The college application process is daunting and time-consuming for many high school students. Most students will apply to anywhere from 5 -15 colleges, with some applying to even more than 20 schools if they apply to high-ranking schools like Ivy Leagues or competitive programs like direct medical programs.
While applications like the Common Application or Scoir aim to streamline the application process by allowing students to write one universal personal statement that gets sent to all schools, they likely still need to write school-specific supplemental essays. These essays can range from “why do you want to attend this school?” to “tell us about a challenge.” Most students commit to months of effort to complete all their supplemental essays.
Luckily, not all schools require these additional essays, which could help students bulk up their college list without adding much more effort. Here are a few benefits of applying to schools with no supplemental essays.
- Reduced Stress – Applying to schools that don’t require supplemental essays means students have less pressure on them. Instead of spending hours each week on essays, they focus on a few of their top schools that do require supplemental essays or concentrate on keeping their grades up.
- Broader Range of Schools – Despite not requiring supplemental essays, some schools on the list are high-ranking universities. By not having to write additional essays, students can also apply to a wider range of schools, whether it is a research institution like Case Western Reserve University or a liberal arts college like Grinnell University. Therefore, when students are making their final decisions on where they want to apply to college, they will have more time to decide what type of school will fit their career goals and learning abilities best.
- Helps Level The Admissions Playing Field – For students who don’t think their talents are in writing but have solid grades and standardized test scores, applying to more schools that don’t require supplemental essays might be advantageous. Because they aren’t sending additional essays to their school, they will be primarily judged based on their personal statement, grades, extracurricular activities and standardized test scores, among other factors. Students who don’t have the resources or guidance to craft compelling supplemental essays should take advantage of those universities.
Over 80 Schools With No Supplemental Essays In 2023-24
The following schools have no required supplemental essays to apply to their college. However, they might have additional essays for specific programs. For example, if a student is interested in New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Honors Program and Accelerated BS/MD program, they would be required to write two additional essays to be considered.
Some of these schools will also have optional essays that students can write. Drexel University has the following optional prompt: “Drexel is committed to preparing each new generation of students to become productive, professional and civic-minded members of the community while continuing to focus on how we can contribute to solving some of society’s greatest challenges. What do you view as a challenge facing society that you would like to contribute to solving? How would a Drexel education aid you in taking the first step toward a solution? (250 words or less).” While it can give students who write these optional prompts a competitive edge because it can help demonstrate interest in the school, it isn’t required.
When adding these schools to your list, make sure to review the requirements before you apply. You can see the full list in our Forbes article here.