Top Colleges That Don’t Require Supplemental Essays

College admissions are stressful for everyone, but for students with disabilities, the process is even harder. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top colleges that don’t require supplemental essays—these schools streamline the application process to make it easier and less stressful for all their applicants.

Top Colleges That Don’t Require Supplemental Essays

U.S. Naval Academy

  • The U.S. Naval Academy does not require supplemental essays.
  • The U.S. Naval Academy does not require letters of recommendation with your application materials, either in person or as part of a package you mail in to them.
  • Unlike most schools that have pre-requisites for admission, the U.S. Naval Academy doesn’t require any interviews before they will let you apply!
  • There is no application fee at this school—a big plus for many families who might be saving their pennies so they can afford college tuition and fees!

If these things sound appealing to you, don’t hesitate: apply today!

American University

American University is a private institution with an acceptance rate of 43%. It has an average undergraduate tuition cost of $61,000 per year.

American University does not require supplemental essays, but does require you to submit the same required essay to all schools that you apply for.

Arizona State University

As the largest institution for higher education in the state of Arizona, ASU is a public research university that was founded in 1885. It has an enrollment of more than 70,000 students and offers more than 350 undergraduate degrees and 170 graduate degrees. ASU is also one of the largest universities in the U.S., with campuses throughout Arizona and branch campuses overseas.

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Some notable alumni include:

  • John McCain (US Senator)
  • Paula Abdul (American singer/dancer)
  • Michael Dell (founder of Dell Computer Corp.)

Barnard College

  • Barnard College

Barnard College does not require supplemental essays. Barnard is a private liberal arts college for women and a member of the Seven Sisters Colleges, which are collectively considered to be one of the oldest and most prestigious group of all-women’s colleges in the United States. Located in Manhattan, New York City, Barnard College is affiliated with Columbia University.

Binghamton University (SUNY)

Binghamton University (SUNY)

Binghamton University (SUNY) is a public university located in Vestal, New York. It was founded in 1946 as Triple Cities College and later became part of the State University of New York system. The university enrolls over 14,000 students each year and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

In addition to its main campus at Vestal, Binghamton University also has campuses in downtown Binghamton as well as locations throughout New York state.

Boston University

Boston University (BU) is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1839 and is regarded as one of the best universities in the world. Boston University includes four schools and colleges, each offering unique programs and degrees: College of Arts & Sciences; School of Education, Health & Society; Metropolitan College; School of Social Work.

The most popular majors among undergraduates are psychology, political science, sociology and communications/journalism. BU has more than 200 student clubs on campus to keep students active outside of their coursework including Greek life organizations like Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity or Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity Incorporated which have chapters at BU as well as other organizations such as student government groups like Student Government Association (SGA).

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is the only school on this list where you can apply online. BYU has no supplemental essays, but its application is available in August, October and November before the regular decision deadline of December 15th.

Brown University

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in New England. The university is composed of seven undergraduate residential colleges, three graduate residential colleges, and four professional schools.

The Brown admissions committee doesn’t require supplementary essays as part of their application review process because they believe that the primary application should be all you need to get admitted! However, if you really want to share more about yourself with them (and show off some writing skills), then here are some suggestions for supplemental essays:

  • How have your experiences shaped who you are today? (This may be an appropriate topic for any college.)

Carleton College

Carleton College is a private liberal arts college located in Northfield, Minnesota. The school was founded in 1866 and is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 colleges in the country. The school is known for its STEM-focused curriculum and its focus on experiential learning opportunities for students. With an admissions acceptance rate of just 19%, Carleton College offers a unique experience that many other schools simply cannot match.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is a private research university located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is one of the leading research institutions in the United States, according to US News & World Report, and a member of the Association of American Universities.

The university offers an undergraduate program with more than 80 majors and minors to choose from. Students can also pursue graduate degrees at Case Western Reserve University or study abroad through programs offered by other schools across the globe.

Cornell College

Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It was founded in 1853 and remains affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Cornell College is also a member of two academic organizations: the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and the Annapolis Group (AG), which advocates for liberal arts colleges that focus on undergraduate education.

Cornell College offers bachelor’s degrees in 55 majors, including English, biology, history and philosophy; master’s degrees in 11 fields; an integrated BA/MS program that allows students to earn both degrees within five years; doctoral programs in clinical psychology; and an EdD program focused on educational leadership training.

Cornell University

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is a private Ivy League university that was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. It is one of the fourteen founding members of the Ivy League.

In terms of undergraduate admissions, Cornell has a seven-step process:

  • Apply through Common Application or Universal College Application (UCA). You can also apply through any other system if you prefer; however, you will need to submit your application via the Common App or UCA so that it’s submitted to all eight Ivies simultaneously.
  • Submit transcripts from high school and/or any other institutions you have attended (including community colleges), along with SAT scores for new applicants who have not previously taken standardized tests for college admission purposes, international student test scores if applicable, AP scores if applicable and other required materials (such as teacher recommendations). If applying early decision or early action—or requesting an exemption from submitting standardized test scores—you should do so at this time as well.
  • Receive an interview invitation from your choice of two faculty members at Cornell (iAdmit allows students to connect with faculty members who want to meet them). You must schedule this meeting within two weeks of receiving your invitation letter; failure to do so may result in cancellation of admission offers made on behalf of all students on a waitlist who did not respond quickly enough.”

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. Established in 1769, it is the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The college was named after the town of Dartmouth, Devon, England where its first benefactor John Oldmixon founded a colony in 1638. Its motto is “Lux et veritas” (light and truth).

The main campus is situated between the cities of Burlington and White River Junction with additional campuses in Manchester, NH; Easton and West Lebanon, NH; Glens Falls, NY; Shanghai China; Boston MA; Austin TX and Tampa FL .

Duke University

Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James B. Duke established The Duke Endowment, at which time the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.

Duke’s campus spans over 8,600 acres on three contiguous campuses in Durham as well as a marine lab in Beaufort. The main campus—which comprises approximately 132 buildings—is bordered to the north by the town of East Campus; southwest by eateries and shops along Ninth Street; east by commercial areas along Hillsborough Road; southeast by hospitals on Anderson Street; south toward downtown Durham near Main Street; west toward residential neighborhoods surrounding South Campus Village and past Memorial Hall.[11]

These top colleges have streamlined the application process, eliminating one more step to apply

If you’re a high school student who has been dreaming of the day you’ll be able to apply to your dream college, we have some good news: the days of having to submit supplemental essays may be coming to an end. Some top colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale and Georgetown University are eliminating this step in their admissions processes in favor of requiring applicants to submit a single application. This means that students can bypass the headache of writing multiple essays on top of all their other schoolwork—and just focus on getting good grades and SAT scores instead!

The streamlined application process is part of an ongoing effort by top schools to make applying easier for applicants. According to The Guardian, Harvard University will eliminate both its short-answer essay questions as well as its supplemental essay questions starting next year; instead they will require applicants only submit one essay during their senior year that addresses how they plan on contributing positively towards society upon graduation from college. Yale University has also eliminated its long-form essay question but still asks for two shorter responses about why you want or deserve admission there (one focused on academics and one focused on extracurricular activities). While these changes may seem subtle at first glance (and may not feel like much), eliminating one more step in becoming accepted into these top schools gives aspiring students more time


While these top schools are not the only ones to no longer require supplemental essays, they are some of the most prestigious institutions in the country. Their decisions to do away with this part of their application process reflects how colleges today are looking for students who can demonstrate their academic and personal strengths through their writing. As such, it makes sense that they have decided to cut out this final step—and hopefully other colleges will follow suit.

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