It’s Saturday. High school students across the country converge upon college and high school campuses geared-up with number 2 pencils, scientific calculators, and healthy snacks.
I know you are dying to join them. You’ve already sharpened your yellow Number 2s. But first, you need to register. And you’re wondering—how much does the SAT cost?
How Much Does the SAT Cost?
Here’s the short answer for how much the SAT costs:
The SAT alone costs $55.
If you choose to add the optional essay, add an additional $17 for a total of $72.
This is the standard SAT cost, but there are some circumstances that may change your fees. I’ll explain below.
Additional fees are added to the standard SAT cost for the following:
- Registering by phone—$15
- Change Fee—$29
- This is for students who have registered, but need a change in either the testing center or test date.
- Late Registration Fee—$29
- This fee is charged to students who miss the regular registration deadline but get in before the late registration deadline.
- Waitlist Fee—$51
- Did you miss the late registration deadline? There’s still a chance to get you in by adding your name to the waitlist. You will only be charged the $51 if you are actually admitted on test day.
Adding Subject Tests
Before you immediately dismiss the SAT Subject Tests, do a little research to find out if they are right for you. Some schools require subject tests. Many students opt to take subject tests to highlight academic areas where they shine. Whatever your reason, if you decide you to take SAT subject tests, expect to figure in the following:
- Registration Fee—$26
- This is the basic fee for one test day. After paying this fee you may register for up to three subject tests on a single date.
- Each Subject Test (excluding Language Test with Listening)—$22
- This is the price per subject. You may register for one, two, or three subjects tests on your chosen test date.
- Language Test with Listening—$26
- It is important to note that the Language Test with Listening subject tests are only available in November.
Are you an international student hoping to attend college in the U.S. How much the SAT costs will vary. There are additional SAT fees based on your part of the globe. Use the table below to estimate your fees.
|Africa (Sub-Saharan)||$55 + $43|
|Americas||$55 + $43|
|East Asia/Pacific||$55 + $53|
|Europe & Eurasia||$55 + $49|
|Middle East/North Africa||$55 + $47|
|South & Central Asia||$55 + $49|
For more information on how much the SAT costs for international students or to find fees for a specific country, check the College Board website.
Note that there are some international testing centers that charge an additional $24 fee. Find out if yours is one of them here.
SAT School Day
Some lucky students across the U.S. get to take the SAT from the comfort of their own high school—and on a school day. No sharpening Number 2s on Friday night for them—they’re probably sharpening on Tuesday instead. These students attend school districts that are participating in SAT School Day—a program that allows states to offer the SAT during a regular school day.
If your school participates in this program, most regular fees apply. There are some districts that will cover some or even all of the fee. But that varies per district.
If you qualify for a fee waiver, your two free SAT registrations may only be used for Saturday test dates. There are reduced test fees for those who qualify—$8 for the regular SAT and $15 with the optional essay.
The best person to talk to for more information on SAT School Day and any associated cost is your school counselor.
For some students, how much the SAT costs can be a problem. For students who qualify due to financial hardship, test fees may be waived. Those who qualify may take two free Saturday SAT tests. To qualify, you must be in 11th or 12th grade. You must also be living in either the United States or one of the United States territories. If you are a citizen of the U.S. living in another country you may also be eligible.
The following is listed on the College Board site as requirements for students to qualify for fee waivers. If any one of the following applies, you are eligible:
- You’re enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
- You’re enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
- Your family receives public assistance.
- You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.
- You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
If you think you might be eligible for an SAT fee waiver, you will need to talk to your school counselor. She will determine your eligibility, then help you take the next steps to qualify. If you are homeschooled, you will need to visit a high school counselor at a school in your area to see if you qualify.
How Much Does the SAT Cost for You
Use the above information as a guide to find out how much the SAT costs. To keep your fees down, register online, register on-time, and keep your registration site and date. If the cost seems overwhelming, talk to your school counselor about a possible fee waiver. Then start sharpening those Number 2 pencils. Be sure to calculate prep courses into your test-taking expenses as well. They are a valuable resource that shouldn’t be understated.