4 Ways to Keep College Application Costs Down!


Last year was another record-high year for applications. It also marked a banner year for wait-list and denials of competitive students. So, is the answer to send more applications, and does that increase your chances of getting an admit letter? It might. But it will cost you.


The average student I work with is applying to 10-15 schools and can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 in application fees. That doesn’t include sending transcripts and test scores, with their associated fees, required by many colleges. Here are some tips to reduce those costs!


1.      Every school on your list should be one where you can see yourself happy and thriving. If you’re feeling disappointed that a school doesn’t have your major or your passion for politics, it has no room on your college list. So why pay to apply?


2.      Apply to schools for you!  Be discerning and apply to them because you want them, not because your friends are applying or because there’s no essay.  At the same time, don’t apply to UC’s or Cal State’s that don’t suit your program needs or interests.


3.      Send 4 sets of standardized test scores for free!  Though many are hesitant to send scores before they see them, most schools really are looking for your best score.  I recommend that you use these 4 free sends at large state schools where scores are pulled electronically. If you can save $48 in test fees, why not do it?


4.      Consider applying Early Decision.  If you know you’d be really, truly happy at a particular school, and they offer an Early Decision plan, send that application. Then send other applications that have a deadline prior to your “hear by” date, holding back on other submissions until you know about your ED decision.  Have those apps ready to go, but don’t pay for them until you know you have to!


Collecting a list of college acceptance letters doesn’t really make you special, but it can make your poor, so be selective about where you apply!