What students need to know about the Coalition Application
The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is a brand new college application and is causing a lot of buzz among students, parents, and guidance counselors. Per the Coalition’s website, this new application was “developed to improve the college application process for all students as they search for and apply to their perfect college. The platform provides a single, centralized toolkit for students to organize, build, and refine their applications to numerous institutions.”
One of the big reasons that the Coalition Application has emerged as an alternative application is that the Common Application has had its share of issues and colleges don’t want to put their eggs in one basket. So now, we have the Coalition Application, which promises a better solution (especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds).
The Coalition Application offers a few unique and interesting things for students:
- All of the member schools are institutions that meet full demonstrated financial need for all domestic admitted students AND graduate over 70% of their students within six years.
- The Coalition “locker” which allows students to upload research papers, art supplements, videos, and other materials to their application.
- Guidance counselors and mentors will be able to give you feedback within the application.
This sounds interesting, but what does it mean for me?
For the near future, the Coalition will not create any radical shifts in undergraduate admissions. It will be a solid alternative to the Common Application, but many schools are not even accepting the Coalition until the 2017-2018 admissions cycle.
The consensus among admissions deans is that there will be no “advantage” for students applying with the Coalition as opposed to the Common Application or other applications. Because the Coalition is so new, I would recommend that students who are rising seniors forgo the Coalition and stick to the Common Application for the upcoming year. As with any new technology, there is no telling how smooth the rollout of the Coalition will be and it is a safer move to stick with the Common App, which the colleges know best.
For students who are rising sophomore or juniors, it may be worthwhile to create an account and see what the Coalition is like. As it is so new, there is still much that guidance counselors have to learn about the Coalition, so stay tuned!
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About Will Geiger
Will Geiger is the founder of PrepHound, an online platform that guides students through the college admissions process with 1:1 coaching. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College and has also worked as a college counselor at a private high school.
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