Everything you need to know about the LSAC fee waiver.

Information on who qualifies, how much they are really worth, and why you should apply.
Tags: applying to law school, free, fee waiver, save money, LSAC
Apr 2, 2023

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. How the LSAC Fee Waiver Works
  3. What the LSAC Fee Waiver gives you
  4. Additional Benefits (Fee App Fees and Free Prep Course!)
  5. How to Apply
  6. When to Apply
  7. How Long Does it Take to Apply
  8. Who Qualifies
  9. Incomes Thresholds
  10. Related Articles

Introduction. A Guide to the LSAC Fee Waiver

All applicants to law school must register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The CAS is required by nearly all law schools in the United States. The fee for CAS registration is $195 and it is good for 5 years.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) streamlines the application process by collecting all transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other required documents for law school admission applications. This documentation is standardized and compiled into a Law School Report. The Report, along with LSAT score and other relevant information, is required to be submitted with every law school application.

CAS registration is included in both tiers of LSAC Fee Waiver

How the LSAC Fee Waiver Works:

A very important note is that fees previously paid cannot be waived retroactively, and no refunds will be issued. That means that you should apply for a fee waiver as soon as you think you might apply to Law School. 

The LSAC fee waiver program is designed for law school candidates who are financially under-resourced, with the goal of increasing equity and access to legal education. 

In order to increase the number of fee waiver applicants we can assist, LSAC has updated their fee waiver program for the 2022 - 2023 cohort to recognize different levels of financial need. There is now a two-tiered benefit system to assist applicants of varying economic circumstances in receiving two levels of fee waiver benefits.

Product fees you can get for free if you get a waiver:

# Free with Tier 1

Tier 1 Value

# Free with Tier 2

Tier 2 Value

LSAT Test Fees


$ 430


$ 215

CAS Registration (Good for 5 years)


$ 195


$ 195

Law School Reports


$ 270


$ 135

LSAT Prep Plus (Good for 1 year) 


$ 99


$ 99

Score Preview


$ 45


$ 45

To learn more about any aspects of the LSAT, check out our LSAT Article.

Additional Benefits of applying for a Fee waiver:

The major benefit is that many schools will waive their application fee automatically if you receive an LSAC fee waiver. 

The average LSD user applies to 8 schools, and most schools with application fees cost about $80. That means that getting a fee waiver can save you an additional $640 on top of all the LSAC fees. 

Additionally, some test prep companies will provide free courses for people who received LSAC fee waivers. Powerscore will give anyone who got a fee waiver and is retaking the LSAT a free PowerScore On-Demand LSAT course . Three months of which are worth $740

Overall, a Tier 1 LSAC fee waiver can easily be worth: $2,419

And a Tier 2 LSAC fee waiver can easily be worth: $2,069

How to apply for a fee waiver:

You will have to apply on your LSAC portal provide your prior year’s tax paperwork to the LSAC in order to get qualified for a fee waiver. If you are from the US and you did not file taxes in the previous year then you will need to request a verification of non-filing from the IRS. 

Note: you cannot request a verification of non-filing until June 15th for the previous tax year, and you should receive it within 5-10 calendar days according to the IRS.

When to apply for an LSAC fee waiver:

At a minimum, you must submit your fee waiver application to the LSAC at least 6-weeks prior to the registration deadline for the LSAT you are going to take. 

Since (a small) part of the benefit of the fee waiver is the LSAT Prep Plus, you should consider applying for the fee waiver at least 6-months prior to the registration deadline to give yourself plenty of time to study. 

How long does it take for your LSAC fee waiver to be approved:

The review process is usually completed by LSAC within one week after receipt of your supporting documentation. 

If you get denied, you can appeal the decision once to LSAC. The LSAC often approves appeals so we recommend giving yourself time to appeal. The review process usually takes 3-weeks. 

Your LSAC file will be placed on hold while LSAC reviews your application and supporting documentation. Even if your file is on hold, you may proceed to take the LSAT. However, your LSAT score will not be released to you or any law schools until your application is fully approved or, if denied, applicable fees are paid.

Since fees previously paid cannot be waived retroactively, and no refunds will be issued. The LSAC (and we) encourage you NOT to submit payment while you’re waiting for LSAC's decision.

Who Qualifies:

The LSAC uses federal poverty guidelines to determine preliminary eligibility. Additionally, the LSAC breaks candidates into two categories, Independent and Dependent. 

You can check your status by filling out the first step of the fee waiver application.

An independent candidate earning up to 250% of the federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for the Tier 1 fee waiver package.

An independent candidate earning 250-300% of the poverty guidelines may be eligible for the Tier 2 fee waiver package.

Tier 1

Tier 2


Under 250% of federal poverty guidelines

Between 250% and 300% of federal poverty guidelines


Your income is under 150% of federal poverty guidelines


Your income plus guardians’ income is under 300% of federal poverty guidelines

Your income is under 200% of federal poverty guidelines


Your income plus guardians’ income is under 300%-350% of federal poverty guidelines

Keep in mind that these are just preliminary guidelines. You can get approved if your income falls outside of these thresholds. The purpose of the fee waiver is to break down the barrier to success in the law school application process. If LSAC fees are creating a barrier, then we strongly recommend applying.

