colleges that don't require essay

30 Most Popular Schools That Do Not Require Application Essays (US News Top 200)

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One thing that keeps high schoolers from applying to multiple schools is college essay. Besides Common App or Coalition prompts, most schools will have their individual supplements where you must answer short questions or even write long essays in response to their prompts. We’ve compiled a list of schools that are popular among recent applicants. These schools do not require additional essays and generally have a good reputation and/or are ranked high in multiple published rankings.

The List

The following list only includes U.S. schools that are in top 200 of the latest US News Ranking. There are thousands of international, regional and liberal arts schools that do not require essays. Do research on your own if you do not see the schools in the list below and look up admissions information on the school websites.

SchoolEssay PolicyOther Admissions CriteriaUS News Ranking
University of ArizonaOptional for “Comprehensive Review” admissionAssured admission for in-state applicants who meet criteria; comprehensive review process for all other applicantsNational Universities – #106
Arizona State UniversityNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #115
University of ArkansasNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #152
California State UniversityNonePrimarily by eligibility index; some majors/campuses have more stringent requirementsVary by campus
University of Central FloridaStrongly encouraged but not requiredPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #165
University of South FloridaNone“Each applicant is considered individually, taking into account grades, rigor of curriculum and standardized test scores”National Universities – #124
Georgia State UniversityOptionalPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #187
University of Hawaii ManoaNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #157
University of IdahoNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #165
Illinois State UniversityOptional personal statementPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #171
Iowa State UniversityNonePrimarily through the Regent Admission IndexNational Universities – #119
University of IowaNoneDifferent requirements for different schools in the universityNational Universities – #89
Kansas State UniversityNoneStudents must meet GPA/test requirements and complete Precollege CurriculumNational Universities – #147
University of KansasShort answers only for those who don’t meet Assured Admission criteriaMeet Assured Admission criteria through GPA/test score requirementsNational Universities – #129
Louisiana State University – Baton RougeNonePrimarily GPA, test scoresNational Universities – #140
University of Minnesota – Twin CitiesNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #76
University of MississippiNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #152
Mississippi State UniversityNoneAssured admission for students who have completed prerequisite coursework and meet a combination of GPA/class rank/test score criteriaNational Universities – #177
University of MissouriNonePrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #129
University of Nebraska – LincolnRequired only for scholarship considerationAssured admission if you meet performance requirements and have completed prerequisite courseworkNational Universities – #129
University of New MexicoNonePrimarily test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #187
Ohio UniversityOptionalPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcripts, class rankNational Universities – #17
Oklahoma State UniversityEssay required only if you need comprehensive application reviewAssured admission by combination of GPA/class rank/test scores; otherwise comprehensive application reviewNational Universities – #157
University of PittsburghOptional short-answer questionsPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #70
Clemson UniversityOptionalPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #66
University of South CarolinaOnly required for Honors College applicationPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #106
University of UtahOnly required for Honors College applicationPrimarily GPA, test scores, transcriptsNational Universities – #119
Washington State UniversityNoneMeet College Academic Distribution Requirements; assured admission for top 10% of class or 3.5+ GPANational Universities – #140
University of WyomingNoneMeet GPA/test score cutoffs and have completed prerequisite courseworkNational Universities – #183
Sources: US News & Prepscholar


The US News Ranking

The last column on the list is the US News Ranking. The list is published annually and the criteria used to determine the final ranking vary every year. You should NEVER choose colleges based on any rankings because many of them can be misleading or inaccurate. Rankings can be a starting point: Find the schools you’re interested in and do more research either by visiting school websites or asking alumni or current students. If you need any professional advice, feel free to schedule an appointment with us too!

Why Does This List Matter

If you want to apply to more highly-ranked schools but are too lazy to write another essay, you should definitely take a look at this list and do research next. These schools are strong in different disciplines so be sure to not only apply, but also choose the right program. Everyone wants to go to a “good” school but is often hindered by the requirements they need to complete. College essay is a big one, and this list helps you get that out of the way!

Also in: 简中 (Simplified Chinese) 繁中 (Traditional Chinese)

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