common app essays

All Colleges that Don’t Require an Essay

The deadline for Regular Decision is coming up fast. You’re probably all set with sending applications to colleges on your list. But should you add a few more options? The short answer is . . . yes. It’s a ‘roll-the-dice’ application season with many schools going test-optional and factors like distance learning still up in the air. It’s a good idea to hedge your bets now by adding a handful of schools to your application list. We put together this list of ‘no fee’ top colleges that also don’t require supplemental essays. If you want to add a school without the hassle of writing another essay or paying to have scores sent, this list has some excellent options for you.

Top private colleges that don’t require an essay

CollegeLocationAcceptance Rate 
Bard College Annadale-On-Hudson, NY58%
Bowdoin CollegeBrunswick, ME8.9%
Colby CollegeWaterville, ME9.6%
Connecticut CollegeNew London, CT37%
Franklin & Marshall CollegeLancaster, PA30%
Grinnell CollegeGrinnell, IA24%
Hamilton CollegeClinton, NY16%
Kenyon CollegeGambier, OH34%
Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury, VT16%
Sarah Lawrence CollegeBronxville, NY56%
Skidmore CollegeSaratoga Springs, NY27%
Wesleyan UniversityWesleyan, CT16%
Washington and Lee UniversityLexington, VA18%
Clark UniversityWorcester, MA59%
Clemson UniversityClemson, SC47%
DePaul UniversityChicago, IL68%

Full list of colleges that don’t require an essay

Albion College
Allegheny College
Beloit College
Coe College
Colby College
Connecticut College
DePauw University
Drew University
Furman University
Gettysburg College
Goucher College
Grinnell College
Hanover College
Hollins University
Hope College
Juniata College
Kenyon College
Middlebury College
Muhlenberg College
Ripon College
Sewanee—University of the South
Siena College
Skidmore College
Spelman College
John’s University
Lawrence University
Susquehanna University
Wesleyan University
Case Western Reserve University
Clemson University
DePaul University
Drexel University
Fordham University
Miami University—Oxford
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Northeastern University
Ohio State University
Seton Hall University
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stony Brook University
SUNY Binghamton University
SUNY Buffalo
University of Alabama
University of Arkansas
University of Colorado -Denver
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Iowa
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska—Lincoln
University of New Hampshire
University of the Pacific
University of Pittsburgh
University of St. Thomas
University of Vermont

Affordability essays

Procrastinators, Get Your Personal Essay on Track

I don’t know how many of you are in the same boat. This Friday, we realized that our son was less than 2 weeks away from his November 1st deadlines. The status of his Personal Essay, supposed to be completed this summer, was ‘getting there.’ Let’s not even talk about supplementals. We’ve discussed this essay ad nauseam. Before things got really ugly, we did these three things this weekend:


  • Review some of The College Essay Guys best essays and why they work. Ethan is great at this stuff.
  • Send a draft to Prompt, an essay editing service. We’ve used this service before. We are using it now. The writers are very professional, the feedback is focused and detailed, the turnaround time is 48 hours, and you only pay for what you use. Use this link for 20% off their standard fees. (I am not compensated by Prompt.)
  • Ask a trusted friend to take a look and offer guidance for a different perspective on Personal Essay

We got a premium Grammarly subscription to take us through admissions. It works right in the Common App text entry fields, which saves my son a lot of headache–typos and writing suggestions are built right in.

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