November 21, 2017
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More Than Half of Students Using the Common App Applied to College for Free

More Than Half of Students Using the Common App Applied to College for Free

Common App Members Awarded More Than $55 Million in Need-Based College Application Fee Waivers in 2016-2017

PR Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In its fifth year of offering a streamlined, one-step application fee waiver, The Common Application helped students obtain nearly one million fee waivers totaling $55 million. As thousands of high school seniors are focused on their college applications this month, the nonprofit organization is working to ensure that students, parents, and educators understand that these need-based college application fee waivers are available, and more than 250 Common App member schools have no application fees.

"The Common App has been providing students a streamlined "common" need-based fee waiver for five years, enabling low- and middle-income students to apply to college for free," said Jenny Rickard, President & CEO of The Common Application. "Our fee waiver is simple, and students only need to complete it once. Thanks to the generosity of our members, with these need-based and other fee waivers, 51% of students applied to Common App member schools last year free of charge."

In 2016-2017, the Common App's need-based fee waiver process saved students more than $55 million in application fees. Students can also identify schools that do not charge any application fees via the Common App's College Search feature. Members of The Common Application provide need-based fee waivers to first-year and transfer students applying to college.

"The Common App fee waiver is a game-changer," said Ashley Overman, College Liaison, Dayton Early College Academy in Dayton, Ohio. "About 80% of our students are first-generation, and this extra support from The Common Application brings a huge sigh of relief - and a sense of peace - to them and their families. Fee waivers knock down one more barrier in the college application process, when students discover that they can gain access to something they didn't believe they could afford."

Today, and for the last five years, students who meet any of the following criteria are eligible to qualify for an application fee waiver from The Common App's more than 750 member colleges and universities:

* Enrolled in or eligible for Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program

* Annual family income is within range set by USDA Food and Nutrition Service

* Received or eligible for a fee waiver for SAT or ACT standardized test

* Enrolled in federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families

* Live in federally subsidized public housing, in foster care, or is homeless

* Family receives public assistance

More than one million applicants, one third of whom are first-generation college students, submitted over 4.5 million applications through the Common App. Last year, nearly one million need-based fee waivers were granted. 

About The Common Application

The Common Application is a not-for-profit member organization of more than 750 influential colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Since 1975, The Common Application has been committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Each year, more than one million students, one-third of whom are first-generation, use the Common App online system to submit over four million applications. To learn more, visit and follow @CommonApp or #CommonApp.  

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SOURCE The Common Application

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