2023 Best Colleges and Universities in America With No Application Fee

I remember applying to colleges back in my Junior year of high school and thinking to myself, “I only have enough money to pay for three applications, so I better make this count.” Little did I know that I wasn’t necessarily constrained by my budget. Why? Because as I have come to know, there are plenty of colleges and universities that don’t charge an application fee. Below you will find the best of them.

  1. University of Chicago –A private school, located in the Chicago neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Woodlawn, University of Chicago gives students a beautiful urban setting only seven miles south of downtown Chicago. The University of Chicago is the third most expensive school in the country, with a combined total cost of $71,775. Tuition is $55,425, and room and board costs $16,350. The university is well-known for its research, and it consistently ranks in the top for the best in education. This Midwestern private school boasts some of the highest graduation rates in the country, and Hispanic students are no exception. Hispanic students graduate at a rate of 92.4 percent while white students are just ahead at 93.5 percent. The University of Chicago is a research university at heart, and it’s love for discovery ranges from the physical to the social sciences. Whether you’re interested in ancient dead languages or nuclear reactors, the University of Chicago has excellent student and faculty research options and an active undergraduate research community.ch options and an active undergraduate research community.
  2. Carleton College –  Located 40 miles outside the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, this rural college has achieved the distinction of being ranked 5th among liberal arts universities nationwide. Students benefit from small classes, and 96% of freshmen report being satisfied with their educational experience here. This private school ranks first in undergraduate teaching, is a best-value school, and in the top dozen innovative schools in the nation. Annual tuition and fees are approximately $57,111 with room and board being an additional $14,658.
  3. Colby College – Colby ranks at an impressive #18 among liberal arts colleges in the nation. Many students here attend the college to major in environmental studies; attractions include a nearby peat bog and environmental This college offers 58 majors, and two-thirds of the students study abroad at programs in France, Spain, and Russia. The annual tuition and fees run approximately $55,210.
  4. Wellesley College – Known for its academic rigor, this all-female school encourages women to dream big and achieve their goals. Wellesley has cross-registration agreements with schools like MIT. Tuition and fees are $56,052 each year. Not all the schools in Massachusetts are behemoths in size, but they offer just as rigorous a curriculum as larger universities. One example of this is the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. This school offers 120 bachelors degrees, as well as masters and doctoral degrees, and students are encouraged to participate in community service. Tuition and fees at this school are $15,180 annually.
  5. University of Massachusetts-Lowell – This school offers more than 100 bachelors degrees, as well as masters and doctoral degrees, and students are encouraged to participate in community service. Tuition and fees at this school are $14,800 annually.
  6. Case Western Reserve University – Located in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve is ranked at #42 in the nation among national universities. This institution of higher education is known for its research, and as a result, attracts graduate students to its top-rated programs. Undergrads engage in rigorous academics, and the can also take advantage of the school’s tremendous extracurricular programs. Annual tuition and fees here run $49,042.
  7. Tulane University –  Tulane is tied for 44th place among universities across the nation. Located in downtown NOLA, this college is at the hub of culture and cuisine. There is also an uptown campus. This university is known for its law school as well as the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The school is highly selective, and those student accepted into the university can expect to pay approximately $54,820 annually in tuition and fees.
  8. Butler University– Caring professors and a close-knit community of students are among the many things that make the “Butler Way” a top choice. For plenty of personal attention and a small student-teacher ratio, Butler is an excellent option.
  9. University of Dayton – This private, Catholic school offers students more than 80 degree programs and 200+ organizations to become involved in. The University of Dayton weighs in at #127 among national schools, is considered a best-value choice, and has earned excellent ratings in business and engineering. Annual tuition and fees are $42,900.
  10. DePaul University – Small class sizes and friendly, supportive students and staff set this small Catholic university apart. Communications and liberal arts are the most popular majors.
  11. The University of Evansville – Academics at this private college rank near the top not only in Indiana but in the nation. It is renowned for engineering, poetry, and many other disciplines. The academic atmosphere is challenging but supportive.
  12. Whitworth University – Whitworth is a best value choice and veteran-friendly. Whitworth integrates faith-based decision making into its academics. Tuition and fees here are approximately $43,640 per year.

Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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