What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Will I have to write an essay for the Common App?

I've been hearing a lot about the dreaded college essay, and I'm getting anxious. Do all colleges on the Common App require an essay, or are there some that don't?

8 months ago

The majority of colleges on the Common Application will require you to submit at least one essay—the main Common App personal statement. This essay is a central component of your application, as it's your #1 opportunity to showcase elements of your personality and life experiences that might not come across just by looking at your transcript. It's also a chance to show off your excellent writing skills!

However, there are some colleges that do not require the Common App essay. It's important to check each school's admission requirements on their website, or in the Common App itself for the most accurate information. Remember that even if some schools don't require the Common App essay, they might still require supplemental essays or short answers that are specific to their institution. So as you gather your list of colleges, be sure to note the different writing requirements for each one.

If you're feeling anxious about the essay writing process, be sure to reach out for guidance—we're here to help! The thought of writing college essays can be a bit overwhelming, but there's a lot of help and resources available to make this process manageable, such as CollegeVine's breakdowns of a particular school's supplemental essays, which you can find on the CollegeVine blog.

8 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.