Colleges shouldn’t charge application fees

Alaina Galasso, Editor in Chief

The most tremendous barrier for most students applying and attending a higher learning institution is financial. In today’s society, a college degree is almost always required in order to get a job, yet some students are at the disadvantage of not having enough funds to get the education they require from the school that would best suit them. Of course there are financial aid opportunities like scholarships, loans and grants but not all students are eligible to receive this money. The price of attending college begins from the application process onward.

Application fees should be eliminated as a step toward allowing all citizens to have the higher education that they need and desire.

Application fees are entirely too high. They usually range from $75 to $90 per school and each student is encouraged to apply to between eight and 10 schools. This one-time fee doesn’t even include the additional money spent on sending transcripts and test scores. All of this money goes toward a school that the student might not even choose to attend. And where does the money go? Colleges are very clear when they explain that tuition money is spent on things like renovation, professor salaries and student services, but they avoid the question of where the application fees go. They were originally created to cover the lender’s cost for processing the application, but now that applications are mainly sent online why have the fees been raised so much?

Colleges generally want more students to apply. This makes their school seem more desirable and can help lower their acceptance rates, which is a trait that most schools aspire for. Colleges should want more students to apply, and having no application fee would encourage students who were previously undecided to apply so they can see their chances of getting accepted. This would, in turn, allow colleges to bring in more diverse students, increase their school population or increase the popularity of their school. Then, all students would at least have the chance to apply and have the opportunity to try for the scholarships or loans that would help them, in turn, pay for tuition.

Some say that application fees are meant to weed out the undedicated students, but they also weed out potential students who are simply unable to pay the high fees. The school’s diversity levels are decreased when this occurs, and they lose some students who could have attended their school and who potentially dreamed of doing so. It is unfair to these students that they should be limited due to financial circumstances that are sometimes out of their control. Our country should want a majority of citizens to attend higher education institutions, in order to innovate. Finances shouldn’t come in the way of allowing everyone to have the education needed in today’s society, so application fees should be eradicated as the first step of having a small or no tuition required for education.



Oscar. “How to Make Your College Application Stand Out.” Brightstorm.
Brightstorm, 19 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.