STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Tuesday, Nov. 15 is Fee-Free Application Day, allowing Connecticut high school students to apply to the University of Connecticut and universities within the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system for free, regardless of income level.
This is the second year Fee-Free Application Day, which is part of an initiative to increase access to higher education, inspired by a 2021 proposal in the Connecticut General Assembly.
View a full list of schools in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.
The cost for an undergraduate application to UConn is $80, and the cost to apply within the CSCU system is $50. In 2021, the average college application fee in the U.S. was $45.
“It does encourage people who may have otherwise been on the fence,” Stephanie Reitz, a spokesperson for UConn said.
The fee is waived year-round for students who are orphans or wards of the state, qualify for SAT/ACT test cost waivers, are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches, receive public assistance, or live in foster care.
UConn saw a record-breaking year for undergraduate applications — more than 43,000 for the Class of 2026, which started this fall — and the majority were from Connecticut.
After last year’s success, UConn and Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) are expecting more of the same this year.
CCSU is waiving application fees through Nov. 30 to give high schoolers a little more time to apply for free.
“Just on Nov. 15 last year, we had over 2,000 applications that day,” Dr. Kimberly Kostelis, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at CCSU. “So, we’re hoping for more this year, and more throughout the extended period.”
High school students can apply online with the Common App and multiple state universities can be selected to speed up the process.
“People of my generation and others will remember sitting down and filling out tons of paperwork, a lot of mailing,” Reitz said. “Now students can fill out what’s called the Common App, and they determine where they want thatsent.”
To help with the rising cost of higher education, state universities this year are focused on financial packaging, providing more scholarship and grant opportunities.