2017 Best Colleges with No Application Fee in America

The 2017 Best Colleges with No Application Fee ranking filters the 2017 Best Colleges ranking to only include colleges with free applications. Note that additional colleges waive application fees for low-income, minority, veteran, and other student types so be sure to check each school's website.
See how this ranking was calculated
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Carleton College

    • Northfield, MN
    • 466 reviews
    Freshman:The school has an incredibly open community; cliques are fluid and almost anyone is welcome and can feel comfortable sitting with any group. Dining hall food is great, although there are few good restaurants in the area. Classes are fantastic and the trimester system works very well for people who live far away (winter break extends from before thanksgiving to after new years). In addition, the trimester system allows students to fit three academic terms into one year while focusing more intensely on less during those terms, all the while still leaving room for a long winter break.
    The biggest downside for me is that students seem less individual and more self-effacing than some other similar liberal arts colleges.
    More about Carleton College
  2. 2

    Colby College

    • Waterville, ME
    • 488 reviews
    Freshman:I am currently a freshman at Colby. I am a member of the Women's Soccer team and am currently pursuing a Biology/Pre-Health major with the aspiration of going to medical school. Colby has provided me so many great resources, not just academically, but also in terms of networking, and helping me create my future beyond Colby. The student body is incredibly diverse and everyone is super friendly. Colby is also a really active school. The Outing Club is super popular, there is so much local outdoor recreation. There's a college ski pass to Sugarloaf, Loon, and Sunday River for the winter. I am also a Colby Cares About Kids Mentor which is a really cool volunteering program a Colby. Colby students are matched with a student (usually low-income) in the local Waterville area school district. There are so many ways to get involved inside and outside of Colby. It really is a school that is what you make of it.
    More about Colby College
  3. 3

    Grinnell College

    • Grinnell, IA
    • 379 reviews
    Senior:Grinnell is an academic rigorous school with a strong sense of diversity and community. Some people find the location to be a negative based on where its located, but I find it to be a positive. We have students coming from all over the country and world, so its definitely a global school, but there is not only a strong community, but students actively choose to be there. They provide many opportunities on and off campus too for students. Provides great financial aid and resources for all students to take advantage of. Many clubs and organizations to join and many concerts, events, performances and speakers to keep you entertained.
    More about Grinnell College
  4. 4

    Reed College

    • Portland, OR
    • 241 reviews
    Freshman:As a first year at Reed College, I have so far enjoyed my experiences. The academics are challenging but ultimately satisfying. I have complied a short list of the pros and cons of Reed college.

    Pros: Focus on the learning rather than the grades; Small classes; Liberal standing on most social problems; Nerdy and Geeky students that are obviously well educated; Small campus; little focus on sports or bodily appearance; can form close bonds with the professors; beautiful campus and fairly okay food

    Cons: Some students/ professors have a bit of a haughty attitude; First and some of second year classes are lecture based (not like how the school was advertised to me); The school is a large majority white and that can effect academic subjects/ silence the people of color in the community; some professors listen and respect their students others do not; drugs are very prevalent but you can avoid them
    More about Reed College
  5. 5

    Smith College

    • Northampton, MA
    • 828 reviews
    College Freshman:The academics are great, workload hard but manageable. The access to the 5 College Consortium and PVTA lets you basically take any class you can think of. Career services is great if you're an Econ or STEM major, less helpful if you're in the other social sciences and humanities. There are ample opportunities and funding for internships and studying abroad. The social scene is what you make it. In the quad, there is a general social atmosphere that (to me) makes college less stressful. Also good parties on the weekends! Other areas of campus tend to be quieter and have more study-heavy atmospheres, especially Green Street.
    More about Smith College
  6. 6

    Wellesley College

    • Wellesley, MA
    • 520 reviews
    Freshman:I love the community and the support at Wellesley. From the moment I set foot on Campus, I felt to natural to be in this community. I am currently a freshman but I think Wellesley is growing to be my home. Food is amazing and since we have five dining halls, we can choose to go anywhere. The campus is stunning and is such a safe place to walk around even at like 2 in the morning. The professors are all passionate and willing to give the most in every class. The work load is not small but manageable. They are setting us up for success!
    More about Wellesley College
  7. 7

