community College
  • Stanly Community College
  • Wilkes Community College

North Dakota

  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Rasmussen University – Fargo
  • The Salon Professional Academy – Fargo
  • University of Jamestown


  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Denison University
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Hiram College
  • John Carroll University
  • Kenyon College
  • Muskingum University
  • Oberlin College & Conservatory
  • Ohio Northern University
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Findlay
  • University of Mount Union
  • Walsh University


  • Bacone College
  • College of the Muscogee Nation
  • Connors State College
  • Great Plains Technology Center
  • Indian Capital Technology Center
  • Mid-America Christian University
  • Moore Norman Technology Center
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University
  • Oklahoma Wesleyan University


  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Columbia Gorge Community College
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art
  • Portland Community College
  • Reed College
  • Rogue Community College
  • Umpqua Community College
  • Willamette University


  • Allegheny College
  • Juniata College
  • La Salle University
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Lycoming College
  • Moravian University
  • Susquehanna University
  • University of Scranton
  • Ursinus College
  • York College of Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

  • Johnson & Wales University

South Carolina

  • Bob Jones University
  • Central Carolina Technical College
  • Coker University
  • Converse University
  • Florence – Darlington Technical College
  • Presbyterian College
  • Spartanburg Community College
  • Trident Technical College
  • Wofford College
  • York Technical College

South Dakota

  • Augustana University
  • Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Mitchell Technical Institute
  • National American University
  • Southeast Technical College
  • Western Dakota Technical College
  • University of Sioux Falls

 Colleges with no application fee in Tennessee

  • Carson-Newman University
  • Chattanooga State Community College
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Freed-Hardeman University
  • Jackson State Community College
  • Lane College
  • Rhodes College
  • Sewanee – The University of the South
  • Tennessee Wesleyan University


  • LeTourneau University
  • Palo Alto College
  • San Jacinto College
  • Southwestern University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • Texas A&M International University
  • Trinity University
  • University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
  • University of Texas – St. Houston
  • University of the Incarnate Word


  • Eagle State College – Layton
  • Provo College
  • Southern Utah University


  • Champlain College
  • Community College of Vermont
  • Goddard College
  • Norwich University


  • Averett University
  • Bridgewater College
  • Central Virginia Community College
  • Champlain College
  • Emory & Henry College
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • Rappahannock Community College
  • Tidewater Community College
  • Virginia Highlands Community College


  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Cascadia College
  • Centralia College
  • Edmonds College
  • Grays Harbor College
  • Heritage University
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Peninsula College
  • Pierce College
  • Saint Martin’s University
  • Seattle Central College
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Walla Walla Community College

West Virginia

  • American Public University
  • Bluefield State College
  • Bridge Valley Community & Technical College
  • Concord University
  • Huntington Junior College
  • Mountwest Community and Technical College
  • New River Community and Technical College
  • Pierpont Community & Technical College
  • Ross Medical Education Center
  • West Liberty University
  • West Virginia Northern Community College
  • West Virginia University Institute of Technology
  • Wheeling University


  • Alverno College
  • Bellin College
  • Beloit College
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carroll University
  • Lawrence University
  • Marian University Wisconsin
  • Marquette University
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Nicolet College
  • Northland College
  • Rasmussen University – Green Bay
  • St. Norbert College


  • Casper College
  • Central Wyoming College
  • Laramie County Community College
  • Northwest College Wyoming
  • Sheridan College

How to apply to colleges with no application fees?

Below are tips on how to apply to colleges with no application fees.

1. Start your search for schools that don’t charge an application fee.

The application fee is used by many educational institutions to weed out prospective students who aren’t committed to attending the institution. However, there are some that will let you apply without charging you, which will allow you to send off your materials without worrying about the cost. You might also be eligible for a free application if you submit it through the Common Application, which is a centralized application management system that enables you to apply for admission to multiple schools all at once.

View of a female student studying in her room.

