Want to Save $100 When Signing Up for the GRE? Here’s everything you need to know about the GRE Fee Reduction Program

Tyler York
How to save over $100 on GRE fees - GRE fee reduction program

Taking and passing the GRE exam is often a key step for anyone wanting to land a stellar career in their chosen field. However, some candidates may encounter certain limitations in achieving this, especially in terms of its financial aspect. Considering that the GRE is quite expensive, a common question among students is: “Can I be offered discounts for the GRE?”

If you’re one of those candidates who are worried about GRE fees, don’t fret. There are actually some things you can do and options you’ll be given to help you save on costs — one of which is the GRE Fee Reduction Program. In this post, we’ll tackle what you’ll need to qualify and apply for this program, as well as other tips to save money on GRE fees!

What is the GRE Fee Reduction Program?

The ETS offers the GRE Fee Reduction Program to the following:

  • Takers who demonstrate financial need and thus will not be able to shoulder the full GRE cost;
  • Unemployed individuals receiving unemployment compensation; and
  • Candidates affiliated with national programs who work with underrepresented groups

A GRE Fee Reduction Voucher may be used for one GRE General Test and/or one GRE Subject Test. By using this voucher, candidates would only have to pay 50% of the regular test fee. While it cannot be used in conjunction with other offers, paying for only half of the GRE fee is considerably a huge deal in itself.

Eligibility Requirements

For those with financial need

Heads up: the GRE Fee Reduction Vouchers are given on a first-come, first-served basis. You have to either be a U.S. resident or a resident alien who’s a college senior/unenrolled college graduate. If you’re the latter, you must first meet the eligibility requirements and are planning to take the GRE in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories.

The following are the eligibility requirements set by ETS if you’re a college senior:

  • You must be receiving financial aid through an undergraduate college in the United States, U.S. Territories, or Puerto Rico; and
  • You must be a dependent whose FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) states a parental contribution of not more than $2,700 throughout your senior year; or
  • You are self-supporting and have a SAR that shows a contribution of not more than $3,200 throughout your senior year.

If you are an unenrolled college graduate, here are the requirements you must meet:

  • You must have applied for financial aid; and
  • You must have a SAR that declares a self-supporting status and a contribution of not more than $3,200

What if I was granted a need-based GRE Fee Reduction Voucher within the previous calendar year and I’d like to have a retake?

If your application for a need-based GRE Fee Reduction Voucher was approved in the last calendar year, you may be allowed to retest. But first, you’ll need to request an additional GRE Fee Reduction Voucher by accomplishing the GRE Fee Reduction Request Form

Keep in mind that the current date must be within one calendar year upon ETS receipt of your initial Fee Reduction Voucher and SAR materials. If your request gets approved, expect to receive your new voucher number via email within two weeks.

For those who are unemployed

Below are the specific eligibility requirements if you’re unemployed, receiving unemployment compensation, and planning to take the GRE in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories:

  • You must be a United States citizen or a resident alien 18 years of age or older.
  • You must be currently unemployed and have become unemployed within the past 6 months.
  • You must be able to submit proof of unemployment in the form of an Unemployment Benefits Statement submitted within the past 90 days.

Simply accomplish and submit the GRE Fee Reduction Request Form if you meet the above-mentioned requirements. If your request is approved, expect to receive your voucher number via email within two weeks.

For National Programs in the United States

ETS also offers the GRE Fee Reduction Program Voucher to the following programs that work with students belonging to underrepresented groups, as well as first-generation college students and students in need of financial aid:

GRE Fee reduction program
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

What the GRE Fee Reduction Voucher Offers

As mentioned earlier, the GRE fee goes down 50% from the original rate (from $205 to $102.50) when you use the GRE Fee Reduction Voucher. Aside from the price slash, you’d also gain free access to two extra PowerPrep practice tests worth $40 each on top of the two ones initially provided.

Additionally, you’d also be able to access the ScoreItNow!™ Online Writing Practice, a $20 e-reader that automatically scores your two practice essays which simulates the actual e-reader used to grade the real ones.

The total value of all GRE savings is $202.50 – pretty clutch when this would all normally cost over $300.

How to Apply

If you fit all of the requirements listed above and are interested in availing yourself of the voucher, the first step would be to fill out and submit the GRE Fee Reduction Request Form. However, note that it may take at least two weeks for you to receive a reply, so we strongly advise submitting your application as early as possible.

A Few Other Ways to Save Money on the GRE

Aside from the GRE Fee Reduction Voucher, here are other ways that you can save money on the GRE:

  • Submit your scores early. One key thing to remember is that you’d be able to send your score for free to four schools on test day. After test day, you would be required to pay $27 for every school, so if we were you, we’d submit those scores on time to avoid extra charges. Even if you’re still not 100% sure which schools you’d send your scores to, it’s still worth submitting them sooner rather than later.
  • Study hard! Yes, one of the easiest ways you can save money on GRE costs is by studying well for it. Not prioritizing study time will most likely set you up for failure; failing the exam means you have to retake it and pay for the fees all over again. Making an effort to study and actually focus is what will ultimately give you your money’s worth.

Powering Through the GRE Need Not Be Costly

Big GRE costs don’t have to hinder you from succeeding in your graduate study. The good news is that there are now more options provided to individuals who need assistance on this matter, and that the program requirements and process are made universal so as to accommodate everyone who needs it. We hope this guide helps! And if you’re looking for an affordable GRE course at just $199 for one year of access, we’d love if you considered Achievable’s GRE test prep course. You can try it for free to see if our style is right for you.

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