Everything You Need to Know About College Application Fees Abroad

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Admissions

Attending university abroad can be quite expensive. Even if you are lucky to get scholarships and financial aid, there’s one fee that you’ll probably have to foot on your own: college application fees.

The average college application fees in the U.S is $40. The fees might be lower in some schools and as high as $100 in elite universities. While application fees might seem insignificant, it can quickly add up if you’re applying to multiple schools.

Some colleges may waive the application fee for certain students, such as those who demonstrate financial need or are applying early decision.

However, many colleges charge a non-refundable application fee. It means that even if you do not end up attending the school, you will not be refunded the fee. Check with each individual college or university to find out their specific application fee and policies on fee waivers.

Bear in mind that the college application fee for undergraduates is typically different from graduate application fees. Similarly, international students and those transferring from other colleges may be charged a different rate.

What Are College Application Fees For?

College application fees are used to cover the costs associated with processing and reviewing applications. That includes expenses such as:

  • Staffing
  • Technology
  • Other resources needed to review applications

The fees also help to support the admissions process, including recruiting, counseling and financial aid. Some colleges and universities may use a portion of the application fee to support student services or other programs that benefit the institution and its students.

College application fees also ensure that only serious candidates apply. As you can imagine, it would be tempting to send tens of applications if there were no monetary implications. Students would apply to as many schools as possible, including some they’re not really interested in, just to spread the risk.

With significant non-refundable college application fees being charged, however, you’re forced to carefully consider each application.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply to Colleges Abroad?

As we’ve noted, applying to colleges abroad can be costly. Let’s take a deeper look into the average college application fees in some of the most popular study abroad destinations for African students.

The United States: As we mentioned earlier, the average college application fees in the U.S is $40. The fees can be lower for some universities. For example, University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida charge $30 in application fees. Louisiana State University charges only $20 application fees. Elite universities typically have higher application fees. Stanford, Duke, and Yale charge $90, $85, and $80 in application fees respectively.

Canada: The average college application fee in Canada is around $100 CAD, but it can range anywhere from $50 to $150 CAD or more. Fewer than 5% of universities and colleges in Canada don’t charge any application fees. For instance, Grant Macewan University and Columbia College charge $140 and $150 respectively.

The United Kingdom: College application fee in the United Kingdom (UK) can vary depending on the type of institution and program you are applying to. Generally speaking, universities tend to charge higher application fees than colleges. The fees can range from around £12 to £75 or more per application. Some universities may charge higher fees for certain programs or for international students. Note that, in the UK, the application process is centralized through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. They charge an application fee of £20 for one course, and £25 for multiple courses and it’s the same for all universities.

Germany: Generally German universities are tuition-free for both domestic and international students, even for graduate programs. In addition, the average college application fee in Germany is generally low or non-existent. Many public universities in Germany do not charge an application fee for undergraduate programs. That’s because the German government heavily subsidizes higher education.

That said, some universities, particularly private universities and graduate programs, may charge application fees. These fees can range from €50 to €100 or more. Some universities may also charge a processing fee or an examination fee.

College Application Fee Waivers For International Students

College application fee waivers are typically available to students who demonstrate financial need. International students may also be eligible for application fee waivers. However, check with each individual college or university to find out their specific policies.

Some colleges and universities may offer application fee waivers to international students who meet certain criteria, such as:

  • Being a refugee or asylum seeker
  • Being a member of a specific organization or program
  • Having a certain level of financial need

Check each university’s website as they usually have a section on application fee waivers. Reach out to the admissions office if you have any questions or concerns. They’ll be able to inform you about the process, the required documents, and any specific criteria for international students.

Keep in mind that you should plan ahead, as the process of getting a fee waiver can take some time. You don’t want to miss the college application deadline.

When Do You Pay the College Application Fees?

The timing for when to pay college application fees can vary depending on the institution. Some colleges and universities require payment of the application fee when you submit your application. Others may allow you to submit your application without payment and then require payment later.

Check the specific application instructions for each college or university you are applying to. They will outline the payment process and deadlines. The instructions can be found on the college’s website or in the application portal.

Pay the application fee on time to avoid any delay in the processing of your application. Late payment or non-payment of the college application fee may cause your application to be rejected or delayed.

Colleges Without Application Fees For International Students

Fortunately, not all colleges and universities abroad require application fees for their students, including international students. There are many application-fee-free schools in the U.S and other top study destination.

Such institutions may choose to waive application fees as a way to attract a diverse range of applicants or to make the college application process more accessible for students from all backgrounds.

Keep in mind that even though a college or university may not charge an application fee, they may still have other costs associated with the application process. Such fees may include:

Also, tuition fees for international students tend to be higher than for domestic students. Before applying, research the total costs of attending the college or university.

Here is a list of U.S colleges and universities that don’t charge application fees.

Do you want to learn more about studying abroad and how to find new scholarship opportunities?  

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