Although paying an application fee shouldn’t prevent you from enrolling in the school of your dreams, it might be smart to look for at least a few schools that don’t charge one as a way to save money while you’re in the process of applying to schools.

2. Request to have the application fees for college waived.

Even though the vast majority of colleges do require applicants to pay a fee to apply, you may be eligible for a waiver that will exempt you from having to pay the fee. Students who are in financial need are eligible to receive fee waivers from three different organizations. These organizations are the College Board, the Common Application, and the National Association for College Admission (NACAC).

  • You will need to meet a certain income requirement to be exempt from paying the required fees. These might include the following:
  • Having the ability to participate in the federal lunch program at a reduced or free cost (FRPL)
  • Having a family income that is at or below the threshold established by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for eligibility
  • Participating in program assistance to students who come from families with low incomes

You can submit requests for fee waivers for college applications online; however, it is recommended that you discuss the procedure with your school counselor first. It’s possible that your counselor already has waivers on hand that they can give out to students who qualify.

View of a female student studying in her room.

Even if you are not awarded one of these fee waivers, you still have a chance of acquiring one by contacting the admissions office of the school that you wish to attend directly. An admissions officer might be able to assist you if you explain to them that the application fees create a barrier for you and your family to overcome.

3. Take advantage of any SAT or ACT fee waivers available to you.

Not only will receiving a fee waiver for the SAT lead to the possibility of receiving a fee waiver for the college application, but it could also save you a significant amount of money on testing fees. The cost of admissions exams can quickly add up, particularly if you plan to take the examinations more than once or choose to take SAT Subject Tests in addition to the primary exam.

Get in touch with the guidance counselor at your school to find out if you are eligible for fee waivers for the SAT or ACT. If you are, you will be able to take the test of your choice twice without incurring any costs. In addition, if you qualify for the fee waiver, you won’t have to pay for any of the SAT’s subject tests.

Female student writing in front of his

The requirements for eligibility are, for the most part, the same as those described earlier, and one of them is having a household income that is within a certain range of acceptable values. Fee waivers could help you save a significant amount of money as you prepare for college by removing the need for you to pay the $68 registration fee for the ACT with writing and the $600 SAT registration fee.

4. Make sure that your campus visits are well planned.

The process of choosing a college can be an exciting and enlightening experience if it includes visiting campuses, as this allows you to get firsthand information about whether or not a particular college might be a good fit for you.

Male student standing while looking at his laptop

However, the costs of traveling to visit different college campuses can quickly add up and become a significant barrier to students’ financial resources. Consider taking a virtual tour of the institution rather than traveling there to get a sense of what it is like to study there if you are interested in learning more about it but do not have the financial means to do so. Even though it is not the same as going there in person, you may be able to look around the facilities online without having to spend any money on transportation.

You can still find ways to make your visits to colleges more affordable, even if the colleges in which you are interested do not offer virtual tours. One option is to visit multiple campuses in a single day if the campuses are located near one another.

5. Think about taking prompt action or making prompt decisions.

Consider submitting an early action (EA) or early decision (ED) application to your top choice institution if you already know which one you want to attend (ED). Because of the accelerated deadlines, you will typically submit your application in the fall and be notified of the decision before the end of the year.

If you are admitted, you won’t have to worry about sending in applications to any other colleges or racking up any additional fees for those applications. However, if you are unsure about which college you want to attend, you should exercise caution before applying for early decision because this option is legally binding and states that you must enroll in the college if you are accepted.

Young woman smiling at the camera while in the classroom.

In addition, if you are in a hurry to get your essay written and your recommendations gathered, it is unlikely to be worth your time to apply in this manner. While reducing the amount of money spent on application fees is an important goal, you should also strive to submit the most compelling application you are capable of.

At AdmissionSight, we have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in navigating the tough admissions process to the greatest colleges in the globe. Consult with AdmissionSight and see what we can offer to make sure that you are well-prepared and knowledgeable enough to enter your choice of school.


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