Students searching for the best colleges that don’t require essays are in luck, as many competitive programs don’t have this requirement.
Instead of essays, the colleges on this list will consider your transcript and high school activities to decide whether you’re the right fit for your program.
To help you narrow down your choices, we found seven top-ranked educational institutions to consider when it comes time for college enrollment.
We ranked the schools from lowest annual cost to highest, and each of them meets the following criteria:
- An average yearly cost not exceeding $19,000
- A median starting salary of no lower than $35,000
- Accredited programs by recognized bodies
7 Best Colleges That Don’t Require Essays
1. California State University
4 Year; Los Angeles, CA
Average Annual Cost: $3,302
California State University is a top-ranked public university located in the heart of Los Angeles.
Students can explore their field of interest while learning in one of the most vibrant communities in the state.
Fortunately, this school does not require you to write an essay with your application, whether you’re mailing it in or submitting it online.
However, there are requirements for all prospective students to meet, which include:
- Have a qualifying GPA of 2.5 or higher, depending on your program
- Graduate from high school or earn a GED
- Complete courses required for your college program
Along with your immediate transcript, California State University considers other factors during the admissions review process.
They will consider the number of related courses you’ve taken, your household income, your work experience, and your extracurriculars.
It can be highly beneficial to look at their multifactor review process to see which criteria you should meet to increase your chances of acceptance.
2. Kentucky State University
4 Year; Frankfort, KY
Average Annual Cost: $7,343
Kentucky State University has many unique programs for students to consider enrolling in when choosing this school.
Not only is it the first HBCU in Kentucky, but it also has a small and diverse campus for students to enjoy.
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, you’ll have more of a mentorship to help you develop into a well-trained professional.
When applying to Kentucky State University, you won’t have to submit an essay with your application.
There are only three components required, which include:
- Your official high school transcript with your GPA noted
- Optional SAT/ACT scores
- Your online admissions application
It’s important to note that, like many other programs, there are different admissions requirements for different students.
For example, transfer students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and submit their standardized testing scores.
3. University of Mississippi
4 Year; University, MS
Average Annual Cost: $12,161
When applying to the University of Mississippi, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind.
First, the school does not require you to write an essay along with your application.
However, your admission requirements will vary depending on the type of degree you’re aiming for and the program you’re joining.
For example, a standard undergraduate student will have different admission requirements than a law school student.
Be sure to review the specific requirements for the degree you’ll be working towards.
As a first-year student, the most important part of your application the school will review is your GPA.
In some programs, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.20 if they reside in Mississippi and are applying to the school.
Other programs require a GPA of 2.00 or 2.50, which may vary.
You also need to complete units from the Mississippi College Preparatory Curriculum before applying.
4. West Virginia University
4 Year; Morgantown, WV
Average Annual Cost: $13,355
West Virginia University is a fantastic school to consider if you want a post-secondary program to turn your interests into a lifelong passion.
Their extensive list of competitive learning pathways is fantastic for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
Fortunately, their application process is just as straightforward as other top-ranking institutions and does not require submitting an essay.
At West Virginia University, they have a test-optional application for the 2023-2024 academic school year.
Aside from this slight change, students will need to ensure their high school transcripts meet the needs of their program and the school.
Ideally, students will require the following:
- Four English units
- Three preparatory mathematics units
- Four social studies or fine arts units
- Three science units
- Two world language or American Sign Language units
As mentioned, there isn’t a requirement for test scores to be submitted with your application.
However, the school encourages applicants to include them, as they could make you more competitive.
With the introduction of the school’s “no harm policy,” your test scores will not be used unless it will be in your favor.
5. University of New Mexico
4 Year; Albuquerque, NM
Average Annual Cost: $14,424
The University of New Mexico has a stunning campus with several schools of thought to help you with your future career.
Students can enroll in Schools of Engineering, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and more.
Fortunately, the application process is easy, requiring students to submit their school transcripts and other documents.
Students applying to the University of New Mexico must graduate from a high school meeting New Mexico’s curriculum standards.
You will also need to prove you have taken two sequential units of a second language outside of English.
As expected, your GPA will be considered, as it’s one of the largest components of the admissions process.
The University of New Mexico is also a great school that helps non-traditional students with post-secondary learning.
Even if you haven’t graduated from high school, you can use your GED and ACT/SAT scores for admission.
You must also send in your final transcripts to help you apply for specific scholarships.
6. Eastern Michigan University
4 Year; Ypsilanti, MI
Average Annual Cost: $15,127
Eastern Michigan University is home to over 200 majors across five academic colleges.
You’ll work alongside world-renowned faculty members in your classes while making lifelong connections with your peers.
Paired with a fantastic student life, the academics at this school are a remarkable choice for any student.
As a prospective learner, you’ll be glad to know Eastern Michigan University doesn’t require essays for admission.
Instead, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.0
- If you have a GPA of 2.75+, you do not have to submit test scores
- Students with GPAs under 2.49 will be required to submit SAT/ACT scores
- You must submit all official transcripts with your application
7. Iowa State University
4 Year; Ames, IA
Average Annual Cost: $16,002
With its competitive curriculum and fast-paced courses, Iowa State University can make your future career dreams a reality.
Students can explore anything from journalism to psychology, opening the door to several profitable careers.
When it comes time for application, there won’t be any need to spend days working on a three-page essay to submit.
Iowa State University is test-optional for first-year applicants, meaning you can choose whether to submit your ACT or SAT scores.
That said, it can always be beneficial to submit them if you’ve scored well.
Without standardized test scores, the school will use an Alternative Admission Index score.
The AAI takes your high school experience and determines whether it meets the criteria for further schooling.
You will also need to consider the specific requirements for each program.
For example, math students will require at least three years of math courses, including algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra.
Find the Best Colleges That Don’t Require Essays Today!
When you’re preparing to apply to the best colleges that don’t require essays, you’ll have to put a lot of faith into your transcripts and test scores.
These colleges often put the academic excellence of their student body first, so they are often the most competitive.
Fortunately for most, removing the essay portion makes applying much easier.
You’ll never go wrong with the seven educational institutions we listed and reviewed above.
Pick the school that meets your specific needs and goals, but make sure you meet all its requirements.