University provides fee waivers to help students pay for graduate school

Anna Canizales

When William Hutson decided to apply for a dual masters program after already being admitted to the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, he said he was met with repetitive transcript fees and additional expenses. 

Hutson is a dual masters student within the LBJ School and the School of Journalism. Dual masters programs do not require multiple fees unless the applications are submitted during separate semesters or the specific graduate program requires additional fees. However, Hutson said many of the other fees required for the graduate school application process are unnecessary and make the process very difficult for students. 

Hutson said despite being admitted to another University graduate school, he had to submit some of the same documents.

“I had to submit another transcript as if they didn’t already have it,” Hutson said. “There’s no reason for UT to charge students a transcript fee, especially when (they are) already admitted to the University.”

In addition to the application fee ranging from $65 to $90, other costs include sending scores and transcripts, fees specific to the individual school, or books to prepare for standardized tests, such as the Graduate Records Examinations. 

Shannon Neuse, director of the graduate and international admissions center, said the University is focused on helping students afford the application process and keep costs as low as possible. 

Neuse said there is no significant difference in applying to one graduate program at the University versus another. She said the exception is the masters of business administration and masters of public administration programs, which have higher application fees.

“The College of Natural Sciences as a whole is trying very hard to open doors for students that they feel are underrepresented,” Neuse said. “We partner with them to do a similar fee waiver program.”

Neuse said the University also offers fee waivers through programs such as McNair, which seeks to increase the number of students earning doctoral degrees who come from underrepresented communities. 

“It’s nice to emphasize the scenarios where we do offer waivers for those fees,” said Nick Hundley, director of communications for the UT Graduate School. 

Neuse said the fee waiver program runs on a limited budget, but waives around 100 fees per year. Hutson said while applying to graduate programs, he was unaware of resources available to assist with fees. 

“If I’m not aware that a service exists, it means I’m not taking advantage of something that helps me out,” Hutson said. “Make it front and center that there are all of these initiatives to help out.”

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the fees required for dual masters programs.