University scraps $70 application fee to boost access

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts university is getting rid of its $70 undergraduate application fee to open access to a greater range of students.


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“By removing our application fee, we hope to eliminate a barrier that students and their families may face in applying to college,” Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin said in a statement this week.

Applicants who have already paid the fee will be reimbursed.

WPI had previously dropped other application requirements, including a college entrance exam score. The university also removed standardized test scores as a consideration for merit-based scholarships in an effort to make the school more attainable to students who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM disciplines.

“As with our work to remove other barriers to access, our decision to eliminate the application fee started with us taking a step back and considering what this admissions process is like for students and their families,” Andrew Palumbo, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions and financial aid said. “Requiring students to pay a fee to receive an admissions decision is in direct conflict with our mission to increase access to a high-quality STEM education.”

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