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The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required when applying for graduate or business school. But the GRE testing fee can be a significant barrier for applicants on a limited budget.
Financial assistance is available, however, through several vouchers and fee reduction programs. You may be able to save as much as 100% on your GRE testing fee.
- The GRE Fee Reduction Program provides 50%-off vouchers for test-takers with demonstrated financial need.
- The GRE Prepaid Voucher Service sells vouchers to organizations and institutions, which in turn offer savings to test-takers with demonstrated need. These vouchers can cover part or all of the testing fee.
- GRE promo codes, which can be found online through a simple Google search, can help you save money on test-prep materials.
There are three basic ways to save on the GRE: the GRE Fee Reduction Program, GRE Prepaid Vouchers, and GRE promo codes. The first two options will reduce your testing fee, while the last option will help you save on test-prep materials.
GRE Fee Reduction Program
The GRE Fee Reduction Program is offered directly through ETS (Educational Testing Service), the makers of the GRE. The GRE Fee Reduction Program provides saving vouchers to test-takers who will be taking the GRE in the United States, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.
The GRE Fee Reduction Program voucher can be used to cover 50% of the cost of the GRE General Test and/or the cost of one GRE Subject Test.
There is a limited supply of vouchers, and they are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so vouchers are not guaranteed. The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, 18 years or older, with demonstrated financial need.
To apply, you must be either an unenrolled college graduate who has applied for financial aid, a college senior currently receiving financial aid, or unemployed/receiving unemployment compensation.
- Dependent college seniors must submit an FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) with a parental contribution of no more than $2,500.
- Self-supporting college seniors must submit an FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) with a contribution of no more than $3,000; they must also have self-supporting status on the report.
- Unenrolled college graduates must submit an FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) with a contribution of no more than $3,000.
- Unemployed individuals must prove that they are unemployed by signing a declaration of unemployment and submitting an Unemployment Benefits Statement from the past 90 days.
- Permanent residents must submit a copy of their green card.
To increase your chances of getting a voucher from the GRE Fee Reduction Program, you should fill out the program application as soon as possible.
Since vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, the longer you wait, the lower your chances are of getting a voucher.
You also need to allow at least three weeks for application processing. When your application is approved, you can pay the other half of the fee not covered by the voucher and register to take the test.
Vouchers From National Programs
Some national programs provide their members with GRE Fee Reduction vouchers. These programs typically work with underrepresented communities.
If you are a member of a participating program, you may be able to get a voucher or a certificate without being unemployed or meeting the stringent aid-based requirements that come with the GRE Fee Reduction Program.
Since voucher availability and qualification requirements can vary from program to program, you'll need to talk directly to the program director or another representative to determine whether you can get a GRE Fee Reduction voucher.
According to ETS, the following programs offer GRE Fee Reduction vouchers to their members:
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program
- National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Program (GEM)
- Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Program
- Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
- Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program
- TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
- TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program
- GRE Prepaid Voucher Service
GRE Prepaid Voucher Service
ETS also offers a GRE Prepaid Voucher Service. The vouchers available through this service can be used by GRE test-takers. However, the vouchers are not sold directly to individuals who are taking the GRE test. Instead, they are sold to institutions or organizations that want to pay some or all of the cost of the GRE for the test-taker.
ETS offers several prepaid voucher options to institutions or organizations. Some of them cover part of the test fees while others cover the entire test fee.
All of these voucher options must be used by the test-taker within one year of the purchase date. Vouchers, including those that cover 100% of the test fee, do not cover additional fees such as scoring fees, test center fees, or other associated fees. The voucher cannot be turned in by the test-taker for a refund.
GRE Prep Book Promo Codes
ETS does not typically offer GRE promo codes that can be used to cover the cost of the GRE. However, there are many test-prep companies that offer GRE promo codes that can be used on prep books, courses, and other materials.
Before purchasing a test-prep book, do a general Google search for "GRE promo codes." While you most likely will not be able to get a discount on the test fee, you can help to offset the cost of the test overall by saving money on test-prep tools.