Fee waivers for PSAT/NMSQT
The College Board offers PSAT/NMSQT fee waivers for juniors who are unable to pay test fees themselves. Schools must identify eligible juniors from low-income families and request fee waivers on their behalf.
There is a limited quantity of fee waivers available for each test administration, so schools should request fee waivers early and estimate their needs carefully to ensure an equitable distribution of waivers. Fee waivers for the 2015 PSAT/NMSQT are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be available after June 30, 2015. It is the responsibility of the PSAT/NMSQT Coordinator to request and receive confirmation of the needed quantity of fee waivers. See the FAQs below for assistance in requesting fee waivers.
Primary College Board Fee-Waiver Eligibility Criteria
Juniors who are either enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) qualify to receive a fee waiver. Schools participating in new federal programs such as Community Eligibility may not be able to use the federal NSLP criterion to identify and verify individual student fee-waiver eligibility. However, there are several other criteria or indicators which are still valid to confirm eligibility for PSAT/NMSQT fee-waiver benefits. The College Board plans to provide additional resources to support schools in transition to the new federal programs.
Alternative Fee-Waiver Eligibility Indicators
If a junior is not enrolled in the NSLP, or their enrollment status cannot be easily determined, counselors can use the following list of additional indicators to determine student eligibility to receive a College Board fee-waiver:
- The junior's annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.
USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines
Below are the guidelines for the 2015-16 school year. For information regarding Alaska and Hawaii or for more information on National School Lunch Program, visit the USDA website. The table below presents the annual incomes for eligibility in the 48 contiguous states, District of Columbia, Guam, and territories.
Household size Annual Income: Reduced Lunch Annual Income: Free Lunch 1 $21,775 $15,301 2 $28,471 $20,709 3 $37,167 $26,117 4 $44,863 $31,525 5 $52,559 $36,933 6 $60,255 $42,341
- The junior is enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g. TRIO programs such as Upward Bound). PSAT/NMSQT Coordinators responsible for requesting fee waivers should work with the individuals coordinating these programs, to ensure that sufficient quantities of fee waivers are requested by June 30.
- The junior's family receives public assistance.
- The junior lives in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or is homeless.
- The junior is a ward of the state or an orphan.
Note: The PSAT/NMSQT program uses the same guidelines as the SAT Program in determining fee-waiver eligibility.
The same income guidelines apply to students living abroad who are United States citizens and will be testing outside the United States.
- Fee waivers may be used by nationals of countries other than the United States who live and test in the United States or U.S. territories and who meet the eligibility requirements.
Two frequently asked questions about PSAT/NMSQT fee waivers
How does the PSAT/NMSQT school coordinator request College Board fee waivers for qualifying juniors?
By June 30, log into the Test Ordering Site, click on the Place/Update Test Material Order and Request Fee Waivers link and enter the number of PSAT/NMSQT fee waivers that you are requesting for juniors for the October test administration. (This page shows the number of fee waivers redeemed last year.) After you click Submit, you will see a confirmation of the number of fee waivers allocated for your school.
What do I do if I need more fee waivers than I have been allocated?
The Test Ordering site allocates fee waivers for test fees based upon the number of PSAT/NMSQT fee waivers redeemed last year. If you have requested more fee waivers than the system allows, you will receive a message indicating that the quantity of 11th grade fee waivers you requested exceeds the amount allocated for your school. The system will automatically adjust the fee waivers down to the maximum allocation.
If you need more fee waivers than the amount that has been allocated for your school, the Test Ordering site will allow you to request more. The Test Ordering site will prompt you to supply the following:
- Total number of fee waivers requested
- Percentage of juniors participating in the National School Lunch Program of economically disadvantaged juniors meeting the primary or alternative criteria listed above.
- Explanation of your school's need for this quantity
You will receive an email response indicating whether or not we are able to allocate the additional fee waivers. Our ability to fulfill your request will depend upon the available supply of fee waivers. There is a limited quantity of fee waivers available for each test administration, and requests are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are requesting fee waivers and it is past the June 30 deadline, there is a chance your request may not be fulfilled or you may receive fewer fee waivers than you request.