Law school applications: Fee waivers
LSAC will grant fee waivers to applicants with demonstrated financial need. Information regarding the fee waiver application process can be found here. The application must be submitted very early in order to be considered, usually six weeks prior to the regular LSAT registration deadline.
If LSAC grants your fee waiver, it will cover the following: two LSATs (at $200 each), one Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registration ($195), and six CAS law school reports (at $45 each). Fee waivers cannot be applied retroactively—once you’ve paid any of these fees, you can’t get any of them refunded even if you’re later granted a waiver.
Typically, if you are still in school and receiving substantial need-based financial aid, you should be granted a fee waiver. It is much more difficult to be found eligible for a fee waiver once you’re out of school, even if you’re unemployed.
Note that the initial fee waiver determination is made by algorithm: you complete the online questionnaire, and immediately receive a determination. In order to have a human being review your file, you must appeal this initial determination. If you have a good faith reason to believe that the initial determination was wrong, you should absolutely request an appeal.
LSAC fee waiver standards are much more stringent than many law schools’ standards. Most law schools will waive their application fees if you have been granted a fee waiver from LSAC, but many will also waive their application fees even if you do not qualify for LSAC’s waiver. You will find specific information about fee waivers on the website or in the application materials for each law school. (You may also receive unsolicited offers of fee waivers from law schools—these offers are not an indication of your chance of admission at those particular schools.)