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Fee Waivers for College Applications


Fee Waiver

When you apply for admission to the CSU through Cal State Apply you are automatically considered for an application fee waiver based on the information requested in the application.

You must fully complete the application before the fee waiver eligibility is determined.

You will see a "Check My Fee Waiver Status" link on the Submit Application tab to determine whether you are eligible for an application fee waiver.

Eligibility Criteria for Fee Waivers

To be considered for the application fee waiver, you must be:

  • An undergraduate student (you cannot be in an extension program)
  • A California resident for more than one year
  • A U.S. citizen or someone without lawful immigration status who qualifies for an AB540 non-resident tuition exception

Applicants who are eligible for the application fee waiver may apply to up to four CSU campuses per application term (i.e., fall, spring).

Approved waivers are not transferrable to a future or past application term.

Mistakes to Avoid

Be aware that the following common errors may cause an eligible applicant not to receive an application fee waiver:

  • If you report yourself as a dependent applicant with a family size of one
  • If you report the same dollar amount in the Adjusted Gross Income field as well as in the Untaxed Income field
  • If you select “none” in answer to “What U.S. State/Possession do you regard as your permanent home?”

Applicants who incorrectly report any of the items above will not be granted an application fee waiver.

See the Application Fee Waiver Checklist (PDF) for more guidance on how to avoid common errors.

The CSU does not accept College Board fee waivers, nor any other external waiver form.


Fee waivers

UC will waive application fees for up to four campuses for qualified students who would otherwise be unable to apply for admission. The fee waiver program is for United States citizens, permanent residents, and applicants eligible for AB540 benefits.

Fee waivers can’t be applied to more than four campuses, regardless of their source (e.g. UC, CollegeBoard/SAT). If you apply to more than four, you’ll need to pay $70 for each additional choice.

Applying for a fee waiver

You can see if you automatically qualify for a fee waiver within the application. If you enter your family size and income in the “About you” section, you will see if you’ve qualified for an application fee waiver when you select your campuses in the "Campuses & majors" section (a message will appear on that page with real-time feedback about how many campuses you can apply to for free). 


Fee Waiver 

Common App colleges want to make sure that application fees do not pose a barrier for any student who wishes to apply for admission. If you feel that your financial circumstances might qualify you for an application fee waiver, you can request a fee waiver in the Common App fee waiver section in the profile section.

Any of the following indicators of economic need can qualify you for a Common App fee waiver:

• You have received or are eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver

• You are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the federal free or reduced price lunch program (FRPL)

• Your annual family income falls within the Income eligibility guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service

• You are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound)

• Your family receives public assistance

• You live in a federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or are homeless

• You are a ward of the state or an orphan

• You can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader

Your counselor will be asked to complete a fee waiver form to affirm your request for a fee waiver.


Fee Waiver

We make it easy: In the Fee Waiver section of your MyCoalition Profile, simply check all applicable criteria boxes (such as “I have received a College Board fee waiver.”) and you’ll see a list of all the schools that will waive your application fees based on your qualification. We don’t require any additional documentation or verification. Eligibility criteria include: qualifying for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, receiving a College Board, ACT, and/or NACAC fee waiver; being eligible for a Pell Grant, participating in TRIO programs.

Armed Forces Fee Waiver

Available to veterans and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, our Veterans Fee Waiver is easy to use: In the Personal Information section of your MyCoalition Profile, under United States Armed Forces Status, simply click “Currently Serving” or “Previously Served” and you’ll see a list of all the schools that will waive your application fees based on your status.In addition to our fee waivers, some Coalition schools provide their own institution-specific waivers — or don’t charge an application fee at all. Be sure to ask for information about additional fee waiver opportunities from the colleges and universities to which you apply.