    Tulane University

    • New Orleans, LA
    • 1,424 reviews
    Sophomore:Tulane is an incredibly amazing place. It takes a certain person to fall in love with it. Everyone here seems to do everything- acing a test, going to an internship, working on a nonprofit project, then spending the entire night at a party or listening to music downtown, only to wake up early the next morning to run in the park or play on a sports team. You have to be excited and motivated by this high-speed lifestyle, as opposed to stressed or overwhelmed. People do it all- and well. It is a happy and dynamic student body, who is certainly going places. Most importantly, they are interested and passionate. The city is absolutely amazing... you can find anything there, especially when it comes to music! Academics are very strong, teachers, for the most part, push students very hard but positively reward hard work! Caliber differs by department for sure- with political science, English, and foreign language incredibly strong, and math less so. Unfortunately, Bruff (dining hall) sucks.
    More about Tulane University
  8. 8

    Case Western Reserve University

    • Cleveland, OH
    • 1,564 reviews
    Freshman:Case Western is a near-perfect mix of a small and big school. There are always new people to meet, but I can't walk across campus without seeing at least a few people I know. School spirit isn't Case Western's strong suit, but the school's prestige makes up for it. I haven't met many people who would say Case Western is their top choice, but it's definitely a great place to be!
    More about Case Western Reserve University
  9. 9

    Oberlin College

    • Oberlin, OH
    • 577 reviews
    Freshman:It's gone pretty well so far. Oberlin is a complicated place with a lot of politics underlining the community. I love the academics here but socially I feel that Oberlin is difficult in a number of ways. In the context of being a POC, the community is small so it can feel difficult to really have some distance from others when needed. I will say that overall most people are well meaning though usually people are very self serving/ selfish though not in a mean way. This something that can be understood when spending time on campus. The campus is alright, it's pretty flat. The winters are typically harsh though this year was very lax. Even though I've said many things that are negative, I love Oberlin because the people here are very smart and are willing to engage about almost anything.
    More about Oberlin College
  10. 10

    Trinity University - Texas

    • San Antonio, TX
    • 658 reviews
    Freshman:I love this school! The academic focus here is strong. We have amazing faculty (ranked #6 in the Nation by WSJ). Professors are extremely accessible and very willing to help you succeed. There are tons of great activities and groups to join. If you don't find something, you can easily start up a new club. This is the most gorgeous campus. Butterflies are all around and we are next to the lovely historic Brackenridge Park, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Antonio Zoo. In recent years, Tigers have won 4 NCAA team championships and 4 individual track and field national titles. There isn't a huge party scene on campus. But we are 5 minutes from the River Walk and there is always something entertaining to do.
    More about Trinity University - Texas
  11. 11

    Michigan Technological University

    • Houghton, MI
    • 861 reviews
    Alum:I spent more than 7 years here as an undergraduate and then a graduate student, and badly miss MTU, the area, the people, and the love and attention given to education and research. If you are looking to major in psychology or accounting you are best going elsewhere, but there is nowhere better to become an engineer. You will learn from the best; you will be worked hard; you meet, struggle alongside, and drink beer with great people; and you will become the better technical professional for it. 100% job placement for classmates in my undergraduate degree program speaks for itself, and I signed a letter of employment about 4 months before finishing my PhD. Go Huskies!
    More about Michigan Technological University
  12. 12

    Illinois Wesleyan University

    • Bloomington, IL
    • 552 reviews
    Freshman:I love IWU. The campus is stunning year-round, the food is consistently delicious, and my classes are incredible! My professors are very knowledgeable about the topics they teach, and they try to make class fun. Generally, they make themselves readily available to meet with students for any reason. The Ames Library is a great resource too, and the research librarians are more than happy to help you find anything you need for a class, a paper, or just general reading material. It's also easy to get involved on campus: there are RSOs for just about any interest, so it's easy to find people with common interests.
    More about Illinois Wesleyan University
  13. 13

