College application fees can run you $30 or more, depending on the school. However, fee waivers are available for some student-athletes. To make sure getting into a school doesn’t put you in a hole, we dug up the dirt on this little-known subject.
According to Karen Plescia, a consultant with The Goldberg Center for Educational Planning and a former admissions liaison for a D-I program, every school is different regarding waivers for student-athletes. Most application fee waivers are based on financial need, she says. It would be a violation of the NCAA bylaws for a college to waive application fees based on athletic ability.
Besides financial need, schools might waive your fee if you apply online or before a certain date. Your best bet for saving coin is to explore each school’s application options. Plescia says, It’s always worth asking the coach [who’s recruiting you], ‘Do I need to pay the application fee?’ or ‘Is there an application fee waiver?’ Guidance counselors are another great resource for seeking fee waivers.
Plescia discourages putting off paying the fee altogether. In my experience, she says, admissions decisions have been [postponed for] student-athletes who didn’t pay their fees.