Community colleges and some state colleges do not require any essays. Many prestigious public universities will have very general personal statements. Privates usually ask general questions as well, but you may have a few additional supplements. These may include short stories about who would you want to spend a day with in a big city or sit next to on a plane ride, a movie about your life, what you did last summer, or a poem, limerick, or haiku about yourself, etc. Privates also ask usually for at least two teacher recommendations, if not more.
See our college planning section for more info on applying to colleges and the application process.
Most community college applications are free. To apply to other state/local universities, it may cost over $25. More prestigious public universities will cost over $50. Private colleges may have applications close to or under $100. These application fees vary from state to state and increase every few years. More and more privates these days are using the Common Application a.k.a. Common App (www.commonapp.org), which is an undergraduate college admission application used to apply to multiple private colleges under one simpler general application.
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