    Union College - New York

    • Schenectady, NY
    • 510 reviews
    Senior:Review Continued: The social scene is Greek dominated; the Minerva system is an absolute joke. Parties are moving off campus. The administration is cracking down on Greek life HARD! On campus parties are no longer the same, and are pretty much used as pre games for the off campus parties, Wednesdays nights are practically nonexistent compared to what it was when I was a freshman thanks to the cops and administration (more of a small gathering night for upperclassmen), and Thursday AD dinner parties (which is a frat known for hosting the spot to be on a Thursday night) no longer exist due to the administration. Spring term at Union is still pretty lit though, given that we have ReUnion weekend, Lobster Fest, and Spring Fest. The social scene for the most part, given that Greek life makes up 70% of the student body (Union butchers this statistic as it includes freshman, even though you can't pledge until sophomore year) is getting blackout and going to an off campus party nowadays.
    More about Union College - New York
  14. 14

    Lawrence University

    • Appleton, WI
    • 641 reviews
    Senior:I like the help a student can receive from professors because of Lawrence University's low student to teacher ratio. The conservatory really is a hidden jewel of the music world, with the quality of musicianship only limited by how much work a student invests. I do believe there could be more diversity in professors and faculty, but these needs have been voiced and at least some in the administration have listened to them. I have heard of problems related to the school's administration, and I know that offices like campus life and financial aid can be difficult to deal with. I believe however that this is more than counterbalanced by a supportive and receptive student body and faculty.
    More about Lawrence University
  15. 15

    St. Olaf College

    • Northfield, MN
    • 659 reviews
    Freshman:St. Olaf College is the perfect fit for anyone in any field of interest who also wants an amazing liberal arts education. With a small, family-like campus, it seems everyone here loves St. Olaf with a passion! The food is ranked among the best in the US, and that barely compares to the college's superior quality of education. The faculty and professors are all extremely qualified in their fields and are all very helpful in making sure everyone has a successful education.
    More about St. Olaf College
  16. 16
    Niche User: The university grounds are always kept incredibly pristine. The building's collegiate gothic architectural style is beautiful and well maintained. The food there was wonderful, the campus cafeteria put meticulous effort into preparing each meal. The academic side of university of the south is where they excel. The former graduates of the university are well educated and prepared for their career field. The athletics are less than satisfactory however; because the university is so goal oriented towards educating students. Partying at the university is not great because the students are less focused on social affairs. Overall The University of the South is a perfect place to go to college if your goal and life are built around education. I personally love this school, but if you are the sort of person who enjoys less of the scholar side I would not recommend it to you.
    More about Sewanee - The University of the South
  17. 17

    Butler University

    • Indianapolis, IN
    • 1,222 reviews
    Freshman:My experience at Butler has been nothing less than phenomenal. With going away for the first time, from a small town, my academic advisor saw my sadness. He emailed me and had me come to his office on several occasions during the first couple weeks. His words, "Chelsea, you are not going home." He was my second dad, mentor and an actual professor my first semester. I am forever grateful to him! I majoring in Sports Media and have already made huge strides in my field. The professors and athletic department are so welcoming and accommodating to their students! I now know what they mean when you hear, "The Butler Way!" Everything is absolutely top notch here at this incredible institution!
    More about Butler University
  18. 18

    Marquette University

    • Milwaukee, WI
    • 1,827 reviews
    Niche User:Overall a very great University! The professors are all very helpful, students are always involved in sports and/or activities, and the student life in general is very comfortable and exciting. This University really prepares students for the real world!
    More about Marquette University
  19. 19

    Illinois Institute of Technology

    • Chicago, IL
    • 567 reviews
    Alum:Illinois Institute of Technology offers a great selection of resources for students and the teachers all have an evident great passion for teaching! Illinois Institute of Technology also holds an phenomenal career fair that opens up many doors for students of all majors along with having many resources and events that get you well prepared to present yourself at the career fair. At Illinois Institute of Technology, there is also the ARC resource center that almost always has passionate tutors on hand to help you with just about any academic subject. The school hosts a great number of campus-wide events that help you bond with and meet new students as well as having very welcoming Greek Life. The only downside I can think of is that getting an on-campus job is exceedingly difficult.
    More about Illinois Institute of Technology
  20. 20

