You may be eligible for a college application fee waiver

If you can’t afford the expense of college’s application fees, you may be eligible to apply for schools at no cost.Stanford

Here’s how you can qualify for an application fee waiver and other ways you can save on application costs.

You have to meet one of the following requirements:

  • You qualified for an SAT/ACT test waiver
  • You are enrolled in or are eligible for the National School Lunch Program
  • Your household income is within the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s income eligibility guidelines
  • You’re enrolled in a federal or state program that assists low-income families, such as Upward Bound
  • Your family receives public assistance or welfare benefits
  • You live in federally subsidized public housing, are in foster care or are homeless
  • You are a ward of the state or have been orphaned.

If you don’t qualify for a waiver, there are still ways you can save money on application fees. While many colleges and universities charge application fees, there are several that don’t. You can save money by  only applying to schools that don’t charge fees.

Some schools offer incentives to encourage prospective students to tour the campus or interview with the admissions department. The college may waive your application fee if you meet those requirements, regardless of your income.

Some universities have their own fee waiver programs for students who don’t meet the criteria for waivers from other programs. With these programs, you’ll be issued a college application fee waiver code you can use to apply online. Contact your selected school’s admissions office to see if there is a specific waiver code you can use.

Once you’re accepted, you can start thinking about how to pay for your education. You can begin the process of applying for financial aid and scholarships at

Apply for Scholarships that are Perfect for You!

These might be those based on your major and ethnicity. If you don’t have a STEM major set yet, you might concentrate on your extracurricular activities or community service. Getting organized helps you stay on track and gives you time to complete all the applications available.

Start by applying for your favorite scholarships and organize them with IOScholarships organizer. Getting organized helps you stay on track and gives you time to complete all the applications available.

Treat the application process as a part-time job
The more applications you submit, the greater your chances are of winning scholarships.  I treated the application process as a part-time job dedicating 15-25 hours per week. I figured if I spent two hours applying for a scholarship and won $1000, that was like making $500 per hour; an AMAZING part-time job!

It was difficult at first, because I was putting in hours and hours in the application process before winning scholarships but it got easier as time went on. I wrestled with self-doubt. But don’t let the competition discourage you. IOScholarships help narrow your search. Results are generated based on your ethnic background and interests. Don’t wait, apply today!

Submit scholarship applications early
Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. I followed the organizations’ application criteria. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds, so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.

Learn about the scholarship organization

Most of IOScholarships are awarded by a private organization or corporation. Take time to research the institution mission and vision so you learn what they might be looking for in a scholarship applicant.

Use a great hook

Having a strong introduction can help you stand right of the gate. Use an anecdote or a story which shows why you are interested in pursuing your STEM major. Starting your essay with a surprising fact, compelling anecdote or unexpected question can grab the reader’s attention and make a good impression right away.

Showcase how challenges taught you resilience

Detailing hardships can be difficult for you to share, but showcasing how you overcame those hardships (or plan to with the help of this scholarship) might be great to showcase how these challenges have taught you resiliency and grit.

Try to leave the reader feeling hopeful about your future by staying positive throughout your essay, even if you’re talking about hard topics or feelings.

Giving specific examples of how the award relates to your life is more impactful than simply explaining why you deserve to win.

Proofread and follow directions

Check the deadline, submission scholarship application and pay particular attention to the scholarship essay criteria such as word count. Ask a mentor to proofread your essay or utilize a professional proofreading service. Everyone needs an editor, so use a proofreading service to see what improvements could be made.

Scholarship judges can tell if you’ve adapted a previously written essay to meet their criteria.  I customized each application and use the beginning of my essay to showcase my unique skills. Remember, the time you are spending to tailor your essay can be rewarded with a college debt free future. Also, details are very important. Your essay might be very appealing but grammar mistakes and spelling errors can stand between you and a $100,000 award as careless mistakes can been seen as lack of dedication.

Bottom Line

Scholarship essays are very important when applying for scholarships.

EssayEdge helps students get into their dream colleges and universities by providing essay editing service, you’ll craft an admission essay that will get you noticed as an applicant. 90% of their customers enter the top 10 universities in the United States. Would you like to be one of them?


María Trochimezuk

Founder IO Scholarships

Her determination and hard work paid off as she won grants and scholarships to pay for her entire education. In realizing how time consuming and complicated the process of finding scholarships for STEM diverse students was, María Fernanda created IO Scholarships to make things much easier. She learned first-hand to find, apply for and win scholarships and became an advocate promoting scholarships nationwide.

“IOScholarships was inspired by my own experience as I was very fortunate to access scholarships to attend prestigious universities and realized that more could be done to support minority students especially now as STEM education becomes more important to workforce opportunities,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IO Scholarships. “IO Scholarships will not only help underrepresented students find scholarships, but level the playing field so all students have the opportunity to achieve their education goals.”

To read the entire article visit Para Todos Magazine


Do you Qualify for a College Application Fee Waiver?