SAT Fees and Registration: Whats the Total Cost of the SAT

Taking the SAT (and even using your SAT scores) is not free, as are many other aspects of the college application process. In this section, I’ll go over every possible SAT registration and score fee. We’ll talk about how to save as much money as possible on the SAT.


The SAT Registration Fees (Updated for 2021-2022)

Unfortunately, registration fees are required if you intend to take the SAT. Test-takers are not required to pay registration fees or add-ons that may increase their costs. These extra services may be useful in special circumstances, even if they will cost you a few dollars more.

The SAT registration fee is $55. (As a reminder, the SAT with Essay is no longer available as of June 2021.)

And here’s a chart outlining the costs of optional add-ons:

Add-on Fees Cost Description
Register by phone $15 Rather than registering online. Only available if you have previously registered for the test.
Late fee $30 There is a fee for registering after the regular deadline but before the late registration deadline.
Waitlist fee $53 There is a fee for being added to a test date waitlist after the late registration deadline has passed. Only if you take the test will the charge be processed.
International fees $43-$53 Extra fees apply for taking the test outside of the United States; fees vary by region.



SAT Score Report and Analysis Fees (Updated for 2021-2022)

After taking the SAT, you’ll want to receive, analyze, and distribute your results. This chart summarizes all possible post-test services and their associated costs.

Service Cost Description
Receiving scores online $0 It is completely free to check your scores online. Official score reports must still be sent to schools.
Receiving scores by mail $0 This will take longer than simply checking your scores online, but it is also free.
Receiving scores by phone $15 This fee is charged per call.
Score report (first four reports) $0 Enter up to four requests for free school score reports (up to the Monday nine days after the published test date).
Score report (each additional report) $12 After your first four reports, you will be charged this fee for each additional score report.
Rush report request $31 This fee is charged per order, not per score report, and there is no guarantee of report delivery date. This fee is additional to any fee you may be paying per score report.
Question & Answer service $16 Only available on certain test dates. You will be given a copy of the SAT questions, your responses, the correct answers with scoring instructions, and information about the question type and difficulty.
Student Answer service $16 You are informed about the type of question, the difficulty level, and whether your answer was correct, incorrect, or omitted. A simplified version of the Question & Answers service.
Multiple choice score verification $55 Fee for having your multiple choice answer sheet wil be manually reviewed



How to Reduce SAT Registration and Reporting Fees

As you can see, SAT registration and reporting fees can quickly add up if you’re pressed for time, want detailed score reports, or are applying to a large number of schools. If you plan ahead of time, you can avoid many of these fees.



Take the Test As Soon As Possible

If you need to get official score reports to schools before their application deadlines, you may have to pay $31 for a rush order. This may occur if you take the SAT at the last minute or if you delay in sending official score reports. Although this is unavoidable in some cases, you will save money (and unnecessary stress) if you take your test sooner rather than later.

After you take the SAT, it takes about two weeks for your results to be posted. You should allow at least another two weeks for colleges to receive your score reports. To evade rush fees, try to schedule your final SAT no later than four weeks before your scores are due.


Early registration is encouraged

If you miss the normal deadline and have to register late, your total registration costs will increase by about 50%. Registering months ahead of time will not only save you money, but it will also ensure that you get the test date you want before all of the seats are taken. Having a firm test deadline in mind can also boost your motivation to study; you’ll be able to better manage your time.

Make Use of Free Score Reports

If you specify the schools to which you want your scores sent early enough, you can send up to four score records for free. List the four schools beginning with registration and ending nine days after the published test date. You can save up to $48 by doing so.


If you are eligible, you can apply for a fee waiver

These SAT costs may be especially challenging for low-income families. The College Board offers fee waivers to such students in an effort to alleviate this financial burden. You may be eligible if you meet any of the following criteria.:

  • You are enrolled in or eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Your family’s income falls within the guidelines for free or discounted lunches.
  • Your family receives government assistance
  • You are enrolled in a low-income student program administered by the federal, state, or local government (e.g. Upward Bound)
  • You live in public housing, foster care, or are homeless
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan

You can get free test registration and score reports if you have a fee waiver. You must apply for a fee waiver through your school counselor; because this can take time, apply for a fee waiver well in advance of the test dates you want to register for.


What Follows?

How do you register for the SAT now that you know how much it will cost? Our guide walks you through each step of the SAT registration process (with photos)!

We’ve discussed ways to save money on SAT registration and score reports, but did you know you can also make money on the SAT? Learn how your SAT scores can lead to some fantastic scholarship opportunities.

Of course, you want to get the best possible grades, and not just for scholarships. Check out our guide to achieving the highest possible SAT score.