Many top universities are now not requiring applicants to submit the essay scores of both the SAT and the ACT. Why? They say because they do not want this additional expense to deter applicants from applying. But why not just eliminate the SAT and the ACT altogether if they don't want the cost of taking these exams to affect whether or not a student applies. Real reason? They simply want more applicants to apply! Until the College Board (who oversees the SAT) and/or the ACT eliminate the essay portion of the SAT and ACT respectively, top students will continue taking both and will continue sending them to the institutions that they are applying to simply because it will give them an edge.
Please read this article on the latest schools who have "dropped" this section of the scores: