Colleges With No Application Fee and Colleges that Don't Require Essays

Colleges with no application fee and no essay requirements help make the college application process a little bit easier. It’s stressful enough searching for various schools that offer your desired degree, but then you have to fund applying to four or five different schools.

The schools listed on this page take away some of the financial stress of applying to college. However, this is not a complete list of colleges with no application fee and no essay. Instead, this is just a sample to provide you a starting point for researching various schools in order to find the perfect school for you.

Fun Fact

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average cost of application fees provided by the 1,068 ranked colleges in spring 2015 was $41.

Colleges with No Application Fee

Why Do Colleges Charge an Application Fee?

Colleges charge an application fee to pay for processing and reviewing all of the applications. While some schools use an electronic verification system to review applications, there still needs to be a human admissions specialist to take part in the selection process.

Some students are surprised to learn that schools charge a fee for applying to some colleges, and most parents are surprised at how much the schools actually charge. However, it is common practice for schools to charge an application fee, even if there are many colleges with no application fee and no essay.

If there were no application fees, some students may take advantage and apply to hundreds of schools, especially now that the Common Application makes it so much easier to apply to multiple schools. But each of those schools would still need to pay their employees' salaries and for the electronic verification systems to process those applications.

Why Offer No Application Fee?

Some colleges have no application fees because the money they gained from the applications was negligible. Other schools lift the application fee to encourage students to apply online and only charge the fee to those who print out the application and mail it in.

More often than not, many colleges drop the application fee because they don’t want to present any more challenges to applicants. It’s hard enough trying to find the perfect school for you without having to budget for all of the application fees.

By not charging an application fee, more students tend to apply to the school, and then the school is able to show their commitment to offering access to everyone.

3 Colleges With No Application Fee

While there are plenty of colleges with no application fee and no essay, the list is broken into two categories to provide you with a variety of options to find the perfect school for you.

Below is a list of some colleges with no application fee. Each has a short description and some admissions requirements, which many include an essay. Keep in mind that the admissions requirements for each school may change and that not all of the requirements have been included. For instance, some schools require that you completed specific courses while in high school, which may or may not be listed below.

Check with each school before applying for all of their current application requirements.

1. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University strives to improve their student’s lives through preeminent research, education, and creative endeavors. With a physical campus located in Cleveland’s University Circle and online programs that offer convenience to students, Case Western capitalizes on the power of collaboration through active learning.

The undergraduate admissions requirements include:

  • High School Transcript (4 years of English, 3 years of math, and others)
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Essay
  • Optional Interview

Some of the degrees offered at Case Western Reserve University are:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Medical Physiology
  • Organizational Behavior

2. University of St. Thomas

With a rich history of academic achievement centered on the belief that education is the path to enlightenment, the University of St. Thomas is a Miami-based institution of higher learning. The school has a 50-year history of scholastic excellence, community leadership, and faith-focused values.

The admissions requirements include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official ACT or SAT Scores
  • Official Transcripts
  • Writing Sample
  • Letters of Recommendation (suggested, but not required)

Some of the degrees at the University of St. Thomas are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Economics
  • Sociology and Criminal Justice
  • Physics

3. Bradley University

With more than 185 academic programs in eight schools, Bradley University has a long history of helping students and their communities thrive. The school offers students a vibrant community, a history of success, and a commitment to its core values.

The admissions requirements include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • 1-2 Page Personal Statement or Essay
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation (recommended, but not required)

Bradley University offers degrees such as:

  • Accounting
  • Civil Engineering and Construction
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapy and Health Science

7 Colleges With No Application Fee and No Essay

As opposed to the schools listed above that offer no application fee but have some form of essay or writing sample as part of their admissions requirements, below is a list of colleges with no application fee and no essay requirement. Each of the schools has a short description and lists some admissions requirements.

1. Tulane University

Tulane University was founded in 1834 and is one of the top research universities in the country. Through one-of-a-kind learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, Tulane graduates are uniquely prepared for the challenges of the real world.

Admissions requirements at Tulane include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • SAT or ACT Scores
  • Portfolio or Audition Materials (Optional for visual or performing arts programs)

Some programs at Tulane include:

  • Architecture
  • Computer Science
  • Management
  • Public Health

2. University of Scranton

By combining a Jesuit, Catholic tradition with a cutting-edge curriculum, the University of Scranton is consistently ranked as one of the top colleges in the country.

As one of the colleges with no application fee and no essay, some of the admissions requirements at Scranton include:

  • Complete Application
  • Official High School Transcript
  • SAT or ACT Scores
  • Letter of Recommendation from Guidance Counselor

The University of Scranton offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Some of the graduate degrees include:

3. DePaul University

Founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission, which follows the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul, DePaul University has more than 23,000 enrolled students every year. These students come from all 50 states and from 114 countries around the world, which is why the school won the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine in 2014.

The admissions requirements at DePaul University include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • ACT or SAT Scores (optional)
  • Letter of Recommendation from Guidance Counselor

DePaul University offers a variety of degrees, including:

  • Animation
  • Business Administration
  • Elementary Education
  • Public Relations and Advertising

4. Kettering University

Kettering University prepares students to be leaders by linking transformative experiential learning environments to rigorous academic programs. Kettering strives to be the first choice for students seeking to make a better world through technological innovation.

As one of the colleges with no application fee and no essay, some of the admissions requirements at Kettering include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • SAT or ACT Scores

Some of the degrees available at Kettering University include:

  • Applied Physics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry / Chemistry
  • Computer Science

5. Taylor University

Taylor University is a liberal arts institution that is committed to the lordship of Jesus Christ and evangelical Christianity. Each course challenges you spiritually as you’re faced with potential ethical dilemmas within your future career.

While there is no essay required for admissions at Taylor University, the school does require that you tell them how God has been working in your life. This can be through an essay, an in-person or over-the-phone interview, or through an uploaded interview.

Other admissions requirements include:

  • ACT or SAT Scores
  • High School Transcript
  • Recommendation from Pastor, Mentor, or Any Unrelated Adult

Taylor University offers a number of degrees, including:

  • Art History
  • Sport Management
  • Legal Studies
  • Interpersonal and Public Communication

6. Maryville University

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university. Class sizes at the school are kept small to enhance learning and ensure each student is given personal attention. This is one example of how Maryville continues to make their students its top priority.

Another way is that it’s one of the colleges with no application fee and no essay.

The admissions requirements at Maryville include:

  • High School Diploma
  • High School GPA of 2.5 or Higher

Students who don’t meet the above requirements are handled on a case-by-case basis and may have to perform more admissions tasks, such as an interview or additional testing.

Maryville University offers more than 75 degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels. Some of the graduate degrees available include:

7. University of Dayton

Founded in 1850, the University of Dayton is a top-tier research university that offers bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees, as well as a number of certificate programs. Since Dayton readily adapts and changes to the times, it is always ready to apply new technologies to learning. The university is also deeply committed to the common good of its community.

Some of the admissions requirements include:

  • Completed Application
  • Official Transcript
  • Official ACT or SAT Scores

The University of Dayton offers degrees such as:

  • Computer Engineering
  • Physical Therapy
  • Communication
  • Early Childhood Education

Find the Perfect School for You

Why pay application fees or write essays when there are plenty of colleges with no application fee and no essay?

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page, including those in the list above, to read program descriptions and contact the schools directly for more information. You can even learn how to apply to your favorites today.

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