Application Fee

Upon submission of an application, applicants will be prompted to pay the processing fee ($90 for all programs). The application processing fee must be paid online by credit card or bank account at the time the application is submitted and is non-refundable. Applicants meeting specific conditions (see below) may be granted a fee waiver, and the application will be processed while that request is reviewed. All fee waiver requests must be submitted after the application is submitted; waivers cannot be granted in advance.

Application Fee Waivers

All applicants meeting the following criteria and providing appropriate supporting documentation will be considered for a fee waiver. Applicants requesting a fee waiver must first submit their application and then submit the fee waiver request form located on the application status page. Applicants requesting a waiver must not submit an application fee; application fees are non-refundable once paid even if the applicant is qualified for a waiver.

Application fee waivers are available under the following categories.

Category A: University of Chicago degree program students or alumnus

Any applicant who has received or expects to receive a degree from the University of Chicago can request a fee waiver.

Category B: Current/recent participants in a qualifying program.

Current or recent participants in certain qualifying programs may request a fee waiver. Documentation certifying participation is required. Acceptable forms of documentation include award or acceptance letters, letters from program directors, program completion certificates, etc. Qualifying programs are:

  • AmeriCorps/Vista
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Leadership Alliance
  • Fulbright/IIE Fellowship recipient
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
  • Peace Corps
  • Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA)
  • Ronald McNair Scholars and/or Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • Summer Institute for Social Science Research Methods
  • Teach for America
  • U.S. Armed Forces or uniformed services: Currently serving (active duty or reserve) or honorably discharged

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

Currently enrolled undergraduate students who are receiving need-based financial aid from a U.S. college or university can request a waiver of the application fee. A copy of the institution’s financial aid letter or a letter from the institution’s financial aid office is required.

Category D: Valid fee waiver codes received from an authorized representative

Application fee waiver codes may be distributed on a limited basis at in-person University of Chicago events or in connection with membership in a partner organization. Please do not contact admissions offices or faculty to request a code. Not all codes issued by all programs at the University of Chicago are valid for a Social Sciences Division application; questions about code validity should be emailed to

Category E: Individuals experiencing financial hardship

Applicants who are experiencing financial hardship may be considered for a fee waiver by providing a written statement explaining their financial hardship and their plans to fund their program. Eligibility criteria are:

  • Doctoral applicants: Applicants must submit an explanation of their hardship and include information on how they intend to support the expenses involved in beginning a graduate program which will not provide funding until the start of Autumn Quarter.
  • Master’s applicants who will not need visa sponsorship by the University of Chicago: Applicants must provide a statement detailing their hardship and include information about their plans to fund their education.
  • Master’s applicants who will need visa sponsorship by the University of Chicago: Applicants will not be considered for a fee waiver unless they have an already been awarded, or already applied, for a source of funding that will cover the cost of their graduate study. Applicants must provide a statement that includes information about their plans to fund their education.

Category F: Individuals who received a post-secondary degree from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), or Minority-Serving Institution (MSI)

You can find a list of qualifying institutions here.