The Untold GRE Costs

The Untold GRE Costs

If you think that $140 is too much to pay for a GRE exam, wait until you see the extra fees. In addition to this year’s $25 increase (up from last year’s $115), there are charges for just about everything one can be charged for.

Before I rant, I must admit that financial assistance for low-income students is available. Those who applied for financial aid and were determined to have an expected family contribution (EFC) lower than $1,400 or $1,800—based on dependency status—can pay $70. But, like I said, the EFC must be below $1,400 or $1,800.

For everyone else, especially for the numerous students who repeat the test, the cost can be a bit much. As if the graduate school application costs weren’t already bad enough. Here is what you may be dealing with:

1. Are you applying to more than four schools? Pay up. For every school above that number, students must pay an extra $15 shipping fee. I thought stamps were $.41?

2. Did your car break down? You better find a new ride to the test--unless you want to pay a $50 test center change fee. 

3. Did something unexpected come up? Let’s hope it happened ten days before the test. Students who need to reschedule their testing date will have to announce their decision at least ten days prior to the exam—and they’ll be charged $50. And the rescheduled date must occur before a new testing year begins.

4. Do you need to cancel the test? You must do so ten days in advance, and only 50% of your money will be returned. Even retail return policies are more lenient.

5. In a hurry to send out applications? You will know your verbal and quantitative scores immediately after the test, but early writing scores will cost you $12.

6. Are you uncertain about the validity of your score? You can pay to have the test checked for someone else’s errors, for only $30. That’s just for the quantitative and verbal scores. Writing section scoring will cost you $50. The lengthy writing pieces are little over three pages—that’s about $150 per hour. All right, it’s only $75 per hour; two people are checking.

7. Need to pinpoint your weak areas? A $50 service can help. For $50, you can find out which questions were answered incorrectly and what the correct answers were.

Of course, all fees are subject to change without notice, probably not for the better.

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