If you are researching colleges and comparing institutions, you should also take the time to compare college application fees.

While some students are surprised to learn that there are fees to submit an application to gain entry into a program, to the college officials the fees are truly necessary.

It is actually common practice for both public and private universities to collect fees from any prospective student who wants to attend the institution.

If you would like to learn where your fees go and why it is necessary in today’s modern age where colleges are more apt to use online applications, read on and find out what you need to know.

What Are the Fees Used For?

As college admissions deadlines approach, the admissions office can be very chaotic. The applications that are submitted to a college do not review themselves. While some colleges can use electronic verification systems to review the information that you have provided, it still requires a human admissions specialist to take part in the selection process.

The fees are strictly used to cover the cost of the selection and admission process. Since looking over your application costs the university money, the cost is passed on to the student. Some schools tend to charge applications to ensure that only students who are serious about attending the school will apply. Without a fee, some students would submit hundreds of applications in hopes of getting accepted into the best. It is important to remember that colleges are businesses, costs and revenues are extremely important.

Do All Colleges Charge Fees to Prospective Students?

Not all colleges charge fees. Even though some of the most selective schools like Stanford and Duke charge high fees, there are still small but prestigious schools that charge no fees at all. Online colleges, Christian schools, and liberal arts schools are known not to charge application fees. The schools that do not charge a fee believe this is necessary to show students that they want everyone to have access to entering into the admissions process. Be sure to research which colleges have no application fees if that is an important qualification for you.

Resource: Top Online Colleges With No Application Fee

How Much Can You Expect to Pay on Admissions Fees?

Colleges set their own fees based on how many applications they receive and how selective the admissions process is. According to US News, the average college admission fee throughout the nation is $41. Stanford charges the highest with $90, but it is more common to see fees between $30 and $50. Be sure to do a comparison because the fees can really add up when you are applying to a handful of colleges at any one given time.

What is a fee waiver?

Before you are scared off by application fees that are displayed on the application, you should learn about fee waivers that are offered by many schools. These waivers are available when you apply for aide through the school’s financial aide department. You can look into these waivers before you submit your application to avoid paying when you do not need to. If you registered for the SAT with a fee waiver, you will automatically qualify for a waiver for eligible schools.

Since it can cost a pretty penny to apply to school, it is important to get financially ready for the process. Make sure to set aside money so that you are not limited in where you can apply. Price the cost of college application fees and get guidance from the admissions office if you have any questions about deadlines and questions.