How Much Does the SAT Cost and How to Get a Fee Waiver?

This article will talk about how much the SAT cost and how you can apply for a fee waiver. As high school juniors and seniors prepare to go off to college, there are many hurdles they must overcome to get into college. One of these hurdles is the SAT and ACT. Taking the SAT or ACT is a requirement for college admissions. Students work hard to prep for the SAT and ACT. Although many schools recognize ACT and SAT scores, more schools utilize the SAT. The scores differ significantly between the SAT and ACT. However, the SAT costs less than the ACT.


When a student is ready to take the ACT or SAT, there is a cost when registering, and these change every year. For the 2021-2022 school year, the SAT is $55. If you want to add the essay, the fee is $68. SAT Subject Tests have fees, and good SAT test scores have a price.

SAT Registration fees

Besides the initial SAT registration fee, there is also a fee if you choose to register by phone, test change, register late,  and waitlist fee. If you decide to register by phone, it will cost $15. The test change fee incurs if you want to change your test center, date, SAT Subject Tests, or add the essay to the SAT. This fee is $30.

The late test registration is $30. The final fee that can add to your SAT registration fees is the waitlist fee.   You get put on the testing location’s waitlist if you register for the SAT after the late registration deadline. If you gain admittance to the center on test day, you will have to pay an additional $53.

How Much are Score Reports?

You get four score reports available up to nine days after your test date with your initial cost.   If you can’t narrow down your school choices to just four schools, and you need an additional score report or order it outside of the nine days after the test date, it will cost $12 per score report each additional report.

If you are running late with your college application, you can request your test scores be rushed, which will get them to the college in 1-2 days, not including holidays and weekends.

Other fees for a score report include scores by phone, archived SAT scores, SAT Question-and-Answer Service, SAT Student Answer Service, Multiple-choice hand score verification, and essay hand score verification. These fees start at $13.50 and can be as high as $55. SAT sends scores to schools and colleges chosen by the students taking the tests. Many students choose to send their scores to multiple schools.

SAT Subject Tests

Unlike the ACT, you have more options for testing when participating in the SAT. Along with the SAT, you have the option to take SAT Subject Tests. Administered at the same time as the SAT, the four Subject Tests are additional requirements for some colleges like the University of Texas, Cumberland University, Clemson University, and William Penn University.

A test-taker can take up to three tests for one testing session; this will cost $26 for a basic fee, plus each Subtest will be $22 additionally per test except for the  Language Test with Listening. It will cost $26 more per test for the Language Test with Listening. You get four score reports like the SAT. For additional score reports, it is $12 per report.

The SAT Subject Tests have the same additional score services and fees as the SAT.

SAT Fee Waivers

Getting into college can be expensive. From test fees to application fees and college fees, students pay a large sum of money to see if they are accepted. The college board wants to help. Some students may qualify for a fee waiver from the college board. The college board does not like the costs of the SAT to prevent students from having access to take it.

Students can apply for fee waivers that will give them virtually no costs associated with the SAT. Having the SAT fees waived will allow students to spend their money on test prep materials. If students can’t afford SAT prep materials or ACT prep materials, or online prep courses such as PrepScholar, they can find free test prep on various websites. A fee waiver will waive the fee of the SAT and various score reports.

Benefits of a Fee Waiver

A trademark of the college board is the fee waiver, which comes with several benefits. The most significant benefit is free tests. You can complete the SAT or SAT with an essay twice for free and have unlimited score reports sent to colleges for free. Some colleges waive application fees for fee waiver holders.

Another benefit of a waiver is two free Question-and-Answer Service or Student Answer Service reports. You will have no late registration fees for free tests. The only cost a fee waiver holder may have is changing your registration, such as taking the SAT at a different test location or date.

How Do I Get a Waiver?

Whether you plan to take the SAT or the ACT, there is the ability to get a fee waiver. Students who are eligible for the waiver must meet specific criteria. Students must come from low-income families and be in high school in the US or US territories. You must be in the 11th or 12th grade. If the student is enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, they are eligible for the free tests.

You may also qualify if you live in subsidized public housing, a foster home, are homeless, are a ward of the state, or are an orphan. There may be additional requirements to be eligible to get the waiver. Don’t let the SAT and ACT costs get you down or prevent you from going to college. There is help out there; you have to know where to look. Talk to a school counselor to see what you can do to take your SAT for free.

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