Rising college tuition costs are not the only issue facing students.
Before a high school student has even stepped foot on a college campus they may have already shelled out a lot of money-- in college application fees.
Could you imagine paying $1,700, just to send standardized test scores and apply to different colleges?
According to an interview with Time's Money, that was the reality for a New Jersey high school senior named Ash Parasa.
“It’s a lot of money that I think we shouldn’t have to pay just to apply to college.”
The $1,700 was the steep price Parasa paid for 20 college applications, a practice not too uncommon anymore, at least among weary American high school students.
That is because students today, are applying to more colleges than ever before, and the result is an increasingly expensive application process.
For high school applicants, the cost of applying to college includes a fee for the individual application, as well as the fees of submitting standardized examination scores and of applying to CSS and other financial aid applications. The College Board recommends “five to eight applications are usually enough to ensure that a student is accepted into a suitable institution.”
According to the Higher Education Research Institute, “35 percent of seniors applied to seven or more colleges — that’s double the amount from a decade ago, and almost triple what it was 15 years ago.”
As it turns out, for many schools, application fee payments have become lucrative. CNBC reported that UCLA, which has an application fee of $70 per student, made a projected total of $6,488,300 in the 2015-2016 school year.
“Among the 967 ranked colleges that reported their application fees for the fall 2016 entering class to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average fee was $43, and the most common fee was $50,” the US News & World Report found in an annual survey.
However, 50 colleges had application fees of $75 or higher, including many Ivy League schools and other highly ranked National Universities.”
So before applying, here are some quick facts to know:
Application fees per university range between $25 to $90, the most expensive being Stanford University.
Reporting standardized examination scores costs between $12-$13 per school.
Completion of the CSS profile in addition to the FAFSA can total at least about $16.
Waivers do exist to offset the costs of these fees.
There are many barriers to attending college, but the application fee should not be one of them.