Princeton & Brown Require Graded High School Paper/ Essay for College Admissions

More colleges are requiring graded high school papers/essays for admissions

Future applicants to Princeton have a new requirement for applying: Instead of submitting test scores for the SAT and ACT Writing Sections, applicants must submit a graded paper, written in the previous three years of high school. Details are here and this page leads to a list of FAQs that should answer all of your questions. [If you apply without submitting a graded paper, your application will be accepted but the admissions committee will have “less information” with which to consider you.]

Similarly, Brown has new requirements regarding the writing sections of the SAT and ACT and requests a graded paper, and you can read about how to submit a paper on this webpage. The short answers seems to be: “We prefer that you upload all other supplementary materials to your file after you receive access to your Brown Applicant Portal.”


Several dozen other colleges either require or make optional submitting a graded paper, including Amherst, Sarah Lawrence, Brandeis and Franklin and Marshall. As you study the application requirements for each college, be sure to see if graded papers are now required!

Given the drama of recent events and college admissions officials wanting more relevant information for making informed decisions, additional colleges may require graded papers in humanities subjects – English, social students, and/or history. Please consider this as you write academic essays this year and as you study the colleges you may want to apply to.

I will report on this trend. Please check back and make this one of your questions as you consider where to apply. AND note that your high school papers may be part of your college applications.

Please email me if you have questions or concerns. Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com Or call 1-855-99-ESSAY (East Coast).