Should I Take the Essay on the SAT/ACT?

US Colleges And Universities that Require or Recommend the Essay Portion of the ACT/SAT For Admission.

By: Jason Robinovitz | Last Updated: July 16, 2018

We're asked this question all the time, ultimately, it depends on where you're applying. Thanks to our friend Cignas Vanni for compiling a fairly comprehensive list of schools that require or recommend submitting an essay from the SAT/ACT. FYI, as far as colleges go, "recommend" means "require." Without further adieu, here's the list:  

  • Abilene Christian University (TX) – recommend
  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (NY) – recommend
  • Amherst College (MA) – recommend
  • Augsburg College (MN) – require
  • Berry College (GA) – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
  • Chapman University (CA) – recommend
  • Claremont McKenna College (CA) – require
  • College of Charleston (SC) – recommend
  • College of the Ozarks (MO) – recommend ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
  • Duke University (NC) – require
  • Eastern Illinois University – recommend
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) – recommend SAT, neither require nor recommend ACT
  • Manhattan College (NY) – require; used for placement in writing courses, not for admission to school
  • Martin Luther College (MN) – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
  • Michigan State University – recommend
  • Montana State University -- recommend
  • Montana Tech – recommend
  • Occidental College (CA) – recommend
  • Oregon State University – recommend
  • Rhode Island College – require ACT, neither require nor recommend SA (note: this is not the University of Rhode Island)
  • Rutgers University Camden (NJ) -- recommend
  • Rutgers University New Brunswick (NJ) – recommend
  • Rutgers University Newark (NJ) – recommend
  • Saint Anselm College (NH) – recommend
  • Saint Michael’s College (VT) – recommend
  • Saint Norbert College (WI) -- recommend
  • Sam Houston State University (TX) – require
  • Schreiner University (TX) – require
  • Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania – recommend
  • Soka University of America (CA) – require
  • Stanford University (CA) – recommend
  • State University of New York at Buffalo – recommend
  • Stony Brook University (NY) – recommend
  • Texas State University – recommend ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
  • United States Coast Guard Academy (CT) – recommend
  • United States Military Academy (NY) – require
  • University of Akron (OH) – recommend ACT, neither require nor recommend SAT
  • University of California Berkeley – require
  • University of California Davis -- require
  • University of California Irvine – require
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – require
  • University of California Merced – require
  • University of California Riverside – require
  • University of California San Diego – require
  • University of California Santa Barbara – require
  • University of California Santa Cruz – require
  • University of Evansville (IN) -- require
  • University of La Verne (CA) – recommend
  • University of Mary Hardin Baylor (TX) – require
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst -- recommend
  • University of Miami (FL) – require
  • University of Michigan – require
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – recommend
  • University of Minnesota, Morris -- require
  • University of Montana – recommend
  • University of Montana Western – require ACT, recommend SAT
  • University of North Texas – require
  • VanderCook College of Music (IL) -- require
  • Webb Institute of Naval Architecture (NY) – recommend
  • Wellesley College (MA) – require ACT; neither require nor recommend SAT 

NOTE:  All information current with the updating of this list on July 11, 2018.  Be sure to check with each college to which you apply before you register for any standardized test as requirements can change


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