How I Saved Money on Grad School Applications

Engineering grad school applications can be expensive! You pay an application fee, you pay for the transcripts to be sent, to take the GRE and for your scores to be sent. Overall, each application could be upwards of $100 but there are a few ways to bring the costs down. In this post I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about saving money on grad school applications!


The biggest way to save money is to start your research early to create the list of schools you want to apply to. By starting early I was able to learn a lot more about each school and found that I didn’t actually want to apply to all of them. This saved me ~$85 per school I eliminated.


4 other ways you can save money:


  1. Search for application fee waivers! Some schools offer these and, if you don’t see it advertised, you can reach out to admissions and ask if they offer them. This can also help you expand the list of schools you apply to!

  2. Make your list of universities before you take the GRE. When you take the GRE you have the opportunity to automatically send your scores to a few schools. It costs more to send them later, so knowing where you are applying to ahead of time helps!

  3. Double check what type of transcripts you need to send. Some universities allow you to send unofficial transcripts with your application and then send official transcripts later if you are accepted. 

  4. Check if you qualify for the GRE fee reduction program. Demonstrated financial aid can help lower the cost of the GRE. I would also suggest buying your study books used. Make sure to get recent materials but they don’t need to be new! 


If cost is a limiting factor for applications, really seek out universities that have an application fee waiver. Some of the best universities offer them and use them as a way to reach a more diverse pool of applicants!

Start your research now and feel free to reach out if you need help narrowing your list of universities or putting your application together. I offer free 15 minute consultations that you can sign up here or by reaching out at!


  1. Pingback: Engineering Grad School Applications – How to Create Your Shortlist – SHE engineered

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