Flickr user Derek Bruff

When you go to register for the SAT or ACT, you may notice there are fees attached. The SAT costs $43, and with the essay is $54.50. The ACT costs $39.50 without the writing section and $56.50 with. There may be additional fees for changing your test date or receiving answer keys after grading. However, what happens if you can’t afford these fees? You may be eligible to receive a waiver.

Who is Eligible for A Waiver?

For both the SAT and ACT, there are certain guidelines you have to meet in order to be eligible for a fee waiver. It is only available for students who are juniors or seniors, living in the United States, in United States territories, or are a United States citizen living internationally. Students or their families must also prove their need for a waiver. This could be done in several different ways including proof a family receives public or government assistance, enrollment in student aid programs, or the student is an orphan, homeless, or a ward of the state.

What is Covered With the Waiver?

Students who are eligible for the waiver may only have their fee waived for a maximum of two tests per type (two for SAT and two for ACT). This also includes whether the student decides to take the essay or writing portions of the tests.

While the ACT waiver only covers the registration for the tests and score reports for four colleges, the SAT waiver includes a bit more, including two Subject Test registrations. It also covers waivers for up to four college applications, any fees for taking the test out of the country, and eight score reports. The waiver also allows you to order services like Question and Answer (QAS) or Student Answer (SAS), but they must be requested with your registration.

What Isn’t Covered?

 The ACT fee waiver does not cover anything beyond the test registration and score reports. Any services, products, or additional items will have to be paid in full. If you would like more than four score reports to be sent to colleges, they are $12 each. The waiver also does not cover late registration or test date changes.

For the SAT, the student’s waiver will not cover any testing date changes, over the phone scores, or rushed score delivery.

How Do You Apply For The Waiver?

 To apply for either the SAT or ACT waiver, students should talk to their high school counselors or guidance office. Each school will receive a set number of waivers for the year, depending on the previous year’s statistics. Students should reach out to their administrators with plenty of time to spare to make sure the fee is waived in time of registration and also include the documentation showing proof of eligibility.

Applying for the SAT or ACT fee waiver is extremely easy and you only need to talk to your high school counselor to get started. Remember though, if you’re are planning to add services that aren’t covered under the waiver, you will need to include credit card information to cover any additional fees.

Interested in seeing how your ACT or SAT score affects your acceptance odds at nearly every college in the US? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool!