Colleges that Don't Require Supplemental Essays

Padya Paramita

Colleges that Don't Require Supplemental Essays

As you prepare for the college admissions cycle, you might be tempted to add schools to your list that require less work than others. While some schools like Yale have over five supplemental essays, there are colleges that have none! So, we offer you a list of colleges that don’t require supplemental essays. Although most colleges definitely want to see students answer school-specific prompts to determine fit, there are several top colleges that don’t require supplemental essays, including Williams, Middlebury, and Northeastern. Take a look at the full list below.

Liberal Arts Colleges that Don’t Require Supplemental Essays

  • Albion College
  • Allegheny College
  • Bates College
  • Beloit College
  • Coe College
  • Colby College
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Connecticut College 
  • Denison University
  • DePauw University 
  • Dickinson University
  • Drew University
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Furman University
  • Gettysburg College 
  • Goucher College
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hanover College
  • Hollins University
  • Hope College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Juniata College
  • Kenyon College
  • Middlebury College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • New College of Florida 
  • Oberlin College
  • Rhodes College
  • Ripon College
  • Sewanee—University of the South
  • Siena College 
  • Skidmore College
  • Spelman College
  • St. John’s College (essay optional except for Pharmacy program)
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Susquehanna University 
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • Union College
  • Ursinus College
  • Wesleyan University (there are essays only for international students)
  • Whitman College
  • Willamette University
  • Williams College

National Universities That Don’t Require Supplemental Essays

  • Binghamton University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Clark University
  • Clemson University
  • DePaul University
  • Drexel University
  • Florida State University 
  • Gonzaga University
  • Miami University—Oxford
  • Michigan State University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stony Brook University  (Honors College has essay requirement)
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • Temple University
  • Tulane University
  • 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

How to Successfully Apply to Colleges That Don’t Require Supplemental Essays

So, since you don’t have to write essays, how exactly do you convince admissions officers that you’re a strong applicant? You must take advantage of the following components:

  • Personal Statement - The personal statement is a common essay that goes to all of the colleges you apply to within one application system—and colleges that don’t require supplemental essays are no exception to this rule. The most common of these are the Common App personal statement prompts. You only have to write about one of the prompts provided by the Common App. The word limit is 650 words, which is a scant number to narrate a powerful story without leaving out too many important details. At the end of the day, you can write about anything, as long as it tells a story unique to you.
  • Activities List - When it comes to building a strong extracurricular activities list, it’s important to prioritize your passions, career interests, and ways to establish yourself as a leader. Prestigious colleges want to see tangible achievements and commitment towards activities you enjoy. And if you see a gap in the activities at your school, or find an opportunity to involve a greater community, don’t be afraid to start your own initiative! Once you’ve built your extracurricular profile, make sure you take advantage of the Common App activities list and describe what you did in order of impressiveness.
  • Letters of Recommendation - A college recommendation letter is a note from someone who knows you well in an academic or professional setting, highlighting your best qualities and why they recommend you for a position or institution you’re applying for. For most cases, colleges require letters of recommendation from two teachers, one from your guidance counselor, and provide the option of one additional recommendation that could come from a coach or club advisor. They should be written by teachers who know you the best. 


    Now that you have an idea of which fall among colleges that don’t require supplemental essays, you can carefully conduct research to make sure you want to apply—and would genuinely be happy there. Don’t just blindly apply to schools just because there are fewer essay requirements. But, these should save you some time in terms of the essay load so take advantage of these if you want to add some targets or safeties as well. Happy searching!

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