Holy Cross drops application fee for Worcester Public School students

Holy Cross campus
Holy Cross campus

WORCESTER — Worcester Public School students looking to apply to the College of the Holy Cross won't have to wonder how they'll pay for the application fee anymore, as the university announced Wednesday that it had eliminated its $60 application fee.

Effective Aug. 1, the fee was dropped in an effort to reduce the financial barriers for currently enrolled district students.

“By waiving the application fee for Worcester Public School students, we aim to encourage more academically qualified students to explore and apply to Holy Cross —one of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions,” Holy Cross President Vincent D. Rougeau said.

It's not the first time a college in Central Massachusetts has eliminated application fees to make college education more accessible to students. In 2020, Worcester Polytechnic Institute announced it was going to start waiving its $70 application fee.

Other colleges and universities also offer fee waivers. Nichols College charges no application fees to apply and Fitchburg State University, like WPI, continued to offer fee waivers after eliminating them in 2020.

The Holy Cross press release said that the elimination of the application fee is part of an ongoing effort to enroll "high-achieving students from low-income families."

Other efforts to make the school more accessible have included making standardized testing an optional part of the application process, a policy that was put in place in 2005. Holy Cross was one of the first of five schools in the United States to enact this policy.

Additionally, Holy Cross meets 100% of each admitted student's demonstrated financial need.

"We recognize that undermatching is a genuine issue among high-achieving, low-income students,” said Cornell B. LeSane II, vice president for enrollment management at Holy Cross. "As a college that meets 100% demonstrated financial need, we want to remove the undue burden that an application fee may present."

Holy Cross joins a select number of schools that offer some type of fee waiver to undergraduate students.

Anna Maria College

Worcester Public Schools students and students with financial challenges are eligible for a fee waiver.

Assumption University

In 2020, during the pandemic, Assumption eliminated its application fee for students. It remains free for students to apply to the school.

Clark University

The university eliminated application fees for everyone in 2020 and plans to continue to do so in the future, said Meredith Twombly, vice president of admissions and financial aid.

College of the Holy Cross

Students currently enrolled in the Worcester Public School district will not have to pay the $60 undergraduate application fee. The new policy took effect Aug. 1.

Fitchburg State University

In fall 2020, Fitchburg State announced it would be eliminating its application fee for undergraduate programs. The policy has continued for students applying via the school's online application.

Students are also able to apply to the university with the common application, which costs $35. Fee waivers also exist for that method as well for students experiencing financial barriers, according to the common application website.


It is free to apply to MCPHS.

Mount Wachusett Community College

It is free to apply to MWCC.

Nichols College

The college, which accepts applications year-round, has no application fees.

Quinsigamond Community College

It is free to apply to QCC.

UMass Chan Medical School

According to the school's website, application fees are waived for M.D./doctorate program applicants who are granted an American Medical College Application Services fee waiver.

The AMCAS website said it awards fee waivers based on household size and income. For 2022, applicants will be granted fee assistance if each household reported on their application has a 2021 total family income that is 400% or less than the 2021 national poverty level for that family size.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

In October 2020, WPI announced it would be eliminating its $70 application fee for undergraduate applicants. The policy remains in effect.

Worcester State University

The university website said the school offers students an undergraduate application fee waiver if they take part in any official campus visit, such as a campus tour or open house.

Worcester Public School students applying for the school via the common application also have the fee waived. Application fees are waived for WPS students applying via the common app.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Worcester Public School students can apply to Holy Cross for free