Recently the Coalition Application announced its plan to help students who do not typically have access to higher education get extra guidance throughout the application process and even throughout their high school careers. This new application, similar to the Common Application, has partnered with approximately 90 schools, including most of the Ivy League, and currently 56 of them will accept applications for the 2016-2017 application cycle.
Since the Common Application already exists and allows students to apply to a much larger number of schools (approximately 600), you may be wondering what exactly the Coalition Application does that the Common Application doesn’t. So here are the basics of the Coalition Application:
1. The Coalition Application is another method for students to apply to college. It does NOT replace the Common Application.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: the Coalition Application will not be something students must use--at least, not this year. Maybe one application at some point in the future will make the other obsolete, but for now, you should treat the two applications like the SAT and the ACT; either one should suffice for a successful college application.
With its various in-site tools, the Coalition Application attempts to separate itself from the Common Application by making the application process easier for students and also more personal. Students can share work, projects, and other documents with counselors, mentors, and teachers. Also, college admission officers have more access to students and can help encourage students.
By comparison, the Common Application is a bit more rigid in structure and mainly allows students to send a single application to many colleges and universities. This can be useful for helping students find the right fit for a post-high school life, but it, too, has its limitations because the Common Application overwhelms application pools.
2. The Coalition Application has tools that are meant for students to begin thinking about college during 9th grade and track their high school progress over four years.
One of the key components of the Coalition Application is the “Locker” tool, which is the place where students can store personal documents from school. Students have unlimited space and can upload files ranging from documents to movies. The goal of “Locker” is that students will upload important documents from the entire span of their high school careers while going through each grade. For example, a 9th grader may upload a favorite essay, or a video of a strong theatrical performance; an 11th grader may upload an abstract for a robotics project; and a 12th grader may upload a document that lists extracurricular achievements.
Files in the “Locker” are private, so only students can access them. However, in the “Collaboration” space, students can share “Locker” files with mentors, counselors, or teachers. Also, students can share “Locker” files with colleges as part of their applications. Being able to share files other than documents allows students more flexibility with how they present themselves and their high school achievements.
3. The Coalition Application allows students access to information and resources that may be out of reach for lower-income students.
Based on its research, the Coalition sees a need to help low-income students and those who do not have access to higher education. While it is not quite clear just yet how this application will reduce barriers, ideally the Coalition Application will be a conversation between students and college admission officers that happens much earlier than the junior or senior year of high school. By mentoring students with high potential but limited knowledge of the college admission process, the Coalition could do great things, but only time will tell.
These are the schools that will accept the Coalition Application for the 2016-2017 college application season:
Bryn Mawr College
Claremont McKenna College
College of the Holy Cross
College of William & Mary
Indiana University - Bloomington
Johns Hopkins University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
St Olaf College
State University of New York - Binghamton University
State University of New York - University at Buffalo
State University of New York - College at Geneseo
Texas A&M University
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Iowa
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wake Forest University
Washington University in St. Louis
At B2A, we know it is not the method of transmission that makes for the best application but rather the materials found within the application. That being said, we have several programs to help college seniors make the best choices when it comes to choosing and applying to colleges. Let us help you out with our extensive essay editing, resume building, and college counseling programs and services!