Fee Waivers

OTCAS Fee Assistance Program

FEE ASSISTANCE AMOUNTS

A limited number of fee waivers are available through OTCAS’s Fee Assistance Program, and are worth $140 each. They are given out to qualified applicants until available funds run out for the cycle. These waivers cover the initial application fee and allow applicants to apply to ONE SCHOOL ONLY. If an applicant receives a fee waiver and wishes to apply to more than one school, they are still responsible for the additional fees of $60 per program.

TIME FRAME FOR APPLYING

You may request a fee waiver as soon as you have created an OTCAS Application. Only a limited amount of funds are available for OTCAS to use for granting fee waiver requests, and once these funds run out, OTCAS will not honor any further fee waiver requests. You can contact customer service to inquire if waivers are still available before submitting a fee assistance request.

However, once you are approved for a fee waiver, you are REQUIRED to submit your application to OTCAS within 14 DAYS (including holidays and weekends) after you are approved. If you fail to submit your OTCAS application, your fee waiver will be voided and awarded to another applicant. You will NOT be allowed to reapply for a waiver should yours expire, nor will OTCAS grant any kind of extension on your waiver expiration, so be sure you are ready to submit your application or close to ready before applying for one.

REQUIRED TAX DOCUMENTATION

To be considered for a fee waiver, you must have a filed 2016 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. If you are still claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian, OTCAS requires that individual’s Federal Income Tax Return instead of your own.

QUALIFYING FOR A FEE WAIVER

To qualify for a fee waiver, the adjusted gross income listed on the submitted 2016 tax return must fall below the Low-Income Level determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the chart below. Please note that the “size of family” indicates the number of people claimed as dependents on that tax report.

LOW INCOME LEVELS FOR 2017-2018 AWARDS *

Size of Family ** Income Level ***
1 $24,120

* The low income level is based on 200 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. It is used to determine what constitutes a low-income family for the purposes of the SDS, and LDS programs for the Academic Year 2017-2018.

** Size of family means the number of exemptions listed on the qualified income tax return forms. For example, a family size of “4″ may include two parents and two dependents.

*** Income Level refers to the ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME stated on the 2016 filed federal income tax return 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

2 $32,480
3 $40,840
4 $49,200
5 $57,560
6 $65,920
7 $74,280
8 $82,640
For each additional person add: $8,360

THE FEE WAIVER APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply for a OTCAS fee waiver, please follow the steps below:

Start your OTCAS Application

Create a OTCAS Application. You can NOT apply for a fee waiver prior to creating an account with OTCAS.

Determine When to Apply For Your Waiver

Fee waivers are only valid for 14 DAYS (including holidays and weekends) after you are approved, so be sure you are ready to submit your application or close to ready before applying for one. However, they are also limited, and OTCAS can potentially run out of waivers, so please consider all of these factors while deciding when to apply.

IMPORTANT: Fee waivers must be requested BEFORE you submit your application to any OT programs. Once you have submitted your application, you are ineligible to apply for a fee waiver.

Complete and Submit Your Fee Assistance Application

Click your name in the upper right hand corner of your OTCAS application. Select “Fee Assistance Program” to bring up the Fee Assistance Application.  You will need a copy your filed 2015 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. REMEMBER: If you are still claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian on the 2016 form, OTCAS requires that individual’s Federal Income Tax Return instead of your own.

On this page you will be asked to list your size of family and your ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME listed on your 2016 filed Federal 1040 tax form. You will then be asked to upload a scanned copy of your 1040.

IMPORTANT: All Fee Assistance Applications must be submitted to OTCAS electronically via your online application. OTCAS will NOT accept fee waiver applications by paper mail or e-mail.

Await Notification

It can take up to 10 business days from the date your request is submitted for your application to be processed by OTCAS and a response issued. You will receive notification regarding the status of your fee waiver request via a message sent to both your e-mail address and your OTCAS Application Inbox.

IMPORTANT: While your fee waiver request is pending, you will be BLOCKED from submitting your application. If you wish to submit to your programs and forfeit your waiver request, navigate to the fee assistance section and click “cancel request.” Note that once you submit, you will be ineligible to apply for a fee waiver.

Submit Your Application and Pay Via Credit Card

Once you have been approved for a OTCAS fee waiver you will have 14 days (including weekends and holidays) to submit your application. If you do not submit your application within that time frame, your fee waiver will be voided and the funds will be allocated to another qualifying applicant and you may not reapply. Please note that OTCAS does not need to receive any outstanding transcripts, references, or test scores within the 14 day window; all that is required to claim the fee waiver is that you have e-submitted the application and made your payment.

HOW THE FEE WAIVER PAYMENT PROCESS WORKS

If you are approved for a fee waiver, the fee waiver amount of $140 will AUTOMATICALLY be deducted from your fees owed when you submit your application. You should pay any remaining balance for additional programs with a credit card.

IMPORTANT: On the checkout screen you should see the $140 deducted from your total amount. You can pay any remaining balance with a credit card, or the balance may be $0 which will not require payment. If you do NOT see the waiver amount deducted, contact customer service immediately.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Q: I applied for and received a fee waiver last cycle. Can I apply again this cycle?

A: YES.

Q: Does OTCAS run out of fee waivers? How will I know if they are still available?

A: YES. OTCAS is granted a limited supply of fee waivers and once we run out, we can no longer honor requests for waivers for the duration of the application cycle. We encourage applicants to apply early if they wish to take advantage of the fee waiver program. HOWEVER, please note that if you choose to apply early, you must submit your OTCAS application within 14 days of receiving the waiver or it will be voided and the funds given to another applicant. If you have any questions regarding the availability of fee waivers, please contact OTCAS customer service.

Q: Can I apply for a fee waiver after I e-submit my application?

A: NO, fee waivers can NOT be granted after you submit your application. Applicants who wish to obtain fee waivers must apply well in advance of their deadline and wait until their request is accepted or rejected before submitting. If you submit while your fee waiver application is still pending, OTCAS can NOT honor your request and your fee waiver will be denied.

Q: I applied for a waiver but have not yet received a response. Why can’t I submit my application?

A: Applying for a fee waiver blocks your ability to submit your application while your waiver request is pending. If you wish to submit to your programs and forfeit your waiver request, navigate to the fee assistance section and click “cancel request.” Note that once you submit, you will be ineligible to apply for a fee waiver.

Q: Why was my fee waiver application denied?

A: Fee waiver decisions are made based on the income and size of family indicated on the submitted tax forms ONLY. Extenuating circumstances are NOT considered. Applicants whose income does not meet these requirements will be denied.

Q: My fee waiver was voided because I did not submit my application within the 14 day time frame. Can I reapply for a fee waiver?

A: NO. Applicants can only apply for a fee waiver once per application cycle. If your fee waiver has been voided, any further attempts to apply for a fee waiver during the current cycle will be denied.

Q: My OT program will waive my supplemental application fee if I can prove I received an OTCAS fee waiver. Can you send them a letter/contact them/etc.?

A: OT programs who offer such a program will accept the e-mail notification you received from OTCAS granting you your fee waiver as proof that you qualified for an OTCAS waiver. Additional documentation is not necessary.

Q: I am a McNair Scholar. Am I able to obtain a fee waiver for my OTCAS application?

A: No. OTCAS does not participate in the McNair Scholar program. If you wish to obtain a $140 application voucher, you would have to apply for an OTCAS Fee Waiver.




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