The United States of America (USA) attracts about one million international students yearly, making it one of the top study-abroad destinations.

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The USA is considered one of the best places to pursue your bachelor’s or master’s degree due to the quality of education, range of programs, and global career opportunities.

While the USA is a great place to do your master’s, it can also be expensive. Applying to universities in the USA costs between $50-$100 and can might cost you $1000-$1500 if you apply to multiple universities.

The application fee covers the cost of processing and reviewing the application, transcripts, and test scores. This fee is usually non-refundable, so the fee will not be returned even if the student’s application is not accepted. 

A good way to save from the start is to apply to universities in USA without application fee.

In this blog, we’ll explore how you can save money on application fees by applying to universities that don’t charge a penny!

Let’s start.

universities in usa without application fee
Apply to universities in USA without application fee and pursue your study-abroad dreams!

Top 10 Universities in USA Without Application Fee

There are a handful of universities in the USA that prioritize accessibility by admitting students without application fees for most programs. Some universities, like Yale University, promotes o inclusivity by partially waiving fees depending on the student’s needs. Harvard University too has this option but only through the fee waivers and scholarship programs available.

Below is a list of universities in the USA renowned for their commitment to accessibility and not charging application fees:

UniversityAverage Tuition Fee
Wellesley College$64,000
Saint Louis University$52,000
University of Bridgeport$35,000
Trine University$35,000
Smith College$64,870
Baylor University$54,800
Xavier University$50,430
Southeast Missouri State University$31,500
Concordia University Chicago$36,430
University of Dayton$47,600

Want to know what it takes to get admission in these universities? Click below to check if you fit in their eligibility criteria!

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Benefits of Universities in USA Without Application Fee

Universities in the USA are in the leading when it comes to education quality. Whether you apply with a fee or without, the education and opportunities in the US are unmatched. 

The biggest advantage of applying to universities in the USA without an application fee is saving some dollars. The cost of application fee is non-refundable whether or not you get admission.

So, saving some bucks right at the beginning is a plus.

Also, since these are universities in USA without application fee, you can apply to as many as you like. A slightly wider shortlist increases your chances of getting admission. Ultimately, you can always choose the university and course that best meets your needs. 

list of universities in usa
Applying to universities in USA without application fee is a smart choice for study-abroad aspirants
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How to Apply to Universities in USA Without Application Fee?

Now that we are aware of the universities without application fee, let us see how to apply for these universities. The process so mentioned will help you identify the right university where you can apply to your dream courses without worrying about the tuition fees.

Here’s the process to apply to the universities in USA without application fees:

  • Research: The first step of applying to universities in USA without application fee would be researching the universities. Search on the web and list universities that fit your requirements. 

You must also conduct separate research on courses and settle on the one that best suits your need. Check the scope, syllabus and career outcomes.

  • University Shortlisting: University shortlisting is a crucial part of your application. While applying to universities, you must ensure that you don’t have too many on the list. 

You should also make sure you include a good mixture of universities, including the ones you can easily get into and ones that are a bit ambitious. 

Our experts at Leap Scholar can make this process completely hassle-free for you by providing a shortlist of universities that fit your requirements. 

Get a 1-on-1 profile evaluation from our experts and access a full list of universities in USA without application fee. 

  • Gather Documents: Each university has its own set of requirements that you need to meet. You will need documents such as Academic Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, and Letters of Recommendation. 

You’ll also need to submit English proficiency scores and may have to take other entrance exams like GMATGRE, or SAT, depending on your course.

  • Submit Application: Fill in the details on the application form, and upload all your documents. Since you don’t have to pay an application fee, you can directly submit it. Most universities accept applications via a common app. 

You can check the application process on their website.

Final Thoughts

Applying to the above list of universities in USA without application fee is a smart choice to make in your study abroad journey. It can financially benefit you if you’re on a budget while also giving you additional opportunities to explore and discover. 

As a study abroad aspirant, it is very important to confirm that the universities you shortlist do not charge an application fee, as several universities often have varying rules and regulations. 

Talk to our experts, and get more clarity on universities, fees and requirements. Book a free 5-minute call today!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the application process for universities that do not charge an application fee?Universities that waive application fees typically require applicants to follow standard procedures like submitting transcripts, test scores, essays, and recommendation letters. Check the university’s website for specific instructions and deadlines. Some may require additional forms to verify financial need for fee waivers. Ensure all materials are submitted accurately and on time to maximize your chances of admission.
  • Are international students allowed to apply without paying an application fee?Many universities offer fee waivers for international students based on financial need or academic merit. However, policies vary by institution, so it’s essential to check each university’s specific guidelines. Some may automatically waive fees for international applicants meeting certain criteria, while others may require a separate fee waiver application. Be sure to review the admissions information provided by each university to understand their policies regarding application fees for international students.
  • What is the deadline for zero application fee universities?Universities that don’t charge an application fee will have deadlines for submitting applications, just like universities that charge fees. These deadlines can vary depending on the university and the application you submit.
  • Are scholarships available in universities that don’t charge an application fee?Yes, scholarships are often available at universities that don’t charge an application fee. Many institutions offer merit-based scholarships, need-based financial aid, or other forms of financial assistance to support students’ education. These scholarships can help cover tuition, fees, and other expenses. It’s essential to research the scholarship opportunities offered by each university you’re interested in and to check their eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
  • Can international students work while studying in the USA?Yes, international students in the USA can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during breaks. Additionally, some students may be eligible for off-campus employment under certain circumstances, such as through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs related to their field of study. However, regulations and restrictions apply, so it’s crucial to consult the designated school official (DSO) for guidance.
  • Is it possible to waive application fees if applicable?Yes, many universities offer application fee waivers for eligible students. Waivers are typically based on financial need or participation in specific programs like SAT/ACT fee waivers or college prep programs. Additionally, some universities automatically waive fees for certain groups, such as veterans or low-income students. To request a fee waiver, applicants usually need to submit supporting documentation, such as tax forms or a letter from a school official. Each university has its own process, so check their guidelines carefully.
  • What are the admission requirements for studying in the USA?Admission requirements for studying in the USA typically include submitting standardized test scores (like the SAT or ACT), academic transcripts, English language proficiency test scores (such as TOEFL or IELTS for international students), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement or essay. Some programs or universities may have additional requirements, such as interviews or portfolios for certain majors.
  • How do I get a US application fee waiver for university?When asking for a fee waiver, remember to be nice and respectful. Start by saying you’re excited to apply to the university. Then, explain why you need the fee waived, like if you have money issues. Thank the admissions office for thinking about your request. For example, you could say, “I’m really keen on joining [University Name]. Could I please get a fee waiver because of my financial situation? Thanks for looking into it.”
  • Will applying for a fee waiver affect my chances of admission?No, applying for a fee waiver won’t affect your admission chances. Admissions decisions focus on your qualifications, personal statement, and recommendations. Fee waiver requests are handled separately and confidentially. Universities aim to provide access to education regardless of finances, so fee waivers are common and shouldn’t impact your application evaluation.
  • Will applying for a fee waiver affect my chances of admission?To find out if a university offers application fee waivers, visit its admissions website or contact the admissions office directly. Look for information about fee waiver eligibility criteria and the application process. Some universities automatically grant fee waivers to eligible applicants, while others may require you to submit a formal request along with supporting documentation.
  • Who is eligible for application fee waivers?Eligibility for application fee waivers often includes demonstrating financial need through participation in assistance programs or meeting income thresholds. Other factors like being a first-generation college student or participating in certain academic programs may also qualify you. Check with each university for their specific requirements.

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