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Our continued efforts to eliminate financial barriers to applying to college include expanding the reach of our college application fee waiver program, in addition to providing SAT fee waivers to eligible students.

Now, every eligible senior will receive four free college application fee waivers that they can use to apply to over 2,000 colleges and universities. 435,842 students in the class of 2016 received college application fee waivers directly from the College Board, compared to 428,013 in the class of 2015.

And while every student gets to send their SAT scores to four colleges for free, income-eligible students receive double that amount, allowing them to send scores to up to eight schools for free, thereby increasing their chances of applying to and enrolling in a college that’s a good fit for them.

Research Spotlight

More SAT Score Sends Help Low-Income Students

In 2007, the College Board increased the number of free SAT score reports from four to eight for eligible low-income students and extended the time limit on using the score reports. The goal was to remove the financial barrier and encourage low-income students to send scores to more colleges so they’d have a better chance of finding a good fit.

Research on the effects of the new score-send policies shows that the initiative worked: Low-income students were more likely (by 10 percentage points) to send eight or more score reports than they had been before the new policy. The study also showed that prompting a low-income student to send one or more score reports increased both on-time college attendance and six-year bachelor’s-degree completion.

Extra score sends are just part of the SAT Fee-Waiver Program, which lets eligible students take the SAT for free. Here’s what some fee-waiver recipients had to say:

“Without any of the help I’ve been provided, such as the fee waiver, I would never have been able to take the SAT. Without the SAT, I probably wouldn't be able to receive a higher education. Now I can almost see my dreams of a brighter future nearly achieved.”

– Caitlin, New Hampshire

“Thank you for giving me so much information regarding the SAT and giving me a fee waiver. The fee waiver took the stress off my parents. Thank you for also providing SAT practice test books, which really helped in my preparation for the SAT.”

– Nubia, Arizona


More Resources

Read the press release

See related 2016 reports

See older reports

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