How to Apply

FreeApp Information

FreeApp is designed to increase access to graduate education for students who possess qualities and experiences that enhance the diversity of the intellectual, cultural and social environments at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities.  Through this program, prospective students can request a graduate application fee waiver for Ph.D. or Master of Fine Arts programs at participating universities.  Penn State is a participating university.  Please follow the steps below to apply.

  1. Before you begin your graduate application, send an email request for a waiver to the Penn State Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs at
  2. The OGEEP office will respond within 10 days to let you know if you are eligible.
    a) Overarching eligibility requirements for FreeApp are listed here:
    b) More specifically, one of the following eligibility criteria for Penn State must be met:
    -- participated in one of the federally funded TRIO programs
    -- attended one of OGEEP’s recruitment events (STEM OPEN HOUSE)
    -- participated in the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at a Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) institution
    -- met with a multicultural leader in one of Penn State’s colleges
    -- are a GEM scholar
  3. If the OGEEP office determines that you are eligible, you will receive instructions on how the waiver will be provided to you.
  4. Proceed to complete and submit your Penn State graduate application.