A college education is expensive — but also invaluable.
And while a traditional college experience isn’t for everyone, those who are choosing to go the university route could end up with thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
Yikes, that’s a scary prospect.
Luckily, you can take steps while you’re still in high school to ease the financial burden you’ll be facing years down the road.
One of those steps is pretty simple — and overall incredibly cost effective — but it comes with an initial investment that isn’t always easy to scrape together.
Earning a high enough score on the SAT (even if you have to retake it a couple of times to improve that score) can make you eligible for merit-based financial aid and scholarships.
But at up to $64.50 a pop (plus fees), SAT test sessions aren’t exactly cheap — especially if you’re a teenage student who has to pay on your own.
Thankfully, there’s an SAT fee waiver for those who qualify.
The SAT Fee Waiver
Here’s what you need to know about the SAT fee waiver.
Who Qualifies for the SAT Fee Waiver?
SAT fee waivers are available to 11th- and 12th-graders from low-income households in the U.S. or U.S. territories. Students in grades 9 through 12 can take advantage of SAT subject test-fee waivers.
According to the College Board, you’re eligible for an SAT fee waiver if any of the following statements apply to you:
- You’re enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
- Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
- You’re enrolled in a federal, state or local program that aids students from low-income families.
- Your family receives public assistance.
- You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.
- You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
What Will Your SAT Fee Waiver Cover?
If you qualify for the SAT Fee Waiver, you’re eligible to take advantage of:
- Two free SAT tests (with or without the essay).
- Six free SAT Subject Tests.
- Two free Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports.
- Unlimited score reports to send to colleges.
- Waived application fees at participating colleges.
- Free CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile applications to apply for financial aid from schools that require it.
You’ll also receive fee reductions for score-verification reports and will face no late registration fee for your free tests.
Your fee waiver will not cover the cost of changing your registration details (such as the date or testing center) after you register, nor can you use it for rush scores or to receive your scores via phone.
How to Sign Up for SAT Fee Waiver Benefits
If you think you qualify to receive a fee waiver, you’ll need to talk to your school counselor. Just be sure to do it well before your desired test date.
If your counselor didn’t already reach out to you regarding your eligibility, it probably means you’re not enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, and you’ll most likely have to produce other forms of documentation to prove you qualify for the fee-waiver benefits — and that could take some time.
If you’re homeschooled, you’ll need to contact a local high school counselor and provide your own proof of eligibility.
Once you’ve been approved for a fee waiver, you’ll be given a card with a 12-digit code.
You’ll need that, the name of your counselor and info on the eligibility requirement you met.
Then you can go here to sign up to take advantage of your benefits, or sign up by mail by sending in your fee-waiver card and registration form. (Your counselor can help you with this.)
For more details and information on how to take advantage of your SAT fee waiver, go here.
Grace Schweizer is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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