Applying to College through the Coalition Application

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Applying to College through the Coalition Application

Coalition Application

Whether you’re just starting out or halfway through the college admission process, many students and parents may be unfamiliar with The Coalition Application. Because it’s not as well known, many high school students often confuse the Coalition Application with the Common Application. However, each application has a different set of standards. To help give students a crash course for the Coalition Application, the admission experts at TestPrepScore compiled this helpful guide to answer your most important questions.

What is the Coalition Application?

Introduced in 2016, the Coalition Application is an alternate college application platform to the Common Application that students can complete through a free online portal. In a better attempt to provide a seamless online experience for students of all incomes, the Coalition offers three free tools for students to use as early as 9th grade:

  1. Virtual Locker: This is your private, unlimited digital space where you can collect and organize important materials, such as documents, photos, and videos, as a record of your high school experience.
  2. Collaboration Space: A virtual area in which you can connect with trusted adults, like counselors, teachers, and family members, and ask for their input on your college preparations.
  3. Application Portal: The ability to get a head start and apply as early as the ninth grade on the competition.

The Coalition for College is comprised of a diverse collection of renowned colleges and universities across the U.S., committed to making college a reality for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. The Coalition for College achieves these goals through a set of free, online college-planning tools that helps students learn about, prepare for, and apply to college. Keep in mind that the Coalition App is not intending to replace the Common App.

What is included in the Coalition Application?

Like the Common App, the Coalition App requires applicants to submit information about themselves, their family, their high school, test scores (if required), extracurricular activities, honors & awards, and much more. However, answering those questions once will cause them to automatically populate in every college application you submit.

Does the Coalition Application Have an Essay?

Students may also craft a Coalition App personal essay. Even if a college doesn’t require an essay, students may submit a personal essay if they wish. Taking the time to craft this statement can give admission officers greater insight into the student.

With recommended words counts of 500 to 650 words, students may choose from five prompts:

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give to a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

What is the Cost of the Coalition Application?

Like the Common App, the Coalition App is free for students to use. But students must pay additional application fees for each school they apply to, per the schools’ application regulations. Fee waivers are granted immediately for a student who meets one of these four criteria:

  • Receives free or reduced-cost lunches at school
  • Participates in one of the federal TRIO programs
  • Qualifies for fee waivers from ACT, College Board, or NACAC
  • Is a veteran or active member of the U.S. Armed Forces

Furthermore, access to the Virtual Locker, Collaborative Space, and Coalition Application is free. No student, regardless of income, needs to pay for the Coalition tools and support.

Which Colleges Accept the Coalition Application?

The Coalition will only accept colleges who prove that they provide substantial support (through financial aid, scholarships, or other means) to low-income or underrepresented students. Most of the schools included in the Coalition App are also included in the Common App. In addition to the eight Ivy League colleges, the Coalition for College encompasses over 130 universities such as:

  • Elon University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Rutgers University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Northwestern University
  • Northeastern University
  • Duke University
  • John Hopkins University
  • Purdue University
  • Stanford University
  • Michigan State University

Apply to Your No.1 School Through the Coalition Application

Ultimately, using the Coalition Application over the Common App is simply a matter of personal preference. Just remember that that the Coalition App focuses more on equality and diversity. We invite you to use this guide as you progress through the college application process. For more tips and trends related to all college admissions, please subscribe to our blog.