Not sure whether you need to complete the essay portion of the SAT? Check out our list of which colleges require SAT essay for admission consideration.
Studying for the SAT is tough and can be even more challenging when you need to add a test category to your study list. As a result, the College Board (the company that creates the SAT) is phasing out the essay writing portion of the SAT. While the standardized test’s multiple-choice writing and language section remains a requirement, the essay portion of the test is currently optional. Soon, the essay portion of the SAT will no longer be available (SAT subject tests are also on their way out, according to The College Board).
In order to decide whether you’ll complete the optional SAT essay, you must consider a few different factors, including your writing skills, your possible writing score, and whether the top colleges on your list require or recommend that you complete the essay writing portion of the SAT as part of the admissions process. If you’re a talented writer, showing off your writing abilities by taking the essay test may help Ivy League schools (like Harvard, Yale, and Cornell) see that you have more to offer than just your GPA, other test scores, and extracurricular activities.
Taking the SAT writing test can be particularly smart if you’re applying to colleges with an essay requirement as part of the application process. Keep reading to find out which colleges require SAT writing essays.
- 11 Colleges That Require The SAT Essay For Admission Consideration
- 1. Benedictine University
- 2. City University London
- 3. Delaware State University
- 4. DeSales University
- 5. Dominican University of California
- 6. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
- 7. Howard University
- 8. John Wesley University
- 9. Martin Luther College
- 10. United States Military Academy (West Point)
- 11. Western Carolina University
- Colleges That Recommend The SAT Essay For Admission Consideration
- Frequently Asked Questions
11 Colleges That Require The SAT Essay For Admission Consideration
1. Benedictine University
Benedictine University is a school that offers classes in both Lisle, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Students have the option to go to school in person or online. The average GPA for incoming students is 3.4, although students who take harder classes (such as Advanced Placement courses) may be able to gain admission with a lower GPA. The school also considers all portions of a student’s SAT score report to determine whether they gain admission.
2. City University London
Are you interested in studying abroad? The City University London has campuses in both London and Dubai and requires that applicants take the essay portion of the SAT to be considered for admission. The school boasts a high level of acceptance for international applicants, making this school a smart choice for those who are interested in going through their undergraduate experience across the pond.
3. Delaware State University
Delaware State University requires that students complete the SAT essay portion as part of their admissions process. Students must also have a GPA of at least 2.0 and an overall SAT score of at least 800 or an ACT score of at least 17. Students must have a grade of a C or better in at least 19-course units required by the university for admission consideration.
4. DeSales University
Located in Pennsylvania, DeSales looks at several factors when considering its admissions decisions. The school uses a rolling admissions process, meaning there is no deadline by which students must submit their applications. Seniors in high school are encouraged to apply early in the school year. While DeSales requires the SAT and the essay portion of the test for students working to gain admission for the Fall 2022 school year, they are making the test optional for students moving forward (but may require an admissions interview if a student chooses not to take the SAT or ACT).
5. Dominican University of California
Ranked as one of the Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Dominican University of California requires students to submit both their scores from the writing portion of the SAT and a personal essay. Some students may be eligible to apply under the school’s test-optional policy. In addition to submitting test scores, students must show proof of successful completion of 15 units of college prep classes, which are to include US government, US history, college prep math, lab science, international language, and English.
6. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
FAMU requires the submission of SAT essay writing scores and a writing sample for admission consideration. SAT scores can also help FAMU students earn consideration for the school’s University Honors Center. To be considered, students must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and a score of 27 on the ACT or 1200 on the SAT. Students must also include two letters of recommendation as a part of their application package.
7. Howard University
Howard University requires students applying to joint degree programs (like BA/JD and BS/MD programs) to submit test scores for the SAT writing portion. Students not applying to joint programs are no longer required to submit standardized test scores. While the essay portion of the exam is not required for these students, taking the essay portion may help allow students to showcase their writing skills. Students applying to joint degree programs must also submit multiple essays as a part of the application process.
8. John Wesley University
In North Carolina, John Wesley University is a minor theological school in the Carolina University educational system. Established in 1903, the school has a long-standing tradition of excellence and positivity, training the next generation of spiritual leaders to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve. This interdenominational school welcomes people from various Christian faiths, inviting them to learn more about how they can serve and lead. The school requires that students complete the writing portion of the SAT as a part of the admissions process.
9. Martin Luther College
Martin Luther College is a religious university in Minnesota that requires students to submit their SAT writing scores as a part of their application. Students must also submit their high school transcripts, a letter of recommendation from their home pastor, and a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher. Students at Martin Luther enjoy the small-school environment, with just 633 undergraduates on campus.
10. United States Military Academy (West Point)
West Point is known for its intensity and ability to churn out leaders, and applicants must have strong SAT or ACT scores, including in the writing section. West Point admissions are intensely competitive, with just 10% of students gaining an admission offer. A high GPA and excellent SAT or ACT scores aren’t enough for students to gain an admissions offer from West Point. Students who are offered admission typically also have excellent leadership skills, superior writing skills, and letters of recommendation that speak to their ability to stand out from the crowd. Applicants to West Point must complete a personal statement as part of their application package.
11. Western Carolina University
Applicants to Western Carolina University must submit their ACT or SAT essay scores to be considered for admission. Applicants must also submit their high school transcripts and transcripts for any early college coursework. Not all applicants are required to submit personal essays as a part of the admissions process, but specific majors may require submission. Students may use an optional personal essay to describe any circumstances they’d like to explain on their transcripts. Some applicants may also be required to submit reference letters from teachers or other leaders, speaking to the student’s ability to perform at a high academic level. You might also find these SAT essay examples helpful.
Colleges That Recommend The SAT Essay For Admission Consideration
It can be tough to decide whether it makes sense to take the essay portion of the SAT if it’s not required as a part of the admissions package for your desired schools. If you’re struggling to decide whether it makes sense to take this portion of the test, look at the schools below to see if any of them recommend (not require) the essay portion of the SAT. If your desired schools recommend that you take the test, it can’t hurt to take it, check out your score, and work with your guidance counselor to decide whether it makes sense to submit your SAT essay score as a part of your application package.
- Allegheny College
- California State university
- Central Michigan University
- Colorado School of Mines
- Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
- Duke University
- Eastern Illinois University
- Five Towns College
- George Washington University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Greenville University
- Gwynedd Mercy University
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico: Barranquitas Campus
- Julliard School
- Lehigh University
- Mercy College
- Montana Technological University
- Oregon State University
- Rutgers University
- Texas A&M University
Looking for more? Check out these SAT writing tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the SAT essay required for college admission?
The short answer: it depends on the school. While many schools are following the lead of The College Board and phasing out the SAT essay portion requirement, some are not. You must check the admission requirements for your desired schools as you near the application deadline, as many schools are wrestling with the decision of whether to require the SAT essay.
If some of the schools you’re considering applying to currently require the essay portion of the test, it’s a good idea to take it just in case you need to score down the line. Taking the test won’t hurt your applications, but you’ll have your score in your back pocket if one of the schools you’re applying to needs it for an admissions decision.
Can you take the SAT essay in Spanish?
Unfortunately, the SAT and ACT require that students write the essay portion of the test in English. In addition, testing requirements cite that while the directions to the SAT can be given to students in Spanish, the test itself (and the essay response) are only permitted in English.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!