Most graduate programs at the University of Chicago offer some application fee waivers, but the criteria vary by program.

The information below does not include the Booth School of Business, the Law School, or the Pritzker School of Medicine; consult their admissions materials for information on whether fee waivers are available. Do not contact programs to request fee waivers.

In order to request an application fee waiver, you must first submit an application. Once an application is submitted, your application status portal will display the option to request a fee waiver by filling out a short form and providing documentation, if required. If you are applying to one of the schools or divisions which allows multiple applications, you will need to ensure you are on the status page of the correct application; a separate waiver request must be submitted for each application.

There are six general types of fee waivers, but not all programs offer all of these waivers. In particular, some master’s and professional programs have stricter criteria for approving waiver requests, especially need-based or financial hardship waiver requests. It is important to consider how you will fund the cost of your graduate education, which can be a significant financial investment in your professional and personal development.

Application fees are non-refundable. If you intend to submit a fee waiver request, do not pay the application fee until you receive a decision about your request. If you pay the application fee, and later have your waiver request approved, the fee will not be refunded.

Fee Waiver Categories and General Eligibility Criteria

A. University of Chicago degree program students and alumni

This waiver category is available in most programs to any applicant who has received or expects to receive a degree from another UChicago program.

B. Current or recent participants in qualifying programs

Qualifying programs will vary, but include McNair Scholars, the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), AmeriCorps/Vista, Teach for America, currently serving or honorably discharged members of the U.S. armed forces or uniformed services (active duty or reserves), and others. Check the admissions website of the school or division you are applying to for a list of their qualifying programs. Documentation of your participation is required.

C. Current undergraduates receiving need-based aid from a U.S. institution

To qualify for this waiver, if offered by the program, you must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a U.S. college or university and must provide documentation that you are receiving need-based financial aid.

D. Valid fee waiver codes received from an authorized representative of the University of Chicago

Codes will be reviewed to ensure that they are valid and were sent to you by an authorized representative. Programs may only accept their own codes, not those issued by other departments of the University. Do not contact faculty or staff to request codes.

E. Financial hardship: Not all programs will accept requests for fee waivers based on financial hardship, and criteria for approval may vary. If this option is offered by the program you are applying to, you must upload a brief statement which explains the financial hardship and explains how you plan to fund your graduate studies. If you are applying for or hold external funding, you may submit a copy of your award letter, or include in your statement the name(s) of the funds you are applying for and the date(s) on which you expect to receive notification.

Financial hardship requests will be infrequently granted to international students applying to programs which are not fully funded.

F. Other/program-specific waiver categories: Some graduate programs will offer additional categories, such as current UChicago employees, dual-degree applicants, or graduates of minority-serving institutions as defined by the Department of Education. Consult the admissions website of the school or division you are applying to for details. Documentation of eligibility required.

Prospective students should consider the following when planning for their graduate studies:

  • International students must provide documentation of available funds as part of the request process for a student visa.
  • Applicants to funded programs, including PhDs, should be aware that the first stipend disbursal typically takes place near, or after, the beginning of their first quarter.
  • FAFSA-eligible applicants planning to use student loans to fund a significant portion of their program should be aware that their first student loan disbursal will take place approximately ten days before the start of their first quarter.