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How much do college applications cost?

Infographic: Adding up college applications

Infographic text:

Adding up the cost of college applications

$50 The most common college application fee

  • Fees vary by school: Stanford University has the most expensive fee at $90, but fees at most schools can be waived or reduced for those who qualify.1

x 6 Number of college applications submitted

  • Experts recommend you apply to between 5 and 8 schools.2

+ $299 Cost of the self-paced SAT prep course through Kaplan3 or Princeton Review4

  • How much you invest is up to you: College Board, Kaplan, and Khan Academy offer free online prep tools, while Kaplan’s one-on-one tutoring starts at $2,699. 3

+ $46 Cost of one SAT2 or ACT6 exam (without essay component)

+ $46 Cost of taking either the SAT or ACT a second time

+ $24 Cost to send two additional SAT/ACT score reports to colleges, at $12 each (the first four sent are free)2,6


= $715 Approximate cost to apply to six schools

If you prepare for the SAT with free resources and only send your scores to four schools, the cost decreases to $392.



1Stanford University Admissions, https://admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/fee.html

2The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/applying-to-college-faq, https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/fees

3Kaplan, https://www.kaptest.com/sat

4Princeton Review, https://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-selfguided-course#schedules

5Amazon.com, https://www.amazon.com/Official-SAT-Study-Guide-2018/dp/1457309289/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

6ACT.org, http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration/fees.html


Dana Fulton
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Dana Fulton

Social Media Content Manager at Wells Fargo
Creative professional with years of sales and marketing experience, specializing in segment-specific strategy and customer-centric communications. Skills include problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and clarifying the complex.
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One thought on “How much do college applications cost?

  1. Thank you for providing this essential information for students and parents. The Get College Ready Planning Guide and the 5-step guide to paying for college are useful tools in the college access process.

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