How To Avoid (Some) College Fees


Fees can increase the total cost of college significantly if not carefully reviewed prior to enrolling (photo courtesy of flickr user AmyMichelle~).

Students at the University of New Mexico are currently protesting a recent approval by the Board of Regents to increase the Student Athletics Fee for the second time in two years. Last year, the fee increased by $50 per student and the recent approval will boost it another $33.45; the total amount paid by each student will rise to $165.20 per year. The fee is said to support university athletics in order for them to remain competitive; but, opponents argue enough money was available for the basketball team to compete in, and win, the Mountain West Conference Tournament and should prove that plenty of money is already being collected.

So how can students skip certain fees associated with college enrollment?

1. Application Fee

Applying for college can not only be stressful, it can also be expensive. While some schools charge as little as $10.00 to apply for admission, others require upwards of $100 just to submit your information for consideration. That being said, there are a few methods available to avoid paying an application fee.

  • Apply online- some schools do not charge an application fee if the required documents are completed through the school’s website
  • Search for free applications – tread lightly on this one; many state and public schools have application fees to offset the cost of running the Admissions Office; however, you may find your online search results only bring up for-profit schools. Some free, not-for-profit schools without application fees include Western New Mexico University, Barry University, and Upper Iowa University.
  • Plan a visit – by visiting the school you have expressed interest in their academics and this could land you an application fee waiver for giving some of your time to tour the school and meet staff and faculty

2. Parking and Transportation Fees

The parking fee for one semester at Georgia College is $58.50. This means, if you attend school for 4 years, and the fee never rises, it will cost you $468.00. In addition, students are charged a Transportation Enhancement Fee of $10.50 per semester. While Georgia College states on their website that all students are required to pay the fee regardless of whether or not they have a car, some schools will allow you to bypass the fee. To avoid paying for parking on the grounds of the institution you are paying tuition to already, consider the following:

  • Student transportation/public transportation – many colleges have arrangements with the local county or city to provide discounted public transportation fees for students with a valid student ID. So, if each ride is $1.00, over the course of an 18-week semester with classes 3 days a week, you will save $0.08 per day and the trouble of having to find a parking space remotely close to your class.
  • Carpool – By carpooling with others you can save on the cost of a parking decal as well. You should at least chip in gas though; $10.00 per month will save you $3.00 per month.
  • Take classes online – Attending classes online will prevent you from ever needing to physically attend the campus altogether, thus avoiding any parking fee.

3. Graduation Fee

Graduation fees are charged to student’s accounts upon completion and review of one’s Graduation Application. Oftentimes, due to the nature of the fee, they cannot be waived without the consent of the college Bursar and a Fee Waiver Request Form, if the school allows for such a request.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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One comment on “How To Avoid (Some) College Fees
  1. Online school fee says:

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with Online Fee Payment, School Fees Payment System and enjoy to read the stuff on the same as it’s rarely found on Online Fees Payment.

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