Not everyone can afford to go to college. Some have to apply for financial aid to get through college. Tuition waiver is one option available to students that desperately want to further their education and lack enough funds.
However, getting a tuition waiver largely depends greatly on what is available to you, your qualifications, and if your school offers the scholarship option.
What is a Tuition Waiver?
A wavier should not be confused with a student loan. It is a program that allows a student to pay only a portion of his/her tuition or not to pay at all. They are issued only for a certain period; therefore, the student has to re-apply every semester that he/she would like the tuition waived.
Tuition waivers are beneficial for those that can’t afford to pay the college tuition fee. However, not all colleges grant waivers, so you have to research the colleges that offer tuition waivers to students. And because a tuition waiver covers only tuition, students that live close to the institution, can work while at school, or have relatives close by can benefit from this program.
Difference Between A Scholarship And A Tuition Waiver
Both scholarship and a tuition waiver are financial aid packages offered to students to further their education. It is possible for a student to be awarded both programs or to run both programs simultaneously. And even though they might seem alike, they are not entirely the same.
A scholarship can also be termed free money, and it doesn’t have to be paid back to the institution. Scholarships offer the benefits to pay tuition fees with other college expenses such as accommodation, school supplies, and maybe feeding. Besides, colleges, NGOs, and states can offer scholarships to students.
The requirement for each type of scholarship depends on who is offering it. For example, state scholarships usually require the student to be a resident/native of the state. Other scholarships might require the student’s accomplishment of some sort- an outstanding academic performance or talent.
A tuition waiver is offered by a chosen college that provides such benefits. When a student qualifies, the college reduces or pays the full tuition fee for the student. The waiver only affects the tuition fee for some credit hours, and it needs to be re-applied after every session.
The disadvantage of this is that it does not cover any other educational expense. There are also qualifications that a student must meet to qualify for a tuition waiver. Some include being an American by birth, having encountered a significant hardship, being adopted or a foster child.
Qualifications for Tuition Waivers
Not every college offers tuition waivers, and they are definitely not for every student. Some criteria make a student eligible for a tuition waiver. Some of these factors include the following. He/she:
- Is or was a foster child.
- Has served or fought as a soldier/sailor in a war.
- Is a spouse or a dependent on a veteran.
- Is a native of America.
- Is a non-traditional (older) student.
- Have financial hardship (or any other sort of hardship).
- Is a full-time employee of the college.
- Is enrolled in a STEM Degree Program.
- Has a high or attractive academic status in the previous institution such as class valedictorian etc.
- Attended an automatic scholarship school.
These are the common eligibility factors that would qualify a student for a tuition waiver. However, it is best to know the requirements before applying for the waiver.
How To Apply For A Tuition Waiver
Usually, a college offers a waiver automatically based on the information provided by each student in the school’s application. However, it is not always this seamless. Students would have to follow the process to ensure that the waiver has been approved and granted. The students can visit the department in charge for a follow-up.
The department you’ll be checking in may differ depending on the qualification of the student. An employee of the school might visit the school’s employment office for a waiver, while an American (who is not employed by the institution) would visit the admissions office instead.
However, if you don’t get an automatic grant (and you qualify), you can apply through the school’s admission office or directly online. Sometimes, the student might be required to write a letter requesting a tuition waiver. Sometimes, the student might be required to write a letter asking for a tuition waiver.
If you are planning on visiting the office, it’s best to inquire before applying to be well-aware of what is being offered. Different schools have different procedures; it is better to understand what your school demands.
If you sincerely need financial aid to enter college, you should look into requesting a tuition waiver. You might have your tuition fee disappear for a whole session. Just ensure that you qualify by looking at the eligibility factors for a waiver, and the rest will be sorted out for you.