As the price tag associated with getting a college degree continues to skyrocket, it is more important than ever before for students to reduce costs by applying to online colleges with no application fee. Although applications are usually the first step toward securing a brighter future for career advancement, some students have been held back from applying to their dream accredited online colleges simply because of the application costs. While federal student loans, Pell Grants, and scholarships reduce the financial burdens of covering tuition rates at accredited online colleges, there are no sufficient sources of funding that will help cover the rising prices of filling out a college application.
Since the college application process is stressful enough with worries about essay requirements or college application deadlines, many online colleges and universities are now enabling students to apply for admissions at no extra cost. Luckily, college application fees no longer have to stand in the way of receiving a top-notch education because several of the top online colleges are jumping on the bandwagon with free college applications too! Read on to learn more about the following top online colleges with no application fee under all or some circumstances.
10 Great Online Colleges With No Application Fee
Maryville University’s extensive remote education program offers students the chance to earn a degree in approximately 30 undergraduate majors and half as many graduate programs. The offerings include Accounting, Computer Science, Forensic Psychology, Nursing, Business, Administration, and much more.
Founded in 1872, the college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has received accolades as one of the top online colleges from Forbes, Kiplinger, Money Magazine, and others. Ninety-seven percent of Maryville students get a job in their chosen field within six months after graduation. There is no fee to start your application online.
As the oldest Catholic University in the country, Saint Louis University offers over 40 programs for students pursuing an online education. Their online undergraduate offerings include Computer Information Systems, Homeland Security, Industrial Psychology Project Management, and more. Of particular interest, the school has recently implemented a degree program in Cannabis Science and Operations, and they also offer a fully online nursing degree.
Those who wish to obtain a master’s degree also have several options at SLU, including Cybersecurity, Strategic Intelligence, Analytics, and four other choices. The school also maintains several certification programs. Students are encouraged to take a virtual tour and learn more about the admission requirements. As a first step, the college provides a free online application to prospective scholars.
Fully accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Ashworth College is often recognized among the best online colleges for top-notch distance education. Based in Norcross, GA, the online college is also authorized by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission to offer instruction in career and technical training, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs.
Degrees range from Criminal Justice and Human Resources to Marketing, and Education. With the motto “Education on Your Terms,” Ashworth is committed to providing quality online learning opportunities through a 100% free college application process.
Ranked in the top ten online colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Loyola University Chicago is an older Catholic University established in 1870. The school offers B.A. programs in Applied Psychology, Applied Studies, Information Technology, Management, Digital Communication, and Nursing. Loyola is also a great place to earn a graduate degree, with 16 offerings, including Public Health, Bioethics, Global Competition Law, and more.
The School has an array of technology and academic supports in place for remote students, as they have been offering fully online degrees for over a decade. Their rolling application deadline makes the application process simple, and students will not need to pay an application fee, nor will they be charged to submit their transcripts.
Colorado Technical University hosts some of the best career-focused and industry-current degree programs among all online colleges and universities nationwide. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for career advancement at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.
Founded on an immersive, hands-on model for learning, CTU has been ranked as the best online school for military veterans by Military Times magazine and among the top 10 degree-granting schools for minorities by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Despite being one of the most prestigious top online colleges, CTU allows students to apply for admissions online with no added fee.
Nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report for having one of the best online graduate nursing programs in the entire United States, American Sentinel University is among the best accredited online colleges by the Distance Education and Training Council. With access to a success advisor for guidance through the online degree programs, ASU also offers degree choices in Information Systems Management, Computer Science, Healthcare Informatics, Geographic Information Systems, Business Administration, and Business Intelligence.
Along with providing a beneficial free online college application to all prospective students, the University accepts federal student aid, employer reimbursement, in-house financing, and military benefits to make higher education affordable.
Southern New Hampshire University boasts over 200 programs ranging from certificates to doctoral level degrees, and as of June 2020, they have waived the application fee for both undergraduate and graduate students. This private, non-profit school is one of the most affordable online colleges on our list, offering online tutoring and 24/7 tech support for remote learners. The school is career-focused, offering six undergraduate terms and five graduate terms per year. The school has programs to accommodate all GPA scores, and acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis.
Known for being America’s first private military college to provide leadership training to both cadets and civilian students, Norwich University is based in rural Northfield, Vermont. The virtual online campus hosts undergraduate programs in Cybersecurity, Criminal Justice, Data Analytics, Business, and Nursing. At the masters level, students are offered a pathway to earn a graduate degree in diplomacy, architecture, history, business administration, civil engineering, criminal justice, public administration, education, nursing, organizational leadership, and more.