Note: The fee waiver criteria also include maximum asset and cash balance levels and other factors LSAC may consider in its sole discretion. The income levels outlined above do not guarantee approval. 

Independent Candidates income for the LSAC fee waiver:

For unmarried candidates without dependents the LSAT and LSAC fee waiver income limit thresholds in 2022 are:

Poverty Guideline (2022)

Tier 1 income limit (250%)

Tier 2 income limit (300%)




These numbers increase if you live in Alaska or Hawaii. They also increase if you are married or have children. You can find the full table from HHS here.

Dependent Candidates income for the LSAC fee waiver:

If the LSAC determines that you are a dependent candidate, then you fall into a different income limit category in 2022. 

For dependent candidates, the income threshold for LSAC fee waivers are:

People in Family

Poverty Guideline (2022)

Tier 1 income limit (300%)

Tier 2 income limit (350%)


$ 18,310

$ 54,930

$ 64,085


$ 23,030

$ 69,090

$ 80,605


$ 27,750

$ 83,250

$ 97,125


$ 32,470

$ 97,410

$ 113,645

These numbers increase if you live in Alaska or Hawaii. They also increase if you have more than 5 people in your family unit. You can find the full table here.

Related Articles

  1. Law School Admissions Reddit
  2. What is the LSAT
  3. Timeline to Apply to Law School
Windsor MIT '22, Harvard College Advisor

I am the half of LSD that didn't take the LSAT, or go to law school (Sorry about that). But I did go to MIT business school while surrounded by law students and lawyers, so I am somewhat qualified to talk about the intricacies of law school apps and finances.

Windsor (the dog) didn't write this but he WAS a Resident Tutor and career advisor at Harvard College with me, so deserves some credit.


General chat about the legal profession.
👍 Chat vibe: 0 👎
Help us make LSD better!
Tell us what's important to you
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
@SquidwardsHouse: Thanks! With UPenn now being 4 in the rankings, I personally think it will drive up their applicants and scores.
Could lose applicants too
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
I mean yeah there is always the possibility of either happening, but I don't think the number of high stat applicants will decline because they went up in the rankings.
Why can’t you take it again
@WhisperingWillingBoar: Penn won’t be 4 this year
Yea who knows tbh with the new rankings methodology
Also I know several OOS reverse splitters that go to uva fwiw
Bro Keygan Church is peak and y'all ain't ready for that
if you want some HYPE music that's where it's at
Asgretalos and Tenebre Rosso Sangue are bangers
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
@hilltern: Your guess is as good as mine, but I've always been shocked that they weren't t6. I don't see them falling lower than 6 for the foreseeable future. Penn, to me, does better than Columbia and NYU in placements. So I think it stays within the t6 and Columbia and NYU join penn back into the t6. All of them are great schools, obviously, we are nitpicking very minor details when you get to schools ranked that high and that highly regarded.
Penn Columbia and nyu are the same but nyu does pi better Columbia does biglaw better and Penn is cheaper
U need higher grades at Penn for the v10
Not much of a difference until you hit Chicago at which point HYSC are a league of their own
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
@ConservativeFlagBearer: I agree with your sentiment that HYSC are in a league of their own, but using v10 to distinguish Columbia from penn is odd. While we are pre-law/law school applicants and may care about those, no one in the legal industry cares at all about the v5/10/15/20/30/50 distinctions. They all pay the same (most of them at least) and many of the ones that actually pay more are ranked lower because they are smaller. NYU is the best school for public interest, maybe outside of yale.
What does v5/10 etc mean?
I said they’re basically the same, but this is something that differentiates them. V10 is desirable to some due to exit ops. And i think HLS has much better PI ops than NYU.
Vault rankings, basically rankings for BL firms
Anyone willing to give opinion on a 166 3.56 Puerto Rican, currently working as a biglaw paralegal? :)
For GW and Georgetown
@FurtiveBonobo: youre below both 25ths for georgetown and both medians for GW so in either case i think it'll be tough...i think even with URM status georgetown will be a reach but GW could be a lock with strong statements/applying earlier
do you plan on retaking the lsat?
Yeah, in October
do your best and you'll kill it!
Does anyone know much about the University of Minnesota? I have a 165 LSAT score but a 3.09 CAS GPA. I have a valid reason for the GPA and I will obviously explain that. I was planning on applying Early Decision, but I’m not sure if I should wait until after the October LSAT to try for a better score or if it would be better to get it in earlier.
Any thoughts on a 168 3.7? Thinking of applying to Georgetown early decision. Korean American dual citizen who is currently a senior at Georgetown
Retake lsat and break 171 and yeah you got a sho
Unless you take a bunch of classes and get A+’s and somehow break median
LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.