According to ACT, “during the 2015-2016 school year, ACT provided more than $36 million in fee waivers to students from lower income families.”
The funds are limited, and once they have been exhausted, requests for waivers will be denied. Students who may be eligible are encouraged to apply early and test early.
The ACT Fee Waiver covers the registration fee for either the ACT without writing or the ACT with writing. The fee waiver includes one report to the high school and up to four college choices.
In order to receive an ACT Fee Waiver, the student must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Be a high school junior or senior.
- Be a US citizen or testing in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico.
- Meet one or more of the indicators of economic need listed below:
- Enrolled in a federal free or reduced-price lunch program at school, based on the table of income levels shown here.
- Enrolled in a program for the economically disadvantaged (i.e. GEAR UP or Upward Bound).
- Resides in a foster home, is a ward of the state, or is homeless.
- Family receives low-income public assistance or lives in federally subsidized public housing.
- Family’s total annual income is at or below the USDA levels for free or reduced price lunches (see table):
SAT fee waivers are also available to low-income 11th and 12th grade students in the US or US territories. SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in 9th through 12th grade.
Similar to the ACT requirements, students that can say “yes” to any of the following are eligible for an SAT fee waiver:
- You’re enrolled or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
- Your annual family income falls within the guidelines shown in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service chart here: Income Eligibility Guidelines
- You’re enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids low-income families (i.e. Upward Bound).
- Your family receives public assistance.
- You live in federally subsidized house, foster care, or are homeless.
- You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
- The registration for up to two SATs, with or without the essay
- The registration fee for up to two SAT Subject Test dates (take up to three subject tests on a single test day)
- Four limited time score reports, plus four to use at any time
- Four college application fee waivers
- Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) if ordered at the time of registration (QAS and SAS aren’t available for SAT Subject Tests)
- A fee reduction for multiple-choice score verification or essay score verification
- Coverage of the SAT Essay if you are an SAT School Day tester whose school or district covers only the SAT but supports essay testing
- Coverage of the non-U.S. regional fee for fee-waiver-eligible U.S. students who are testing abroad
- Up to eight CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® fee waivers to use to apply online for non-federal financial aid from colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship programs, for free.
One of the best features of the SAT fee waiver is that a student can apply for four colleges for free. See this site for more information: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/about/benefits/college-application-fee-waivers
How to Apply
Students should work with their high school counselor to apply for an SAT fee waiver.
If the student is home-schooled, he or she can also get an SAT fee waiver by contacting a local high school counselor.
For more information about both programs, please visit these sites: