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SAT Fee Waiver Guide

Let’s face it, taking the SAT isn’t free or cheap. For some families, the cost is a burden.

You, or your child, may qualify for an SAT fee waiver, which covers both test-taking and report costs. 

If preparing for the SAT is on your mind, remember that our SAT prep courses are designed to get you ready.


sat fee waiver


Important SAT Fees To Consider (2017-2018)

Fee Cost
SAT Registration – Without Essay $46
SAT Registration – With Essay $60
Late Fee (after normal deadline, before late registration deadline) $29
Waitlist Fee (only processed if you actually take the test) $49
International Fees (varies by region) $38-$53
Score Report (after first four free reports) $12 per additional report
Question & Answer Service $18
Multiple Choice Score Verification $55
Essay Score Verification $55

SAT Fee Waiver Prerequisites

  • Must be 11th or 12th-grade student in the U.S. or U.S. territories (U.S. citizens currently living abroad may be able to receive test fee waivers too).
  • Currently enrolled in, or eligible to participate in, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Family’s annual income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Currently enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • The family receives public assistance.
  • You currently live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless.
  • You are currently a ward of the state or an orphan.

What An SAT Fee Waiver Covers

  • Registration Fee for up to TWO SAT tests, with or without the SAT Essay.
  • Registration Fee for up to TWO SAT Subject Test administrations (take up to three individual SAT Subject Tests on a single test day).
  • Four limited-time Score Reports plus four to use at any time.
  • Four College Application Fee Waivers (This means they can apply to up to four colleges from over 2,000 participating schools for free).
  • Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS), if ordered at the time of registration (**QAS and SAS aren’t available for SAT Subject Tests).
  • Fee Reduction for multiple-choice score verification or essay score verification.
  • SAT Essay Coverage if you are an SAT School Day tester whose school or district covers ONLY the SAT but supports essay testing.
  • Non-U.S. Regional Fee Coverage for fee-waiver-eligible U.S. students currently testing abroad.
  • Up to EIGHT CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® fee waivers to use for online applications for non-federal financial aid from colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship programs, for free.

What An SAT Fee Waiver DOESN’T Cover

  • Fee waivers CAN’T be used for Waitlist Registration — be sure to stay on top of registration deadlines for schools you’re interested in.
  • Fee waivers DON’T cover the cost of changing your registration – be sure to pick a test date that you’re confident in being able to attend.
  • Fee waivers DON’T cover the price difference between tests if you adding the SAT Essay option ON test day. (If you add the SAT Essay during the registration period BEFORE test day, then your waiver will cover the difference between the two tests – be sure to decide then ahead of time.)


How To Get An SAT Fee Waiver

  1. Ask your school counselor or a representative of an authorized community-based organization – both are technically authorized to request a waiver on your behalf.
  2. If you’re currently home-schooled, contact a local high school counselor in your area. You will need to provide the counselor with proof of eligibility, such as tax records or proof of enrollment in an aid program.

How To Register With Your SAT Fee Waiver

  1. Online – Enter your received 12-digit code (good for only one registration), high school counselor or other authorized representative’s name, and how you qualified.
  2. Mail – Mail in your fee-waiver card and your paper registration form.


Why SAT Fee Waivers Matter

These waivers are important because both the regular test and SAT Subject tests have costs that can affect families with hardship or those dealing with disaster.

Recent examples illustrate this point include Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that devastated the U.S. south in 2017, Hurricane Maria, as well as California’s Thomas Fire. As a response to all of these natural disasters, the College Board offered free SAT registration and CSS Profile Fee Waivers (used for financial aid applications).

The College Board realized that students and their families were forced to deal with significant financial hardships while recovering from damages these events causes. Eliminating registration fees that prevented those students from taking the SAT because their families couldn’t pay was something that the organization felt was the right decision to make.

Furthermore, The College Board recently announced that in Spring 2018, they will begin allowing unlimited score reports for lower-income students. For many college aid organizations, this announcement answered many of their calls to do so for years.

Their contention was that for many low-income families, the associated fees often caused students a variety of problems that hampered their pursuit of higher education. These problems include delays in sending their applications, sending in scores that didn’t accurately reflect their ability because they were only able to take the test once, or sadly not apply whatsoever.

However, the SAT Fee Waiver provides these students and their families the means to overcome those hardships. Now with the new unlimited score report policy announcement, more students than ever should have both the choice and opportunity to apply to more schools than ever before.


Imagine if your son or daughter created a top 10 list of schools and after sending out those first four free reports, now has to pay for every single school they’re looking at and beyond. That money may not sound like much to many families, but imagine ones where making bills is hard to do.

Trying to find an extra $100 dollars just to send out SAT scores can be a hard hurdle to overcome. Thankfully, those decisions don’t have to be made anymore. If you need help to take the SAT, including registration, by all means, take advantage of these resources.


For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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