How the Fee-Waiver Service works
The SAT Fee-Waiver Service assists low-income, college-aspiring students for whom payment of fees for the SAT or SAT Subject TestsTM might be a barrier to college entrance. This service has seen tremendous success thanks to the efforts of student advocates in high schools who work to provide wider access to college.
You can help remove the barrier of test fees by awarding fee waivers to students who meet our eligibility guidelines. Students receive fee waivers through their school counselors. They may use up to two fee waivers for the SAT and up to two for SAT Subject Tests.
Please note: To be valid, fee waivers must be completed by the counselor. See the Counselor's Guide to SAT Program Fee Waivers for complete instructions. Go to the SAT Downloads and Materials Ordering page to view and print the guide.
The College Board is committed to helping all students access a college education. In support of this mission, we are trying out a new approach this spring by sending the Request for Waiver of College Application Fee forms directly to some students who used a fee waiver. We hope this effort will help encourage more of these students to apply to colleges that are the right academic fit.
To order materials or to ask questions about fee waivers, call the SAT Educator Helpline at (888) SAT-HELP.
Absenteeism among fee-waiver recipients continues to be a concern — it results in lost opportunities for students and wasted financial and administrative resources. In response to our research with thousands of fee-waiver recipients, most students:
- Indicated that their school counselor was the most important influence on their decision to register for the SAT or SAT Subject Tests.
- Cited not feeling prepared and not having transportation as the top reasons for being absent.
- Indicated that the following would have helped them show up on test day:
- Access to transportation/directions
- A closer test center
- Better preparation and/or more confidence
- More encouragement and reminders
You can help make the SAT available to as many low-income, college-aspiring students as possible by using the following strategies suggested by counselors:
- Carefully identify low-income students who actually aspire to attend college.
- Help connect fee-waiver recipients to the full suite of free SAT and SAT Subject Test practice materials.
- Provide encouragement, reminders and assistance in planning transportation and other logistics.
Fee-waiver eligibility guidelines
If you know the annual income of a student's family, you can use the reduced lunch guidelines listed in the USDA income eligibility chart for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program/National School Lunch Program as your primary source in determining student eligibility. For more information and for other eligibility criteria, consult Test-Specific Guidelines.
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.
- Fee waivers cover the cost of regular registration, the international processing fee, and the surcharge for India or Pakistan (if applicable) for U.S. citizens testing abroad. The student is responsible for all other fees.
Home-schooled students are eligible for fee waivers provided they meet the income guidelines. These students must provide proof of eligibility (tax records, public assistance records, or record of enrollment in an aid program) to a local high school counselor. If the student is eligible, issue a fee-waiver card and review the card with him or her.
Additional services for fee-waiver eligible students
Students who register with fee waivers also receive these services:
- Coverage of the fee for either the Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or the Student Answer Service (SAS)
- Coverage of the international processing fee, if applicable
- Coverage of the additional security fee for students testing in Pakistan or India, if applicable
- Up to four application fee waivers at many colleges
Students who meet the SAT Fee-Waiver Service eligibility guidelines, whether or not they actually registered with a fee waiver, can send a total of four additional score reports at no additional charge. The flexible score reports:
- Can be used at any time while the student is in high school
- Are available any time after a student takes an SAT Program test
- Can be used even if a student previously registered for the SAT or an SAT Subject Test without using a fee waiver
To use the flexible score reports, students can go online see how many credits they have left and place their order. The number of flexible score reports available will appear automatically if they have registered using a fee waiver. If they have not previously registered with a fee waiver, they should indicate that they are eligible and enter the 12-digit code from the bottom of the fee-waiver card you provide them.
If ordering score reports by phone or paper, students can determine how many credits they have left before placing their orders. They can do this by signing into My Organizer or calling Customer Service and providing their registration information from their most recent test date.
- Students eligible for fee waivers can register online with a unique fee-waiver number that is printed on each fee-waiver card.
- All required fields must be completed on the card for it to be valid. This applies whether the student is registering online or by paper.
- The 12-digit fee-waiver identification number can be used only once.
- Fee waivers can be used through early August; the date is indicated on the card.
- Fee waivers are not permitted with late and standby registration, except for the October administration, when fee waivers can be used with late registrations.
- Eligible students receive a total of four fee waivers during their academic career - two for the SAT and two for the SAT Subject Tests.
- Students may choose to use their fee waivers for the SAT in either their junior or senior years.
- Students may choose to use their fee waivers for the SAT Subject Tests in their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years.
- Students who are not yet in ninth grade may not use fee waivers.
- Only those students who use fee waivers to register for SAT or SAT Subject Test administrations are eligible to receive Request for Waiver of College Application Fee forms.
- Students may receive a total of four forms to request college application waivers.
Fee-waiver recipients may qualify for college application fee waivers. The SAT Fee Waiver Directory of Colleges lists, by state and city, colleges that cooperate with the SAT Fee-Waiver Service. View and print the directory from the SAT Downloads and Materials Ordering page.
Also on the SAT Downloads and Materials Ordering page is the guide for families, which covers eligibility guidelines and other important information about the SAT Fee-Waiver Service:
- SAT Program Fee Waivers — Guide for Families
- SAT Program Fee Waivers — Spanish Guide for Families