By Alexandra Griffin, Managing Editor
Preparing for college is one of the most exciting and stressful times of a young person’s life. While the stress of studying and homework is standard for most students, many also experience stress in finding ways to pay for testing and applications, which can all add up to be hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of dollars.
Like many other students, I am planning on taking the SAT and ACT multiple times and am also looking to apply to many colleges. If I were to take the SAT three times, the ACT twice, and apply to seven colleges, I could be paying around $475 (application fee derived from the US News and Business Report average), not including the writing section of either test and additional score reports.
Although the price of testing fees is being reduced slowly by high schools offering free testing, other college admission requirements, like application fees, can be pretty steep.
Because of high application fees, I will not be applying to as many colleges as I would like to. However, if the price of application fees is lowered, I may apply to more schools.
For example, Stanford University’s application fee is $90, which is the highest in the country. I could live off of that $90 for two weeks in college (not including tuition), but instead I have to use that money to apply to a college that, if I went to, I would be paying tens of thousands of dollars to attend.
I believe that having to pay such high fees for applications is unfair, as some students are offered a dismissal of their application fee if they qualify for financial aid while others are not.
While I do believe that financial aid should be offered to students who need it, I also believe that it is not fair that students who may just miss the qualifications of financial aid could have to pay over a thousand dollars to apply to multiple colleges, when someone who just meets the qualifications of financial aid doesn’t have to pay any application fees, despite the small difference in their incomes.
Not only is it not fair to students who “can” afford college applications, which is determined by the college’s qualifications for financial aid, with the amount of money colleges pay for sports, new buildings and other features not required for the school’s academic success, I find that it is not fair for potential students to have to pay such a hefty application fee, especially when they could be a great asset to the school’s academic success.