Fee Waiver Program

Helping students access the independent school community.

A female high school student walking across campus.
Three students walking across campus and laughing.

Breaking down barriers to independent school enrollment.

EMA’s commitment to supporting students navigating the admission process and accessing the independent school community remains at the heart of our mission.

EMA’s long-standing Fee Waiver Program supports our mission by offering member schools fee waivers for several EMA products and services for students who may not otherwise be able to afford them. Through the program, we have provided fee waivers to our member schools and partner organizations, who in turn have distributed them to eligible students. As a result, we have contributed over a million dollars in fee waiver services annually to thousands of students on their educational journey.

Fee waivers are available to all U.S., Canadian, and International applicants. Learn more about the fee waiver availability and requirements for each EMA product.

Thank you for supporting EMA’s ongoing commitment to our Fee Waiver Program and ensuring all students are welcome in our community.

SSAT Fee Waivers

Schools and organizations receive an allotment of SSAT Fee Waivers each year (allocations are refreshed at the beginning of each new testing year). We ask all of those who are utilizing the program to assess and assign waivers to those students who meet eligibility guidelines and demonstrate the most need to help ensure future sustainability of the program. If your fee waiver allotment does not cover the families and students you are supporting, you may contact us to discuss the specific situation. In order to support our goal of the program, we cannot guarantee we will be able to allocate additional fee waivers.

  • An SSAT fee waiver applies to the test fee only — it does not cover late fees or service fees. 
  • An SSAT fee waiver can be used for any digital or paper-based SSAT. 
  • SSAT fee waivers also include SSAT Practice Online and Admission Academy. Please note that families can only access these services after they’ve registered for the SSAT using a fee waiver.
  • Families cannot receive fee waivers directly from EMA, the provider of the SSAT.
  • Members can find complete details, instructions, and can manage SSAT Fee Waivers by logging into the Member Access Page (MAP). Members are responsible for distribution and use of fee waivers in accordance with all EMA policies and the guidelines.  

If a family uses an SSAT Fee Waiver for the SSAT at Home, they may also be eligible to request an Equity Tech Kit in order to test.

Snapshot Fee Waivers

Schools and organizations may request Snapshot Fee Waivers for families and students they are supporting. Each school or organization is responsible for determining how, when, and where to distribute the waivers since it helps to defer your own fees.

  • Snapshot Fee waivers cover the cost of the Character Skills Snapshot only.
  • Members can find complete details, instructions, and can manage Snapshot Fee Waivers by logging into the Member Access Page (MAP).

SAO Fee Waivers

Schools and organizations receive an allotment of SSAT Fee Waivers each year (allocations are refreshed at the beginning of each new testing year). We ask all of those who are utilizing the program to assess and assign waivers to those students who meet eligibility guidelines and demonstrate the most need to help ensure future sustainability of the program. If your fee waiver allotment does not cover the families and students you are supporting, you may contact us to discuss the specific situation. In order to support our goal of the program, we cannot guarantee we will be able to allocate additional fee waivers.

  • An SSAT fee waiver applies to the test fee only — it does not cover late fees or service fees. 
  • An SSAT fee waiver can be used for any digital or paper-based SSAT. 
  • SSAT fee waivers also include SSAT Practice Online and Admission Academy. Please note that families can only access these services after they’ve registered for the SSAT using a fee waiver.
  • Families cannot receive fee waivers directly from EMA, the provider of the SSAT.
  • Members can find complete details, instructions, and can manage SSAT Fee Waivers by logging into the Member Access Page (MAP). Members are responsible for distribution and use of fee waivers in accordance with all EMA policies and the guidelines.  

If a family uses an SSAT Fee Waiver for the SSAT at Home, they may also be eligible to request an Equity Tech Kit in order to test.

Fee Waiver Eligibility 

EMA empowers Member Schools and Organizations to distribute SSAT and Snapshot Fee Waivers to financially disadvantaged families in order to support students who would not otherwise be able to begin an independent school journey.

Member Schools and Organizations must exercise due diligence in ensuring a family’s need meets one or more criteria below before providing an SSAT or Snapshot Fee Waiver.

  • Their household annual income is less than: 150% of the poverty threshold or the poverty guideline set by their country of residence, or 60% of the median household income for their country of residence
  • They are an orphan, ward of the state, or are homeless.
  • They are enrolled or eligible to participate in a government subsidized food program or school-lunch program based on their income.
  • They are living in government subsidized housing based on their income.

Please remember that fee waiver eligibility is not predetermined by a family’s financial need for tuition assistance.