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Case Western Supplement Essay

Sometimes you just don’t want to have to mess around with supplements. We get it. If you’re applying to a specialized arts program, an honors program, or for certain scholarships, you probably won’t have a choice since supplements or portfolios are nearly universally mandatory. But if you’re applying for general admission it is quite possible to craft a college list completely devoid of supplements. Not just without optional supplements, because those aren’t really optional, but free of any supplemental essays at all.

Before you jump at avoiding supplements altogether, though, it’s worth reflecting on the purpose of supplements. Supplements are often used by top schools as an additional mechanism for weeding people out, so saying no to supplements can mean saying goodbye to some of the best schools in the country. They are also an additional way of showing a side of you that isn’t quantifiable, like a bonus college essay. If you don’t have super strong test scores or a stellar GPA, well-written supplements can be a way into a school that otherwise would have been a far reach.

However, if you’re looking to add a few more schools to your list but don’t have the bandwidth to take on more writing, schools without supplements can be a great way to beef out your options while staying lean on the work. This isn’t an exhaustive list of Common App schools without supplemental essays, but it’s a collection of the ones we think you should consider if you want to go supplement-free.

Select Universities With No Supplements

  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Fordham University
  • Baylor University
  • Clark University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Delaware
  • Marquette University
  • University of Denver
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • SUNY Binghamton University
  • SUNY Stony Brook University
  • University of Vermont
  • Drexel University
  • SUNY University at Buffalo
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Dayton
  • University of the Pacific
  • Clarkson University
  • University of St. Thomas
  • DePaul University
  • Seton Hall University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology

Select Liberal Arts Schools With No Supplements

  • Middlebury College
  • Colby College
  • Grinnell College
  • Kenyon College
  • Skidmore College
  • Connecticut College
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Gettysburg College
  • Sewanee: University of the South
  • DePauw University
  • Hobart & William Smith Colleges
  • Furman University
  • Denison University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Beloit College
  • Willamette University
  • Allegheny College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Spelman College
  • New College of Florida
  • Luther College
  • Southwestern University
  • Ursinus College
  • Albion College
  • Hope College
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Juniata College
  • Hollins University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Drew University
  • Goucher College
  • Siena College
  • Coe College
  • Hanover College
  • Ripon College
  • Calvin College
  • Susquehanna University
  • Eckerd College

So there they are; some of the best colleges and universities that don’t have a supplement! Not having a supplement changes the application process because you don’t have a chance to make a case for yourself in a school-specific way (like with “why us?” prompts), but, as we said, they can be a great way to round out your college list, especially if you have strong grades and scores.

If you’re overwhelmed by the options, send us a note. We’d love to help you sort through them to create your perfect college list.

Course Requirements

In terms of our academic requirements, it's not only about having a set of required classes under your belt. We look for students who have been successful in a variety of challenging courses, especially those that are above and beyond what’s required for graduation. And we understand every school is different, so we evaluate your transcript specifically against your high school's curriculum.

Prior to high school graduation, we require you to complete a minimum of:

  • 4 years English
  • 3 years math
  • 3 years science (2 must be laboratory science)
  • 3 years social studies
  • 2 years foreign language

If you're interested in engineering or the sciences, we recommend an additional year of math and laboratory science. Leaning more toward the liberal arts? We’d suggest another year of social studies and foreign language.

Standardized Testing

While applicants are not evaluated on standardized tests alone, they are an important criteria for evaluating first-year applicants.

Case Western Reserve University requires first-year applicants to submit either the SAT or ACT, though the writing section of the ACT and the essay section of the SAT are each optional. SAT Subject tests are not required.


We “superscore” our students’ test results, which means we take your best scores on each section of the SAT and ACT. If you took a test more than once, you will be evaluated on the highest score you received in each individual section of the exam.

Here’s a look at admitted student statistics for the Class of 2020:

SAT Scores (middle 50%)

  • Composite    1310–1470
  • Critical Reading    600–720
  • Math    680–770

ACT Scores (middle 50%)

  • Composite (superscore)    30–34
  • English    29–35
  • Math    28–34
  • Reading    30–34
  • Science    29–34


Ordinarily, scores for standardized tests taken in November of your senior year arrive in time for Early Action or Early Decision I deadlines, and scores for tests taken in January arrive in time for Early Decision II or Regular Decision consideration.

To ensure your application can be fully reviewed in time for your chosen decision plan, you should take tests by the following dates:

Early ActionOctober 31
Early Decision IOctober 31
Pre-Professional Scholars ProgramNovember 30
Early Decision IIDecember 31
Regular DecisionDecember 31

High School Results

Though we take a number of factors into account beyond your GPA, test scores or class placement, we do have statistics about students admitted to the Class of 2020:

  • Median GPA: 3.71 (unweighted)
  • 71 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school class
  • 88 percent were in the top 20 percent of their high school class

Admission Essay

All first-year students must complete an essay via the Common or Coalition Application. What you write in your college essay is completely up to you—it should be about conveying who you are to the admission staff. No matter the topic, personalize it. Add a part of you into the piece, and make it genuine.

Interview Tips

Interviews are optional for admission to Case Western Reserve, but many students choose to interview as an opportunity to present themselves and their credentials in a one-on-one environment.

We offer two interview opportunities: on campus with a member of our staff or in your area with a university alumni ambassador.

When we interview potential applicants, our goals are to learn more about you and answer any questions you may have about the university.

So how can you make the most of this time? Here are six tips to help you make your best impression.

  1. Ask questions. When you ask specific questions, it shows your interest in CWRU. Ask about things that are important to you, such as classes, majors, financial aid, residence life, social activities and extracurricular interests.
  2. Anticipate questions the interviewer might ask you. Here are some possibilities:
  • Why are you interested in CWRU?
  • Have you read any good books lately?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • What is your general motivation for going to college?
  1. Know where you are going. Leave home with the address, a contact phone number and a good set of directions to the Office of Undergraduate Admission or the location of your alumni interview.
  2. Wear comfortable but tasteful clothes. You don't need a three-piece suit to make a positive impression, but faded jeans and dirty sneakers may make a negative one.
  3. Arrive early. Give yourself time to relax in the reception area and fill out any forms. On-campus interviewees may want to plan some time to stroll around campus.
  4. Follow up. Thank your interviewer and request his or her business card. When you return home, send the interviewer a thank you note or email and ask any questions that may have come up since the interview.

Art supplements, portfolios and auditions

See art supplements, portfolios and auditions requirements