How expensive is a deferral?

Blake commented recently on my post about the $50 admissions application fee at OSU and the OUS Deferral form. Blake cleared up a few of my questions as well as adding a few more to my list. According to Blake, the request for the fee deferral is usually initiated by high school guidance counselors. I decided to research the impact that high school guidance counselors can have on students who have high financial need.

According to The U.S. Department of Education’s online pamphlet entitled, The Guidance Counselor’s Role in Ensuring Equal Educational Opportunity, “the counselor at the secondary school level assumes a number of roles, all important and potentially critical in affecting a student’s future.”

A section in the pamphlet titled Hands-on Counseling states that, “recent research suggests that low-income minority students are least likely to receive adequate counseling on higher education opportunities.” This statement is very troubling. Are students who have high financial need getting information about the OUS application fee deferral? According to Blake, “the number of fee deferrals OSU annually processes equals less than 1% of our total number of applications.” Is this number this small due to a low number of high need applicants or is it because high need applicants are not given “adequate counseling”?

According to Diverse, “counselors were also more likely to recommend students with higher family incomes to four-year colleges regardless of the students’ gender, academic performance and race.”

Another question just popped into my head. How do the other OUS schools inform potential applicants of the OUS deferral form? I decided to search each one’s website to find out if the form is available or at least linked (Please note that I am a self-identified google-phile. If I can’t find it, it’s probably not on the site):

Online information regarding the OUS “Request for Deferral of Application Fee for Admission”

This issue seems especially relevant given that the state of Oregon is committed to increasing need-based financial aid. A $50 application fee could be the factor that keeps students with high financial need from ever applying…