Colleges with No Application Fee in New York: Applying to college can be an exciting time for students as they prepare to take the next step in their education. However, one aspect that causes stress for many families is the cost of college applications.
Application fees, which many schools charge on a per-school basis, can add up quickly. While fees help cover the costs of processing applications, they present an additional financial barrier for students.
Fortunately, there are several excellent colleges in New York that do not charge application fee. By eliminating this cost, these schools aim to make the admissions process more accessible for all students, regardless of their financial situation.
In this article, we will explore the six top colleges with no application fee in New York: Clarkson University, St. Bonaventure University, St. John Fisher University, St. Lawrence University, Bard College, and D’Youville University.
Top Colleges with No Application Fees in New York
Located in Potsdam, New York, Clarkson University is a private research university known for its programs in engineering, business, and the sciences. With an enrollment of around 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Clarkson offers more than 50 programs of study and consistently ranks among the best national universities and best value schools.
Great news for potential applicants! Clarkson University has eliminated its application fee, aiming to encourage talented students to apply regardless of financial constraints. This initiative reflects Clarkson’s commitment to accessibility. In addition to no application fee, Clarkson provides generous need-based and merit-based financial aid packages.
Beyond academics, Clarkson is known for fostering a collaborative community. The campus environment emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning through research projects, internships, and student organizations.
On-campus living helps nurture bonds between students and faculty. Clarkson also owns over 900 acres surrounding the main campus, providing space for recreation, nature trails, and outdoor activities that support wellness.
St. Bonaventure University
Next, we have St. Bonaventure University, a Roman Catholic university located in Allegany, New York near the border of Pennsylvania. As a Bonaventure Franciscan institution, St. Bonaventure grounds its liberal arts curriculum in ethics, social justice, and service learning. Small class sizes allow for close interaction between students and faculty.
Similar to Clarkson, St. Bonaventure does not charge an application fee for prospective undergraduates. The school believes this policy helps ensure its admissions process considers students based solely on merit and character rather than financial status.
In total, around 2,500 undergraduates study at St. Bonaventure across more than 60 areas of study. Popular majors include business, education, and health professions like nursing and physical therapy. Additionally, St. Bonaventure manages the Reilly Center for Media & Arts, offering film, photography, and graphic design opportunities.
St. John Fisher College
Located in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford, New York, St. John Fisher College is another Catholic college with no application fee. Founded in 1948 by the Basilian Fathers, Fisher upholds a tradition of service, leadership and care for others.
Today, around 3,000 undergraduates study at Fisher across over 80 academic programs. The College divides study into four core areas – natural sciences, social sciences, professional studies, and humanities & fine arts. Popular majors include those geared towards in-demand careers like business, education, computer science, and health professions.
Financially, St. John Fisher’s commitment to accessibility shows through policies like no application fees and need-based aid. The school spends more than $30 million annually on scholarships, grants and work-study programs to support students.
Beyond academics, Fisher students enjoy nearly 100 student clubs and 18 Division III athletics teams. The campus lifestyle also emphasizes service learning through programs like Bonner Leaders. Traditionally, about 90% of freshmen live on campus in one of several residence hall communities.
St. Lawrence University
Nestled in the Adirondack Mountain region of northern New York, St. Lawrence University is a top liberal arts college renowned for its engineering and business programs in addition to ASL studies. Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence educates around 2,500 students across over 40 majors rooted in experiential learning.
In line with its commitment to need-blind admissions, St. Lawrence waives application fees for all prospective students. This policy aims to foster a diverse, talented student body reflective of students’ character rather than financial means.
On campus, St. Lawrence balances varied academic pursuits with outdoorsy fun. Students revel in intramural sports, nature trails, skiing/snowboarding hills, and over 100 clubs and activities. Renowned programs like the Engineers for Exploration and Forensic Science spark hands-on discovery. St. Lawrence University is among the top Colleges in New York that do not require an application fee.
Established in 1860, Bard College is a private liberal arts college located along the Hudson River in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. As one of the oldest bachelor’s degree-granting institutions in the state, Bard nurtures critical thinking, artistic exploration and civic participation across its programs in the arts, languages, sciences and more.
Bard commits to equitable access through no application fees, extensive financial aid awards and an affordable all-inclusive tuition model. This aligns with the Bard motto of “knowledge as the test of character” by focusing admission exclusively on merit rather than financial criteria.
About 2,000 total undergraduate students explore Bard’s fields through interdisciplinary concentrations that encourage crossing traditional boundaries. Outside the classroom, students express creativity through theatre, music, publications and nearly 200 student clubs.
Bard also owns over 1,000 woodland acres and operates multiple cultural institutions like the Fisher Center for Performing Arts. This fosters immersion in the natural world and arts alongside liberal studies.
Finally, we have D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. A private nonprofit Catholic college, D’Youville cultivates care for underserved populations through health, education and human services. Academics balance classroom theory with practical training through service and clinical experience.
At D’Youville, students can earn degrees across fields spanning nursing, social work, education, nutrition, health administration and more. Popular programs prepare for in-demand and growing professions helping others. Class sizes remain small to foster close guidance.
D’Youville also promotes equity through need-blind admissions, with no application fees. The college dedicates significant institutional aid to assist students from diverse backgrounds in their educational and career endeavors. On-campus housing fosters a sense of community among the diverse student body.
Beyond class, opportunities abound to aid the local community. Students volunteer through service trips, free clinics and nonprofit partnerships alongside studies. Athletics, over 50 student-run clubs and campus jobs round out the college experience.
Applying for Fee Waivers
While many colleges don’t charge for applications outright, others provide need-based fee waivers for qualifying candidates. Here’s how to maximize your chances of a waived fee:
- Check each college website for instructions. Most require students to check a box online or submit a short form.
- Apply early – many run out of waivers, so request one as soon as the application opens.
- Provide documentation of financial need like tax returns or proof of free lunch if asked. Schools aim to assist lower-income students most.
- Consider requesting fee waivers for higher reach schools outside your expected eligibility, as some may still honor the request. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
- If denied, call or email the admissions office to plead your case. Additional waivers may become available. Request to be added to a waitlist if all spots fill up.
- Apply to several fee waiver options to increase odds of admission – don’t put all your chips on one school alone.
Conclusion on Colleges with No Application Fee in New York
This guide has highlighted numerous public and private colleges that waive application fees, removing a potential barrier to entry for financially constrained students is the goal.
Whether you remain local or cast a wider net, focusing your energy into strong essays, recommendations, test scores and engagement will serve you well throughout the admissions process. Remember to start early, seek guidance from your high school counselors, and do not hesitate to reach out directly to colleges if you have additional questions or unique financial circumstances.