Eliminating Application Fees, Eliminating Barriers

Lily Swain ’25, Staff Writer

Dickinson College, in an announcement released in late October, revealed that it would  drop its $65 application fee.  Dickinson joins the ranks of PA colleges and universities such as Elizabethtown, Ursinus College and Bryn Mawr, which  don’t require  application fees. However,  Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Franklin & Marshall continue to charge over $50 per application. 

The college’s reason for eliminating the fee, as noted in an email to students from President Jones, is to “remove potential barriers to access while being fair and equitable to all applicants.” Another step the college has taken toward equitable treatment of applicants is continuing to not require students to submit ACT or SAT test scores along with their application. 

College administrators did not respond to emails from The Dickinsonian inquiring about what the fee money went toward or how the school will make up for the loss. But it’s likely that the loss in revenue will not cause a problem, as it only made about $534,000 during the 2022 application cycle (8,230 applicants times the $65 application fee). By contrast, the college’s expenses in 2022 totalled to over $100 million, according to the 2022 Fiscal Year Financial Statement.

When asked about the subject, students had their own opinions about the application fee removal. Student Kai Lemis ’24 said she had not been aware that the fee was suspended, and noted that it does not really affect her since she’s a junior. However, she also added that “it makes the school more accessible,” which agrees with the administration’s goal.