How to Get a Fee Waiver for the Duolingo English Test (2024)

The Duolingo English Test is much more affordable than its competitors, TOEFL and IELTS, but can still be difficult to afford for many students. Fortunately, Duolingo offers fee waivers for low-income students applying to English-speaking universities.

This fee waiver can be extremely helpful for students, allowing them to take the test - ordinarily $65 - completely free of charge!

Every year, Duolingo waives the cost of the test for 10,000+ students across the world. If you are a low-income student, ensure that you apply for a Duolingo English Test waiver by following the guidance below.

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Who is eligible for the Duolingo English Test fee waiver?

Only low-income students are eligible for the Duolingo English Test fee waiver. Household income may need to be proved with official documents, such as tax returns.

Unfortunately, students cannot directly apply for the fee waivers themselves. Only schools and organizations that support low-income students can apply for the fee waiver.

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How to get a fee waiver for the Duolingo English Test

As students are unable to directly apply for the fee waiver, you will most likely need to see whether your chosen university already provides Duolingo English Test waivers.

  1. Check with your university of choice

Before applying to your chosen schools, thoroughly check their websites to see if they have a formal process for requesting the Duolingo English Test fee waiver. Information about the fee waiver is usually located on their admissions or international student pages.

Some schools, for example Stanford University, have a formal process outlined on their admissions page. If your chosen school has a formal process like this as part of the application process, make sure to become familiar with it. The processes, deadlines, and criteria for getting the fee waiver do vary by institution, so ensure you check their website for specific instructions and follow them carefully. If no formal process is mentioned, contact the university directly to inquire about the fee waiver.

2. Inquiring about the fee waiver

For schools that accept the Duolingo English Test but don’t specify a process for acquiring the waiver, it is best to reach out to the admissions office or international students’ office via email. It can be challenging to find the words to request assistance (although you deserve it!) so we’ve drafted an email template for you below to send to your chosen university. Feel free to take this template and make it your own:

Subject: Duolingo English Test Fee Waiver

Dear [Admissions Department/ International Office/Contact Person’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well.

In preparation for my college application to [UNIVERSITY], I am planning to take the Duolingo English Test to fulfill the English proficiency requirement. Due to my low-income financial background, I am exploring the possibility of gaining a fee waiver for this test.

I wanted to inquire if [UNIVERSITY] offers fee waivers for the Duolingo English Test to prospective international students and, if so, whether there is a specific process I need to follow to gain the waiver. Any guidance or further information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your assistance.


[Insert Arno’s favorite student’s name here 😉]

Please note: If you do not receive a response within 2-3 weeks, you may wish to send a follow-up email. As institutions are often extremely busy working with other prospective (and current) students, we advise you not to follow up before that time frame. For this reason, and given that it can also take time to receive and apply the waiver itself, it is best to reach out to universities about the waiver as soon as possible.

How to apply the fee waiver at checkout

Once you receive the waiver (congratulations!), click here to see how to apply it at checkout. The waiver only works when purchasing a single test, without the “speedier” results upgrade. If you wish to purchase the two-test package or to receive your results within 12 hours, you won’t be able to use a fee waiver.

Other ways to save money on the Duolingo English Test

If you’re not eligible for the waiver, don’t worry; there are other ways to save money on the test. Occasionally, coupons can be found on the Duolingo promotion page and can be applied at checkout in the same way as a fee waiver. While coupon discounts are smaller than the fee waiver, they can still be helpful for students on a budget, so remember to check the website frequently before you take the test. Similarly, it is also possible for businesses to purchase discounts for their employees, so look out for promotions from businesses or workplaces.

Free study resources, such as Arno 😍, can also help you prepare for test day on a budget and, most importantly, avoid expensive retakes! To improve your scores from home, Arno gives students unlimited practice questions. We also provide instant scoring and feedback. So, instead of spending your hard-earned money on a tutor, join Arno right now by clicking below.

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