The Unnecessary Costs of Applying to College

Ashlyn McClelland, Student Writer

We believe that there are too many high 

costs when applying to college which are very 

gratuitous especially when there is no guarantee 

of acceptance. 

Senior year is unintentionally designed to be laid back, but applying to college is definitely a big senior year stressor. One of the biggest aspects of application stress is getting the most out of your money. Application fees alone can cost between 40 to 100 dollars per school. The average price of an application fee is around 50 dollars (US News). For a student who applies to the national average of eight colleges (CNBC), they will be spending around 400 dollars in applying alone. However, the more prestigious a university is, the higher the application fee. For example, all of the Ivy League Universities have the same application fee cost of 75 dollars. These pretentious schools have an acceptance rate of 13 percent and lower, so the odds of being accepted are not in the applicant’s favor unless they are near genius. Tammy Rissmiller, a Pennridge High School math teacher, is a mother to a senior in high school. Her take on the application prices is that “it is crazy, unexpected, and limits their options.”

The Pennridge High School guidance counselor, Dean Behren’s, opinion on the height of an application fee is that it “would be better if it was 50 and below, but unfortunately the price will not go backwards.” The value of the application fee depends on how much the college pays their applicant reviewers. Also, colleges want only serious contenders to apply to their school, so they create an intimidating application fee to narrow down their applicant pool (CNBC). Rissmiller states that “for the amount of money that tuition costs, she would assume that [colleges] have enough money to pay their admissions.” Colleges already profit tremendously off of tuition costs alone that they can do with smaller or no fee to apply. 

The price of application fees is outrageous for the amount of colleges that students apply to. Colleges should offer a multitude of opportunities to receive a fee waiver. Many colleges offer a waiver if you visit their campus on a specific day, or if you show the financial need. They should provide a small application that will highlight a student’s dedication and serious attitude towards a school in order to get a waiver. Applicants should not be punished by starting their college career already in debt from application costs.