Top Colleges That Don’t Require Essays

There are a lot of things that make college admissions difficult. One of the most tedious parts is writing your essay. If you’re looking for colleges who don’t require essays as part of their application process, then take a look at this list:

Top Colleges That Don’t Require Essays

Babson College

Babson College is a private business school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It has a low acceptance rate (21%) and attracts top-tier students, including more than 20% of admitted students who have been recognized with at least one academic honor such as an award or scholarship by their high schools. The school has an entrepreneurship program that’s well regarded by those who have gone through it, so knowing you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people could help ease any anxiety about attending Babson.

Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine. Founded in 1794, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in Maine and one of the five oldest colleges in New England. Bowdoin was originally named Fort St George, but changed its name to Bowdoin College after two years. It’s a member of the NESCAC conference and is ranked as the #3 liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News & World Report., which also ranks it as #1 for best value.

Carleton College

Carleton College is a private liberal arts college located in Northfield, Minnesota, United States. Carleton is one of the few liberal arts colleges that requires students to write a thesis. Students are required to choose a topic related to their major and conduct research on it throughout their undergraduate career. The final paper is typically between 20 and 30 pages long, but can range anywhere from 12–36 pages based on student preference. It must also be written in a language other than English (which includes Latin).

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College is a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California. It is a member of the Claremont Colleges consortium and was founded as an all-men’s school by local citrus ranchers in 1946. The campus sits on 150 acres of land and includes several notable sites, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Claremont McKenna has an acceptance rate of 12%, making it one of the most selective schools in the country. With this being said, it also boasts one of the highest alumni salaries at $64K per year (one year after graduation).

Colorado College

Colorado College is a member of the Annapolis Group of liberal arts colleges, which is a nonprofit association that promotes excellence in higher education. Colorado College also belongs to the Associated Colleges of the South and the Council of Independent Colleges.

Grinnell College

Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. The college was founded in 1846 by Congregationalists and began as a coeducational institution, unlike many of its peers at that time.

Grinnell College is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), which is an association of colleges located in Iowa and Illinois. ACM includes 15 schools with similar missions: to provide their students with an excellent liberal arts education that prepares them for lives full of meaning and purpose.

Grinnell College also belongs to two other organizations: The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and The Annapolis Group. The CIC represents over 500 independent colleges across the United States; it’s goal is to support its members through advocacy efforts aimed at preserving independence from government control and promoting cooperation among independent higher education institutions (HEIs).

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College is a private, liberal arts college in Claremont, California. The school was founded in 1955 and named after philanthropist Harvery Mudd. It’s one of the five undergraduate colleges affiliated with the Claremont Colleges consortium.

The school has an enrollment of about 1,000 students, including both undergraduates and graduate students. About half of the student body comes from outside California; the majority of international students come from China or India.

Macalester College

Macalester College is a private liberal arts college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1874, Macalester is the oldest college in Minnesota and boasts itself as the “first university of the west.”

Macalester enrolls about 2200 students each year and has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. According to its website, Macalester offers 13 majors, 38 minors and concentrations as well as 23 preprofessional programs including medicine and law. The school also has a strong international presence with more than 15% of its students coming from over 70 different countries around the world.

Occidental College

Occidental College is a private liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, California. It’s one of the smaller schools on this list, but it still has an excellent reputation in higher education and prepares students well for their future careers.

The first thing to note about Occidental’s application process is that they do not require any essays or letters of recommendation—this methodical approach to admissions ensures that each applicant receives a fair assessment based on their previous academic performance and extracurricular activities.

In order to apply, you’ll need at least an 85% GPA (4.0) in high school or its equivalent, as well as at least a mid-600s SAT score or 25 ACT composite score (depending on which test you took). If these requirements seem too lofty for your current level of academic achievement, then keep working hard! You can achieve them with time and effort alone; it just might take more time than usual if you’ve had some issues with grades lately.

In addition to meeting these benchmarks from standardized testing scores, there are also minimum required GPAs for each major offered by Occidental College:

Pitzer College

  • Pitzer College (Claremont, California)

Pitzer is a liberal arts college in Claremont, California, which is part of the Claremont Colleges. It has an enrollment of about 1,100 students and was founded in 1963 by a group of educators and philanthropists who wanted to create a small college with a progressive curriculum that encouraged cross-disciplinary learning and teaching.

All students at Pitzer must complete five core courses: one from each area of humanities; one from each area of science; one from social sciences; and one course designed for pre-health professions majors. This requirement gives you plenty of flexibility—you don’t need to take all science classes or all humanities classes—but it also means that if your major isn’t included under these categories (for example, if you’re studying environmental studies), then your options are more limited than they might be at other schools on this list.*

Scripps College

  • Scripps College is a private liberal arts college for women located in Claremont, California. In addition to its undergraduate program, Scripps also offers graduate programs in English, history and political science.
  • The college was founded by Ellen Browning Scripps (1836–1932), who created the institution with a gift of $600,000 from her estate—based on an initial land purchase of approximately 100 acres (40 ha) that eventually grew into 1,000 acres (400 ha). Today it consists of 1,300 acres (530 ha) on which stand 24 buildings including ten residence halls and three dining facilities. The entire campus is designated as an arboretum; some areas contain gardens with over 3,500 varieties of plants from around the world.[5]

You can attend a top school without having to constantly write essays.

You can attend a top school without having to constantly write essays.

Although many students have been conditioned to believe that they must be able to write well in order to get into the best schools, this isn’t always the case.

At some of the top schools in the country—including Harvard and Stanford—you can get into a great program without writing an essay or even taking an English class if you don’t want to.


At the end of the day, college admissions is a lot like dating. You want to find the right fit for you and your career goals. If you’re looking to apply to one of these schools, don’t worry too much about whether or not they have an essay requirement! The most important thing is that you find a school that will challenge you academically while preparing you well for life after graduation.

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