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GRE Fee Waiver

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Seeking admission in a reputed graduation school in US and other English speaking countries is the common dream of many students. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) makes this dream easy to achieve due to its acceptance by various graduate schools. However, the financial conditions of all students and GRE aspirants are not alike, so it seems difficult to many of them to be able to take the test. The fee for the test differs from country to country ranging between US$130 and $210- an amount, which may not be affordable for every student. One can name many colleges and educational institutions that grant scholarships to deserving students, but there are exclusive fee reduction programs for the test aspirants.

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ETS, the organisation that designs and administers this test, offers fee reduction programs for some particular categories of students and aspirants. It should be known though that the number of the fee waiver programs is limited and strictly based on first come- first served basis. The fee reduction compensates half of the test fee and the rest has to be paid by the student; which means that the fee reduction certificate that is issued can be used either for one general test or for one subject test only.

As said earlier, the fee waiver programs are designed for certain categories of students only. These categories are-

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  • Senior students
  • Un-enrolled college graduates
  • The Unemployed

Unlike the scholarship programs of most colleges and educational institutions that focus on the grades and merit achieved by the student in academics, the fee waiver programs consider the financial situation of the candidates only. Due to this, the candidates who are forced to remain devoid of higher education despite their talent and zeal for getting knowledge can get admissions in topmost graduate colleges. The programs are a blessing for the financially deprived.

Programs are designed for the unemployed aspirants as well, keeping in mind the fact that higher education can give them opportunities to get employed and settled in their lives. ETS realizes the fact that there are many unemployed individuals who, if given a chance, can prove to the world that they are capable of achieving success. By giving them the fee reductions, doors are opened in front of them for reaching their goals in life.

It is however important that all the above prove their eligibility for availing a fee waiver. The eligibility criteria for the above mentioned categories of candidates are as follows-

  • One must be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.
  • For the college seniors
    • They must be receiving financial aid from a US Territory/US/Puerto Rico based undergraduate college.
    • A college senior, who is a dependent, should have an Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) that declares that the parental contribution in the senior year at college was not more than $1400.
    • The ISIR of a self-supporting college senior should declare a contribution of not more than $1800 in the senior year.
  • The un-enrolled college graduates
    • Must have a proof that states that they have applied for financial aid.
    • They should possess an ISIR that states that they are self-supporting and that the financial contribution in the senior year of college was not more than $1800.
  • The unemployed
    • Should be able to prove their unemployed status and declare that they have been unemployed since at least six months.
    • They are also required to attach a copy of the Unemployed Benefits Statement from the past 90 days as a proof of their unemployed status.

Those who want to avail the fee waiver can check for their eligibility on the helpline number of the financial aid office or get all the required information and forms on the link- One can also get official information about the test and its preparation from the links available on this page, such that all the facets of the tests are clear to the candidate.

Once the eligibility of a candidate is established, he/she would be issued a fee reduction certificate and would also be given a copy of one’s ISIR. After that a date can be selected for taking the test. The test should be taken within one year of the issue of the reduction certificate. It should be kept in mind that the fee waiver certificates are non-replaceable. If the candidate loses the certificate, he/she cannot get a duplicate of it in any circumstances. So, it’s very crucial that the candidate takes care that the certificate is handled properly. Also, if the candidate is not able to take the test on the fixed date, due to any reason, there is no chance that the fee gets refunded to him/her. Thus, the opportunity that comes to a candidate, in the form of fee reduction, should be fully availed.

It is a fact worth knowing that the waiver can be availed only once and not for subsequent attempts. So, one should understand its value and give one’s best in that particular attempt as there are scores of students who wait for getting such a benefit. A candidate, who gets selected for getting a  waiver, is chosen over many others who are like him/her and might be in equal need of it. If one is lucky to be selected for a reduction program, it becomes important that the value of this opportunity is understood and the best effort is put in to get a high score in the test. 

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