Two important truths
Homeschoolers tend to be single-income families.
Homeschoolers love to save money.
Two important expenses
SAT and ACT tests are required for admission, and kids need to score well so they can get college scholarships.
Colleges application fees must be met in order to apply and get college scholarships so homeschoolers can afford college.
Problem: How to save money on tests and applications.
Solution: Fee Waivers! There are ways to request that some fees are waived.
Save money on Tests
Homeschoolers can save money on the SAT or ACT by requesting fee waivers. For both tests, homeschoolers must provide proof of eligibility to your local high school. These waivers can't be completed by the SAT or ACT company, they must be provided by a high school, but it never hurts to ask. They will usually only waive the fee for the test one time. You can read here for more information:
SAT Fee Waivers: http://sat.collegeboard.org/
ACT Fee Waivers: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/
Save money on College Applications
Many colleges will waive the application fee if you ask them to. Many colleges will waive the application fee is you visit their school and request an application. Ask them! Other colleges are so eager for qualified students, they will ask you to apply to their college at no cost. For that reason, getting great SAT or ACT test scores can allow you to apply to more colleges for less money. If those ideas don't work, you can request a fee waiver through the NACAC website.
NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver Form: http://www.nacacnet.org/
Read the rules and make sure it applies to your family. You will have to provide financial information if you want a fee waiver, but it's doable! And it can save you money!
Hi, I'm not sure how active this blog still is, but if someone sees this, I would really appreciate some help.
My family talked to the local counselor and requested fee waivers earlier this year for the SAT, and even though our family qualifies for free lunches (two of my sisters are still at that school and get the free lunches, so I am 100% positive that we do qualify), she said we didn't qualify for the fee waivers. Our family has had to fight the school system every step of the way for the most basic things, and even when they have legal obligations, they have put things off (ex: I qualified for their gifted program, however they refused to test me for months, and after they did test me, and I passed with flying colors, they refused to change my curriculum even though my state requires them to respond within a certain set time). The school does not like our family, and we should have qualified for this waiver, can anyone provide some insight on what we can do now that I'm in my senior year and being harassed by colleges with $70 application fees that we just can't afford?
Don't give up, Elijah
School districts can be really difficult. Do you have an advocate on staff at school? A teacher or guidance counselor, who knows how diligent you are? I would start there.
Contact the CollegeBoard 1 (866) 630-9305
Keep trying until somebody listens.
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Thank you for the encouraging words. The school guidance counselor is the one that provided the test, but she's one of the main people fighting us. They just got a new principal (the old one was the driving force behind the school's inability to follow through on most things), and we have contacted him. If he doesn't respond soon, we will contact the CollegeBoard. Thank you so much for your support!
Plus, once you use either the SAT or ACT fee waiver, there are other things that can happen as with us: applying to colleges for free, or a deposit for dorm room eliminated ---if you have used a waiver.
I secured a fee waiver for the SAT for my son very easily by simply calling up the local high school guidance counselor and asking for one. I told her we qualified, as our income fell into the reduced lunch price bracket, but she told me that due the median income of the school's zone the entire school was automatically on reduced lunch pricing and every student gets a fee waiver. All we had to do then was go down to her office and pick it up. Easy-peasy.
According to the College Board (SAT) website, a student can receive up to two fee waivers for the SAT and up to two additional fee waivers for the SAT Subject tests. Everyone that takes the SAT can have the scores sent to up to four colleges for free, but using the fee waiver allows you to send the scores to up to eight colleges for free. PLUS, you can request fee waivers for up to four college applications. The college application fee waivers only work for participating colleges, but the list of participating colleges is LONG. Every single college that we have even kind of looked at is on the list.
My son did better on the SAT practice test at home than he did on the ACT practice test, so I haven't looked into what the ACT offers much. However, I do know that you can still get up to two waivers for the ACT as well.
Anyway, I was super excited to find out about the fee waiver options. Between taking the SAT twice and applying to four colleges, we will save $300 or more!
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