GEMS Blog for Advisors

October 23, 2018

New MGP Feature – Pre-Paid Application Fee Payment Process

Updates & Clarifications (11/7/2018):

The new feature in MyGrad that allows programs to pre-pay an application fee is now available.  However, we have received numerous questions and comments from you that made us recognize the need to clarify our original message (included below).  Please review the following four points before using this new feature.

  • The Graduate School is continuing to provide need-based fee waivers as cited on the application for admission page (F-1 and J-1 international students remain ineligible for need-based waivers).
  • The new feature in MyGrad allows departments to pre-pay an application fee; departments are not allowed to waive the application fee.
  • Pre-paying an application fee is to assist you in recruiting strong candidates to your applicant pool based on scholarly merit.  Scholarly merit should be defined using the same criteria admission review committees would use for determining offers of admission.
  • Many of you may not choose to create a policy for pre-paid application fees but may have a good reason to occasionally pay the application fee.  Please request approval for these payments by sending an email to

Original Post: 

For many years the Graduate School has provided application fee waivers to applicants who qualify based on financial need (as explained on the Apply Now page).  This year, to assist programs in building strong application pools that promote scholarly merit, we plan to release a MyGrad feature on November 1st that will give programs the ability to pay admission application fees prior to applicants submitting their applications.

If your program plans to use this new feature, you must first post a notice alongside your admission information that includes the following:

  • eligibility for receiving a pre-paid application fee;
  • a statement that pre-paid application fees are available to all eligible applicants;
  • instructions on how to request a pre-paid application fee (if appropriate).

Once applicants begin their applications, programs will be able to select applicants using the “All applicant email” page in MyGrad and pay the fees on behalf of the applicants.  Applicants will immediately receive emails notifying them of payments and encouraging them to return and complete their applications.  Payments will be accepted using a credit card and all payments are final.  If applicants receive pre-paid application fees but do not submit the applications, the fees will not be returned to the programs.

Note: If your program does not want to create a process for this but may, on occasion, want to use this feature, you will need to submit a request to prior to paying the application fee(s).

If you have any questions regarding this new feature or want your notice reviewed prior to posting, please contact