Norwich University completely covers the cost of the college application and accepts various financial aid programs. 24/7 access to technical support and a dedicated team of advisors means that remote students are provided with all the resources they need to succeed. If you’re researching online schools without application fees, be sure not to ignore Norwich University.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Chadron has a reputation for providing top-quality education at an affordable price. To prove their dedication to allowing every eager learner the opportunity to earn a degree, they offer a fee-free online application process, excellent federal financial aid support, and a wide range of online programs ranging from Agriculture to Theatre.
At the Johnson and Wales College of Online Education, students who want to learn remotely will benefit from small class sizes, personal advising, flexible credit transfer policies, and the same high-caliber teaching the school has been known for in its 100-year history. Students can apply with no fees for undergraduate programs in Hospitality, Businesses, Fashion Merchandising, Engineering, and 30 other offerings.
For those interested in obtaining their masters, there are 30 choices, including Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development, Sport Leadership, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and more. Certificates, Associate Degrees, and Doctoral level degrees are also available. In addition to the free application process, the school offers a wide range of financial aid options.
Although the above list barely scratches the surface of all the online colleges and universities that are now offering free college applications, these accredited online colleges represent the best of the best for a smooth college application process without unnecessary extra costs.
Frequently Asked Questions About No Application Fee Online Colleges
The School I Want to Attend Does Not Offer a Free Application Fee. What Should I Do If I Need Help?
While not all colleges will waive the application fee, it is worth making a call to request that the fee be removed. Often, there are programs in place for veterans, those on disability, or students who are going through financial hardship.
Although you will need to fill out a few forms, have patience. Be prepared to provide supporting documents such as confirmation from your college counselor, tax forms, and SAT, ACT, or NACAC fee waivers from your guidance office. You may also need free or reduced lunch documentation from your high school.
If you are using the Common App when applying, a fee waiver is available for this purpose.
Will My Application Be Treated Any Differently If I Don’t Pay an Application Fee?
If the school you have chosen to apply at has no application fees, the playing field is completely leveled for all students, but if you are worried that your application won’t get noticed without a payment, don’t be. It is illegal to treat low-income applicants any different, and most schools would not want to anyhow.
The application process entails much more than just paying a fee. Indicating your interest with the school by maintaining regular contact, submitting all of the requested documentation on time, and letting your personality shine through are better indicators of acceptance.
If you do apply for a waiver, be polite and thank those you speak with about the process. You never know who is in the admissions office that may have access to your application. Students who are rude or disrespectful on the phone should expect staff to make a note of this. It may even end up in your files, which would be far more damaging to your chances of entry than a fee waiver.
Are There Other Fees That Can Be Waived?
It’s essential to apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can to defray the cost of educational expenses. In addition to requesting a fee waiver and checking your financial aid eligibility by submitting the FAFSA, there are a few other options to look into:
If you participate in the free lunch program in high school, your family receives public assistance, or you are a ward of the state, you might qualify to have the registration fees for SATs waived. The ACT has a similar program based on financial need. Talk to your advisor or counselor about applying for assistance.
CSS Profile Waivers
Additional financial aid via scholarships and grants can be applied for by submitting a CSS profile. At some schools, the profile is a requirement. The cost for submitting it is $25 for the first school and $16 for each additional school, a small amount that can really add up when you are applying to multiple institutions. Applying for fee waivers can save you a little cash as well.
Free or Reduced Cost Fly-In Programs
While this next tip does not apply as much if you are planning to attend classes entirely online, many schools offer free or reduced-cost fly-in programs for students who demonstrate financial need. If you plan to visit schools in person, check with the admissions office to find out if they offer travel, lodging, or dining expenses to prospective students.
I Am Applying to Several Colleges. Will I Be Refunded the Application Fees If I Am Not Accepted?
Because application fees typically help offset the staffing costs needed to handle applications, most institutions do not offer refunds, regardless of whether you are accepted or denied. This may seem like yet another unfair obstacle for those struggling to make ends meet. However, If you genuinely cannot afford the fees, don’t let cost be an obstacle when it comes to admissions. While many schools don’t directly advertise application fee waivers, many may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
What Are Rolling Admissions?
Some institutions have a rolling admissions policy. This means that rather than releasing admissions decisions at once, they send them regularly as they evaluate applications. For the most part, the earlier you apply, the sooner you will receive a decision. The advantage of rolling admissions is that you are more likely to get a spot in your chosen class by applying as soon as you can. However, a rolling admissions policy can also be helpful if you are trying to get into a course at the last minute.
If you’ve found our page by searching “online colleges without application fee” or something similar, it is highly recommended that you check out these top online colleges with no application fee. The list can help you to overcome the financial obstacles standing in the way of your academic dreams.
For more information, see our homepage: Top 10 Online Colleges.