NEW ORLEANS -- With the school year just two weeks away, parents at St. Augustine High School pack the cafeteria for orientation.

"I'm ready for it to start," Dana Roy said.

Even though her son is going into his sophomore year, Roy knows he is already dreaming about college.

"He chose this school. And he's chosen LSU. That's his main priority. His first choice," Roy said.

With an entire list of universities on his mind, Roy is glad a local school is helping students financially by getting rid of their application fee.

Effective immediately, the University for New Orleans is no longer charging $20 for undergraduate applications for students living in eight New Orleans area parishes.

Those parishes include:

  • Orleans Parish
  • Jefferson Parish
  • Plaquemines Parish
  • St. Bernard Parish
  • St. Charles Parish
  • St. James Parish
  • St. John the Baptist Parish
  • St. Tammany Parish

"I'm going to challenge those students to get this application in, because we can explore ways where we can make college affordable," John Nicklow, President of the University of New Orleans said.

Nicklow says they not only want students living in the area to get a good education in New Orleans, but they also want them to stay after earning their degree.

"We have 42,000 alumni in our city alone. We built the middle class of this city in many many many ways. And so we want to continue to provide that access, that opportunity for economic and social mobility. And still support our local community," Nicklow said.

St. Augustine High School principal Sean Goodwin says $20 may not sound expensive, but when you are applying to several colleges, those fees add up.

"On average, most students pay anywhere between $300 to $500 in application fees for all of the schools that they're interested in," Goodwin said. "So, even if they can save $20, that can go toward books for college. It can toward bed sheets. Whatever the case may be. But it is always better to save if you can an allow schools to judge you based on your academic standing."

With another academic year approaching, Goodwin hopes this announcement gives high schoolers motivation and parents relief.

"This will be a bright light for some of them, and it may inspire some of them to just take the chance because they're not losing out on money. All they're doing is taking an opportunity and taking a chance to enroll in a school," Goodwin said.

Tulane University also removed their application fees for both in and out of state applicants after Hurricane Katrina.