*The passport fees have recently changed. As of April 2nd, 2018, the passport acceptance fee has gone up from $25 to $35.
University of Rhode Island students had chance to get some help with their passport applications last week, thanks to a unique event held by the University’s International Office.
During the event, the International Office gave away 50 free passports, covering the application fees for those students lucky enough to be able to snag one. In addition, the office helped 30 more students with the passport application paperwork.
In the university’s student newspaper, University of Rhode Island Student Abroad and National Student Exchange Advisor Kendrick Delaney explained that the event had two main goals: helping students get a passport who might not otherwise be able to afford it, and increasing awareness of the passport office among the student body. Mr. Delaney, who has lived in the Caribbean, said,
“I’m living in a foreign country, and I want to help students get that experience. We believe that every student deserves to have a passport. Giving students passports is really giving them a key to open their world. Hopefully we can get more funding to continue this program…We want people to know what we do, find where we are, and who we serve. We do incoming, international and national student exchange. We inform students about our programs and scholarships.”
It’s amazing how getting a passport opens your eyes to the possibility of travel, even if you haven’t decided on a destination yet. Student Sara Klempe, lured in by the offer of a free passport, told the newspaper:
“I don’t really know where I’d want to go yet. But, I figured that not a lot of people had heard about it and if it’s free I thought, ‘why not?'”
Why not, indeed? Submitting a passport application is not cheap- it costs $135 to apply for a new one, a fee those 50 lucky students didn’t have to worry about. However, despite the initial upfront investment, a passport gives good long-term value as it’s valid for 10 years. $1.35 per year isn’t that bad for a document that makes the entire world your oyster, is it?
If you need a passport, be sure to apply well in advance of your expected travel dates, as regular processing can take six weeks or more. Expedited processing is available from the State Department for an additional $60 fee, but still takes about three weeks.
For faster service, you must either make an appointment at a regional passport agency office or use a private expediting company like RushMyPassport. Of the two options, an expediting company is definitely more convenient, as there’s no need to make an appointment or travel any further than your local post office.
Let us help you expedite your passport application today!