University waives undergraduate application fee for military students

Nicolette Hylan-King
September 10, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Veterans, reservists and active-duty service members can now apply to any of Penn State’s undergraduate programs — at any college or campus, including Penn State World Campus — free of charge. Penn State has implemented the new application fee waiver in an effort to remove potential barriers to higher education for members of the military community.

“Applying for college can be expensive, especially for individuals in the military community who, by dint of their profession, receive modest pay, and who very often have families of their own to support,” said Vince Timbers, interim director of admissions at Penn State. “By removing the application fee for this population, we hope to eliminate a barrier these individuals may face in applying for and attending college.”

The admission fee waiver emerged from Penn State’s involvement in the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a consortium of U.S. colleges and universities that are dedicated to reducing barriers to higher education for low- to middle-income individuals. Penn State’s ATI steering committee recommended the admission fee waiver to Penn State leadership as part of a recent ATI initiative to increase recruitment of veterans into institutions of higher learning.

Eugene McFeely, senior director for veterans affairs and services and a member of Penn State’s ATI steering committee, said that he hopes the new application fee waiver will encourage even more members of the military community to enroll at Penn State.   

“The men and women who have served in the Armed Forces bring valuable life experiences, along with a diversity of thought and background, to the Penn State community, and this enriches the educational experience of all students,” said McFeely. “By waiving the undergraduate admission fee for members of the military community, Penn State stands to gain even more than it gives.”

The application fee waiver is part of Penn State’s longstanding tradition of serving members of the Armed Forces and their family members. Penn State has consistently been recognized as a military-friendly school for the many education benefits, academic programs and support resources available to active-duty service members, reservists, veterans and ROTC students.

Across the Penn State system, the Penn State World Campus has led the way toward extending educational access to members of the Armed Forces and their family members. In recent years, service members, veterans and their spouses have been able to apply to Penn State World Campus’ associate and bachelor degree programs free of charge upon completing a virtual informational webinar. While the new, University-wide application fee waiver does not extend to military spouses, these individuals can continue to leverage the World Campus application fee waiver upon completing a virtual webinar.

For more information about support services available to military students at Penn State, visit the Office of Veterans Programs website at

Last Updated April 15, 2021