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Schools With Automatic Admissions Criteria.

If the thought of writing a college essay fills you with terror, you might be wondering: are there any colleges that don't require essays?

Key Takeaways: Colleges That Don't Require Essays.

If you're reading this article, you're clearly worried about writing application essays for one reason or another. Maybe you're concerned about having enough time to finish everything. Or maybe you think your writing is terrible.

No essay, no tears!

So how can you find college applications without essays? Here are some places to start:

How to Find Colleges That Don't Require Essays.

Note that these are far from the only no-essay college applications —just some of the most notable. Follow our guidelines above for finding additional essay-free colleges.

#1: You Want to Apply to the Most Selective Schools.

For schools that use the Common App, Coalition App, or Universal College App, you can generally use one essay for all your colleges. Some schools might require additional supplemental essays, though, so be sure to look that up in advance to avoid being blindsided later.

In general, college essays help schools get a sense of you as a person—beyond your academic record, GPA, and test scores. They give you a chance to clearly articulate your goals and also give admissions officers a better idea of how you'll fit within the school's community. Finally, essays are helpful because they provide schools with concrete evidence of your writing ability.

Student and Parent Forum.

The majority of college applicants are high school seniors, and most of the college application advice out there is aimed at them. But what do you do if you don't fall into this narrow category? Our eBook on how to prepare for and apply to college as a nontraditional student will walk you through everything you need to know , from the coursework you should have under your belt to how to get letters of recommendation when you're not a high school senior.

A school that has criteria for automatic admission (e.g., if you live in-state and have a particular class rank, GPA, and/or test score profile) might not require applicants who meet the automatic criteria to submit essays with their applications.

However, there are many colleges that don't require essays for admissions. What are some reasons why? Let's take a look at the three biggest ones:

#3: You Have Special Circumstances to Explain.

Local community colleges do not require essays for enrollment, since most allow anyone to enroll. Some even have automatic transfer agreements with local four-year universities. However, if you want to transfer to a particular four-year university after you finish at a community college, you might very well have to write an essay—so you could just be putting off the inevitable!

The most selective colleges usually do require essays Scholarship applications for particular schools often require essays If you have special circumstances to explain, plan on writing an essay Strong writers should write essays to put their best foot forward Word limits are often very short—think 250-500 words (that's just a few paragraphs!) You're allowed (and encouraged) to get help with brainstorming ideas and revising drafts If you use an application system that can send applications to multiple schools, such as the Common App, Coalition App, or Universal College App, you might be able to write just one essay for all the schools you're applying to.

There's value in telling your story to the admissions committee.

If it happens that all the schools you want to apply to don't require essays, then great! But overall, I'd say don't let the fact that a school has one (or even two) essays stop you from applying if you're genuinely interested in going there.

They need to use those limited resources for coffee.

The truth, though, is that a huge number of these schools don't require essays for admission.

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