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Request for Big Ten Academic Alliance Graduate Applications and Application Fee Waivers

FreeApp is designed to increase access to graduate education for students who possess qualities and experiences that enhance the diversity of the intellectual, cultural, and social environments at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities. Through this program, prospective students can request a graduate application fee waiver for Ph.D. or Master of Fine Arts programs at any of the participating universities.

Students Eligible to Participate

Applicants participating in the Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp must meet the following criteria:
  • Be awarded a bachelor's degree by the August preceding enrollment in the graduate program
  • Apply for admission to a Ph.D. program or Master of Fine Arts program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Have a serious intent to pursue an academic and/or research career
Interested students may register on-line at
For additional information about the Graduate College Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office contact them at
When submitting your Big Ten Academic Alliance Free Application, please indicate that you plan to apply to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing the online Big Ten Academic Alliance Free Application, we ask that you visit our site at to apply online to your proposed program of study. In this online application, there is a section regarding Application Fee Waivers. In this section, please make sure to indicate that you have submitted a Big Ten Academic Alliance Free Application. We will then approve your application fee waiver once we receive your name from the Big Ten Academic Alliance. We will only contact you if your name does not appear on the Big Ten Academic Alliance list once we are ready to officially admit you to the Graduate College. If you did not qualify we will request payment by check or money order prior to completing your official admission.