Applying to college as a high school junior or senior is already stressful as it is, but add on the costs associated with application fees and it can be the reason that some never see an acceptance letter. That is, until 2021.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Monday announced that beginning March 1st, students from families that meet certain income guidelines could apply to up to seven SUNY campuses with no application fee, savings of up to $350 for a student.

SUNY officials noted that this change will help 110 thousand high school seniors in New York State, easing the pathway for them to attend college and get a quality education.

“It’s on us to knock down every barrier to empower students,” Malatras said in announcing the waiver. “This is an easy way to do it.”

Under the current application process, students can seek a fee waiver if a school guidance counselor signs off or if the students files a separate application for the waiver. Malatras said that requirement represented a hurdle to many low-income students and complicated the application process unnecessarily.

Now, with the new guidelines going into action, students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch programs, whose household income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty line or are from foster homes automatically qualify for the fee waiver.

Currently, applications are $50 per school. The new guidelines would eliminate that fee, and students would be permitted to apply to up to seven different SUNY schools.

“I don’t want students to feel they don’t have enough money or the wherewithal to even apply to SUNY," said Malatras.

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