    Augustana College - Illinois

    • Rock Island, IL
    • 637 reviews
    Alum:The thing that drew me to Augustana College off the bat, was the campus. It has an absolutely beautiful campus with amazing scenery: all season!
    The only thing I can proudly say I loved about Augie, was the scenery, the amazing friends I made, and sadly, the parties. If it had not been for my friends, I would have left since my sophomore year. The academics were great, if you weren't a science major. Almost more than half of the friends that I made, who were of a diverse culture and were science majors, had left by sophomore year. The science major had it hard! Especially since many of the professors weren't much help. At one point, instead of helping my grades and advising me on how to improve, I was being told to find a different school. It's sad to say but I strongly believe that Augustana College was in fact racist.
    More about Augustana College - Illinois
  21. 21

    University of Dayton

    • Dayton, OH
    • 1,246 reviews
    Freshman:Overall it's a great campus, with a really good vibe. Lots of events that take place and allow you to get involved on campus. Very supportive of every sports team! Multiple places on campus to get great food, along with Brown Street that has just about every variety of food you can think of. Professors are very friendly and helpful. Class sizes are fairly small compared to other schools. The campus all over from landscaping to dorms is amazing! One thing I wish for is a little more diversity considering myself a minority. Dayton is a great place to be with many opportunities and memories to look forward to!
    More about University of Dayton
  22. 22

    Augustana University

    • Sioux Falls, SD
    • 374 reviews
    Junior:I did not expect to go to Augustana at all because I was looking at really big or really expensive schools, but when I saw the scholarship package that Augie offered me, I knew I had to come here. My experience at Augie has been great, as I have been able to take the money that I saved from not attending a larger state school (yes, Augie was thousands cheaper for me than any state school I applied to) and travel to 3 countries and 2 different continents. The students here are brilliant people--one girl who is in my grade was on College Jeopardy, and that's just one student that goes here! The professors here are great, as they definitely push you academically (like I didn't study before I came here) but also are some of the nicest people I know and are more than willing to help you out if you are struggling or just need another explanation for the material they are teaching. Augie is such a wonderful place, and you truly have to experience the #augieadvantage for yourself!
    More about Augustana University
  23. 23

    University of Scranton

    • Scranton, PA
    • 568 reviews
    Junior:I am now a Junior at the University of Scranton, and I am proud to call it my home. When I made my decision to attend the University, I applied to be a member of their Wellness Program; it was the best decision I have ever made. The people I met from the program are now my closest friends, and they make my experiences at the University all the better. In addition to the friendships I have made, I have had ample opportunities at the school to challenge myself. The classes really made me think, and I grew to have close relationships with numerous professors.
    However, no place is perfect. One thing I would suggest to make the University of Scranton better would be to communicate more with students about internships. At the school it is very hard to find advice on how to enter the job world. If that issue is approached, the school would be absolutely fantastic.
    More about University of Scranton
  24. 24

    Florida Institute of Technology

    • Melbourne, FL
    • 905 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love my school because it has a way of bringing in every single culture but still making it feel like home on campus. Meals in the dining hall are always featuring international dishes, there are endless cultural clubs on campus, and every year it hosts its own international festival with food, music, and games. The curriculum is rigorous and makes you work hard to obtain a decent GPA. It's huge on research and almost every major is required to do a senior design project where it's presented to various companies for job recruitment purposes. It's a challenging school but very fun and rewarding at the same time!
    More about Florida Institute of Technology
  25. 25

    Agnes Scott College

    • Decatur, GA
    • 598 reviews
    Alum:A women's college that will nurture you into becoming the determined, strong, poised, well-rounded, smart, kind and community-oriented woman you want to be. Scottie women are known to do incredible things for the transformation of society and for the betterment of the world!
    More about Agnes Scott College