Life is expensive. You’re probably starting to feel it as you begin the process of applying for college. Most colleges have application fees. Then you have the testing fees. If you take the SAT, the expenses can really add up.
It starts with the general SAT cost. But you may need to add the essay portion—for a fee. Or you might need SAT Subject Tests—for an additional fee. Maybe you registered late—there’s a fee for that. You need extra score reports—another fee is also included.
It kind of starts to feel like the anti-Oprah after a while—You get a fee! You get a fee! And you get a fee!
Here’s a quick break down of the most common SAT fees:
It can be pretty overwhelming, especially with the cost of prep courses and books. But fortunately the College Board understands that for some students these fees are a big obstacle. To make sure that the SAT is available to anyone who wants to take it, no matter what their financial situation, fee waivers are available. If you think you might be a candidate, keep reading and I’ll explain how to get a fee waiver for the SAT.
To get a fee waiver for the SAT, you need to talk to your high school counselor. Your high school counselor is issued fee waiver cards that he, or she, can give out to students who qualify. The counselor may need to ask for your family’s financial information to verify your eligibility.
If you are homeschooled, you must also visit a school counselor. The best way to do this is to call and make an appointment with the counselor at your local high school. You will need to bring proof of eligibility to this meeting. This might be tax information, records of receiving public assistance, or records of your acceptance into another financial assistance program.
In order to qualify for an SAT fee waiver you must be a high school student living in the United States or its territories. If you are a U.S. citizen living outside of the country, you may also be eligible. You are only eligible as an 11th or 12th grade student, and you must meet one of the following criteria:
GUIDELINES FOR 2018-19
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There are two ways to register for the SAT using your fee waiver:
To register online for the SAT with a fee waiver, you first need to create an account. Go to the College Board registration page and select “Sign Up.” Then follow the prompts to register.
Have your fee waiver card with you. You will be asked to enter the following:
2. Register by Mail
If you choose to register by mail, you will need to talk to your counselor. He, or she, will have copies of the Student Registration Booklet for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. Inside is the registration form and an envelope. Complete the required information on the registration form. Send this and your fee waiver card inside the return envelope.
You must make sure that all information on the fee waiver card and the registration form is complete and accurate. If any information is missing, it will be returned to you.
If you need help with any part of your registration, talk to your school counselor. Helping students prepare for their futures is an important part of their job. They will be able to help you with any questions you might have or even assist with the registration process. Don’t be afraid to ask for whatever you need.
Fee waivers for the SAT cover the most common and necessary costs associated with the SAT. Your fee waiver may be used for the following:
There are some fees that fee waivers for the SAT do not cover. These are fees for services that are considered optional. In other words, they are extras that are not a necessary component in helping you get into college. The following services are not part of your fee waiver:
Fee waivers for the SAT do not have an expiration date. You may use them throughout your junior and senior year. However, after you have met the limits of your benefits—two free SATs with or without the essay and/or six free SAT Subject Tests—they will no longer be valid for registration. You may continue to access your free score reports and other benefits.
As the expression goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want something bad enough, there is always a way to make it happen. If you want to go to college and it seems beyond your reach, don’t give up. There is help available. Fee waivers for the SAT are only one of the many resources available to help you reach your goals. Take advantage of fee waivers if you qualify. And talk to a school counselor. They are there to help.