Top Universities With No Application Fees

Paying off student debt can often be a nightmare. Tuition fees in top universities of the UK and the USA have skyrocketed just like a real estate boom in the first decade of 21st century. Recently, the increase in tuition fees has led to a significant drop in the number of applicants to the UK universities.

According to a report by BBC, the students in England have become an outlier in their country and they find it cheaper to get a quality education in neighboring Scotland, Welsh and Northern Ireland that are home to some of the excellent universities like the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow. However, this article is not about the hefty tuition fees charged by universities. This is about the first step – applying to an awesome university without paying hefty application fees.

I remember the dilemma I had while applying to various universities. Sending applications to a university in the USA, Canada or Switzerland costs a fortune. On an average, application to an American university costs around $75 and add to that the extra charges (around $50) for sending the GRE and TOEFL scores. I spent around ₹ 50,000 (USD $730) for applying to just 6 US universities.

Thankfully, there are some top European universities that don’t charge any application fee but maybe you have to send the official documents like transcripts and degrees to the university by post which definitely won’t cost you much.

Do you know that most universities in the UK and Germany don’t charge an application fee for applying to the STEM fields?

Here is a list of the top 11 European Universities with no application fee for international students.

1.RWTH Aachen, Germany

RWTH Building next to Super C. (Source)

RWTH Aachen is the leading engineering university in Germany, often being counted among the top 30 universities in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in the world. It has a vibrant student population of over 45,000 students. The university is located in several patches of the Aachen city and has several industrial collaborations.

Some of the courses are also taught in partnership with the neighboring University of Bonn, University of Cologne and the University of Maastricht.

If you are keen to pursue MS in Germany in STEM fields, this university must be on your list. Aachen is one of the most affordable cities in Western Europe with proximity to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Bonn, Brussels, Eindhoven and Maastricht.

Times Higher Education ranks RWTH Aachen at #87 in the 2019 Overall University Rankings of the World.

2. Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Historical library of Politecnico di Milano (Source)

3. ParisTech, France

ParisTech Grandes Écoles

ParisTech is not one university or college. It’s basically a collegiate system of 10 engineering colleges just like the Oxford and Cambridge. FYI, the University of Oxford consists of 39 colleges like Worcester College, Exeter College, Hertford College, Kellogg College, St. John’s College etc.

Each of the 10 engineering colleges under the Paris Tech has a specialized stream. For example, Agro ParisTech has specialized courses in agriculture, agrotech and forestry. Chimie ParisTech is popular in France for its chemistry-related courses. ENSAE ParisTech is famous for its economics and finance courses.

ParisTech graduates are highly regarded in France. Most of the campuses are located in Central Paris or on the outskirts of Paris. A countable number of courses (rare) are available as far as Bordeaux, like the Aerospace specialization.

4. Ghent University, Belgium

Ghent University Application Fee
Ghent University, Belgium (Source: Luximprint)

Ghent University, established in 1817, is the second-best university in Belgium in terms of research output and innovation after KU Leuven. It is ranked between 120-140 in the QS World Rankings.

Although a lot of courses are in Dutch, there are ample Master’s courses in English without an application fee, ranging from law to engineering.

Read: English Master Programmes at Ghent University

Bioscience Engineering and Biomedical Engineering are niche areas of research in the university and it is considered one of the best universities in Europe in this field.

5. University of Glasgow, UK

The University of Glasgow ranks high for humanities, basic science, life sciences, biology and clinical medicine. However, I wouldn’t rank it among the top 100 universities when it comes to engineering.

40% of the student population is international. Hence, you can expect the student population to be quite diverse. It is located on the west side of the city with a lot of bars and shisha lounge nearby.

6. University de Montpellier, France

Montpellier city centre (Source: Top University)

Montpellier in the south of France is an amazing student city. Nearly 20% of the population in the city are students. The location- ‘South France’- is enough to excite someone, given the proximity to the sea beaches and an excellent climate throughout the year.

The university has several collaborations with CNRS, the government research agency in France as well as industries. If you are aiming for MS in France, this university should be on your list of colleges.

7. TU Munich, Germany

The second most funded university in Germany. TU Munich is known for its proximity to industry and has carved out a name for its ’employer reputation’.

TU Munich has the top-ranked Computer Engineering postgraduate programs in Germany. Times Higher Education has consistently ranked it among the top 50 universities of the world in 2017,2018 and 2019.

8. University of Vienna, Austria

9. University of Oslo, Norway

10. Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

11. University of Twente, Netherlands


  1. The management courses in some of these universities may have an application fee. So, check for updates.
  2. The University of Nottingham, UK charges around £40 for application to the Master’s Program. So, I have mentioned that most universities in the UK don’t charge an application fee.
  3. This is the list as of 2018. This may be revised in the coming years.

I hope you find this answer useful. Please comment if you find any discrepancy in the information. We are committed to improvising our content.


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