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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration


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Should college applications have a price?

Photo Credit: Michelle Remite-Berthet
With acceptance rates as low as 4.69%, college seems inaccessible as ever.

It is once again that stressful time of the year again for high school seniors. Deadlines are near, seniors are asking for teacher recommendations, finishing SATs, and filling out college applications.

Wouldn’t it be nice for high school seniors to worry about one less thing? How about the cost of college applications and standardized tests. According to the U.S. News and World Report, out of 1,073 schools, the average application fee is $41. The most expensive application is to Stanford University, which is $90.

Different high school seniors fill out different numbers of college applications. Some students have multiple colleges they want to apply to, while others narrow down their options.

As a result, students can spend a large portion of money just on applying to a college they may not even attend. There have been reports of high school seniors spending up to hundreds of dollars just on applications.

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CHS senior, Brianna Kelly, is one of the many students who have spent hundreds of dollars just on applications. “I’m applying to seven schools where it’s about $40-$65 for each applications. You also need to pay for SAT scores which totals to a large amount. I spent around $300-$400 on applications alone, when I’ll only be attending one school.”

However, not every student has the luxury of spending as much money as possible solely on college applications. Consequently, some students may not have a range of options for secondary school.

Just the process of applying to schools is expensive. Standardized tests that colleges want, such as the ACT and SAT, have a fee as well. The SAT costs $50, while the ACT costs $35. Even college visits sometimes cost a couple thousand dollars.

Already, colleges and universities, earn an excessive amount of money. Graduated college students go on to live life as adults drowning in student debt.

It seems that colleges and universities is no longer about education, but about money. Colleges and universities are no longer schools, but businesses. Why do post-secondary schools do this?

Kevin Pinkham, a Colonia High School senior, believes, “Colleges charge us because they pay for the work that gets put into deciding whether or not we are accepted.”

According to, Pinkham is right on the money. College applications fees “are strictly used to cover the cost of the selection and admission process.” It costs money for colleges to have a human look over all the applications from those applying, so colleges and universities pass the cost over to students.

The article also states that some colleges add a fee to ensure that only serious applicants are trying to attend their school.

But as mentioned before, is it fair that students have to pay for the prices, and even compromise their future because of application fees? If a student truly has financial troubles, there is such thing as a fee waiver. A college application fee waiver means that a student who wants to apply to college, they don’t need to pay the fees for the application. However, there is a specific list of requirements a student has to meet before being considered eligible. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) lists all the requirements for application fee waivers.

Even with possible fee waivers, students still face financial strain. The NACAC website reccomends that students limit the use of the fee waiver form to only four colleges that they have the most interest in applying to. In addition, if the college the student wants to apply to doesn’t accept fee waivers, they must pay the application fee.

Overall, college and university applications are a financial strain. It seems difficult for students who suffer financially to apply to college without losing something; whether it be money or loss of school options. It doesn’t seem fair that some students should lose academically because they don’t have the luxury of applying to all the schools they’re interested in.

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About the Contributor
Michelle Remite-Berthet
Michelle Remite-Berthet, Editor-in-Chief
Michelle Remite-Bethet is a 17 year old, twelfth grade journalist at CHS. Remite is originally from right here in Colonia, NJ, and has grew up here her since she was ten months old.  She lives with her mother, her father, three sisters, and a dog named Willy. In her free time, she enjoys making and listening to music. Remite plays both acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and violin. Some of her favorite artists are Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more. Remite loves to sit at home and watch shows like Law and Order: SVU, New Girl, and House M.D.. Her  favorite animal is a penguin and her favorite color is teal, turquoise, and aqua. Remite's mother came from Guatemala, causing Remite to speak some Spanish. Remite is excited to be Editor-in-Chief and working on The Declaration team, and is looking forward to reporting news, and making articles for Colonia High School. Follow her for CHS Updates on twitter:@NewsColonia .

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The student news site of Colonia High School
Should college applications have a price?