If you score within a high percentile on the SAT, you can end up with thousands of dollars in scholarship money when it’s time for college. However, before you can think about the money you can earn from taking the SAT, it’s important that you’re aware of the costs associated with the test.
This guide will show you all of the SAT registration and scoring fees as well as a few ways to save some money during the test-taking process.
SAT registration costs
When you sign up for the SAT, you will have to pay a $55 registration fee.
Since the SAT no longer includes the essay section, you do not have to worry about paying more for a different version of the test. However, there are a few registration factors that come with additional fees:
- International test fees: If you’re taking the SAT from a country outside of the United States, you will have to pay an international test fee between $43-$53 depending on where you live
- Phone registration fee: If you’ve already taken the SAT and would prefer to register by phone instead of online for your next test, there will be an additional $15 fee
- Late registration fee: If you sign up for the test after the deadline (but before the cutoff date for late registration), you will need to pay a $30 late fee
- Waitlist fee: If you’re added to the SAT waitlist for your test date and end up taking the test on test day, you will have to pay $53.
SAT scoring costs
Fortunately, it is free to receive your SAT scores online or through the mail. It’s also free for you to send your score report to four different schools!
However, there are some additional charges depending on if you want extra attention paid to your scores, additional score reports, or rush shipping for your score reports.
Here are some SAT scoring costs to consider:
- Phone scores: If you want to receive your scores over the phone instead of online or through the mail, it will cost $15
- Additional score reports: After your initial free score reports, each additional score report you want to send to a college or university will cost $12
- Rush shipping: If you want rush delivery for your score reports, it will cost $31
- Manual score review: You can have a College Board grader manually score all of your multiple-choice answers for $55
- Answer Service: If you want access to your SAT questions, your recorded responses, correct answers with explanations, and information about question difficulty, you’ll need to pay an additional $16
Saving money on the SAT
While students can take the test and send their score reports for a total of $55, it is easy for them to rack up additional fees that can make the SAT rather costly.
Here are a few ways for you to reduce your SAT fees:
Don’t wait until the last minute
If you wait to take the SAT until the last possible test date before college application deadlines, you will probably end up spending extra money on rush shipping.
As a rule of thumb, you should expect it to take around 4-5 weeks for your scores to be sent and received by the colleges on your list. Make sure when you schedule your SAT, you take it early enough for your scores to arrive on time without rush shipping.
Schedule your test months in advance
Whenever possible, you should try to schedule your SAT test dates months in advance. Not only will this help you make sure that you have adequate time to study, but it will also make sure that you aren’t subject to any late registration or waitlist fees.
If you know you need to take your first test next spring when you’re not in sports and your schedule is light, for instance, go ahead and sign up for it now!
Request a waiver
You will be able to save a significant amount on your SAT if you qualify for a fee waiver.
According to the College Board, you are eligible for a fee waiver if you meet any of the following requirements:
- You’re enrolled in or eligible to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
- You’re enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (such as Federal TRIO programs like Upward Bound).
- Your family receives public assistance.
- You live in federally subsidized public housing, are in a foster home, or are homeless.
- You’re a ward of the state or an orphan.
The great thing about these fee waivers is that they cover more than just the SAT registration fee. You can use fee waivers for up to 2 registration fees, two Answer Service fees, unlimited score reports, application fees for participating colleges and universities, cancellation fees, and more.
If you think you’re eligible for a fee waiver, contact your school’s guidance counselor.
Preparing for the test
One of the best ways to save money on the SAT is to prepare for the test so that you only need to take it a couple of times. If you’re able to reach your target score after taking the test twice, it will save you a lot of money in the long run (and help you earn more scholarship money, too!)