Is it okay to ask for Application fee waivers for masters programs?

If yes, how should one approach? I will applying as an international student.

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is ok to ask (for just about anything). But explain why you are asking and the nature of your need.

The likelihood of a positive answer may be very low, though.

  • 1
    Great answer Buffy. The only thing I would add is be polite Nov 12, 2023 at 18:28

M.S. degrees in the US are (with possible exceptions) a commercial proposal. The university makes money from the fees and you get (usually quite marketable) skills. Application fees cover the costs of evaluating applications and also ensure that the people who apply are serious about coming to the university if accepted.

Many departments have relatively little to do with the evaluation itself which is often delegated to some staff member. So, a request to waive admission fees can end up with some faculty member who cannot do much or with a staff member who has no power to waive admissions.

You can - very politely - ask for a waiver, but you can only hope for a positive answer if you have a very good reason why you cannot pay the admission fee and if you can convince people that you would come if accepted. You would still need to spend money on all the tests that are asked from you, so the request might not make a lot of sense.

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