College Application Fees are Investments for Your Future

By Abby Marcin, Staff Writer

Everybody hates college application fees. This sentiment is understandable given that you could be paying up to $90 to wait for months in anticipation and anxiety, only to receive a denial letter. Often, we only look at these application fees as a way for a college to take our money with no other reason but to break our bank account. So, how do these application fees benefit us?

A world without college application fees would also be a world with immensely high application rates. One kid could apply to 40 schools for absolutely no fee. Imagine your dream school is one of his 40, but it’s his 39th choice. He gets in and you don’t. How would you feel?

Application fees put a realistic cap on the amount of schools a student can apply to and lets an institution know that you are serious about attending the school. If you’re applying and paying a high fee, it’s most likely in your top 10 choices, not just your top 40. Now, I’m not saying that wealthier kids should have the opportunity to apply to more schools over those whose families have a lower income, but kids should have realistic standards for the amount of schools they are applying to, wealthy or not. In the end, a student who has no interest in a university other than the fact that he or she wants that feeling of opening an acceptance letter could be taking a spot of someone who desperately wants to go to that school.

Now where does this money go? Surely, your $60 fee doesn’t go into the pocket of the admissions counselor. If you’re applying to a college, you obviously want it to be a good one. This money often goes towards having the best professors, facilities and accommodations for its student body. According to US News and World Report, the five highest application fees in the country are Dartmouth, Boston University, Duke, Columbia and, at number one, Stanford. Not coincidentally, these are some of the best universities in the country. The highest acceptance rate of those schools is Boston University with only 29 percent. As you keep reading this list of most expensive application fees you start to notice a pattern. The schools in the top 25 spots, or the ones with the most expensive application fees, are among the nation’s best schools. While this may have no correlation (maybe these schools are just greedy and want more money for their endowments), I’m convinced. These application fees go to benefiting students’ educational experiences.

Besides, if you genuinely can’t pay for your college application fees because the cost is not within your price range, you are most likely eligible for a college application fee waiver; however, if you just don’t feel like paying because your pride can’t accept the fact that you may be denied, remember some kids genuinely can’t pay for the application. So next time you sit down to hand in your applications, ready to put in your credit card information, think of it as an investment in your future rather than a burden.

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