Colleges that Require the SAT Essay in 2021-2022

The SAT Essay holds more authority than you know. Learn about the SAT Essay, colleges that require the SAT Essay, and more

TCM Staff

23rd October 2020

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a centralized examination, incorporating evaluation on four grounds, critical reading, writing, Mathematics, and the optional SAT essay. 

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An integral query that may strike an applicant is ‘what colleges require the SAT essay?' According to current statistics, as many as 20 colleges, and universities exact the requirement for the SAT essay (in addition to the subject tests). The University of North Texas, Molloy College, Delaware State University are a few of the educational institutions that consider the SAT essay as an admission pre-requisite.

Branching is an essential (though optional) element of the SAT, it extends the window for additional opportunities during college admissions. Depending on your choice of college/university, you may apply to appear for the SAT essay test. 

As a necessity for many educational institutions in the United States, the SAT essay has proven to be a platform for concrete, authentic, and standard assay of a candidate’s credibilities. 

Here is our take on the schools that require the SAT essay as a part of their admission assessment. 

Colleges that require the SAT Essay

The last few decades have witnessed a substantial redundancy of the SAT essay for college admissions. However, this dwindling authority does not equate to it’s worth. Though redundant, the SAT essay is highly recommended by all educational institutions. Among the ‘elite’, the University of California continues to necessitate the SAT essay as an (indispensable) segment of its admission criteria. Additionally, 18 private and public educational institutions (in the U.S) seek the essay.  The Ivy League schools have dropped their requirement for the SAT essay, concentrating entirely on the SAT subject tests. Similarly, many Liberal Arts institutions have forgone the pre-condition for the essay. 

We have consolidated the list of educational institutions that require the SAT essay.


Educational Institution


The University of California (all schools)


Benedictine University


Delaware State University


DeSales University


Dominican University of California


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University


Howard University


John Wesley University


Kentucky State University


Martin Luther College


Molloy College


Schreiner University


Soka University of America


Southern California Institute of Architecture


Texas A&M University (Galveston)


United States Military Academy 


University of North Texas


West Virginia University Institute of Technology


Western Carolina University

Additionally, there are educational institutions that may not enforce the SAT Essay is a determinant factor, but strongly recommend it. Here is the list of schools that recommend the SAT Essay - 

The SAT Essay - A bird’s eye view 

The SAT Essay is a supplementary segment of the centralized Scholastic Aptitude Test. There is no compulsion on uptaking of the essay element and is often a ‘recommended’ requisite for college admissions. The SAT was redesigned in 2016 to include the optional SAT essay. 

The test evaluates the candidate’s comprehensive, writing, and time management attributes. An argumentative passage is laid out for the applicant to study, analyze, and summarize. The College Board has assembled sample SAT essay prompts for assistance. Here are a few quick facts on the SAT Essay that may assist in the cognizance of the test format.

  • The SAT essay is optional. You may either decide for or against appearing it depending on your choice of college

  • The candidate is allotted 50 minutes to read, analyze, and answer the prompt

  • The candidate must invest $64.50 for the SAT Essay registration

  • The SAT essay score ranges from 2 to 8. The evaluation is concentrated on the candidate’s writing, comprehension, and reading skills

  • The test score in exclusive of the subject tests, and does not impact the composite SAT score

Should you opt for the SAT essay?

The SAT Essay, though optional, is highly recommended by many educational institutions. However, the decision on the uptake of the essay test is directly proportional to an institution’s requirement. Some schools entirely exempt the SAT Essay score during the admissions. 

The acceptance is predominantly factored by the SAT subject test scores. On the contrary, many educational institutions either state requirements (for the easy score) or deem it as recommended. It is highly recommended to appear in the SAT Essay for it grants larger coverage during the college applications. The choice of applying for the SAT essay is hinged by several factors including,

  • The requirements of the applied institution

  • If the college/university deems the essay as a recommended condition 

  • The impact of the SAT Essay score on Federal financial aid, college scholarships, grants, and loans

  • The contribution of the SAT Essay score to your college application 

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