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What is the Coalition Application? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

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Here’s everything you need to know about the Coalition Application — plus expert-approved advice to help you write your own compelling college admissions essay. 

What is the Coalition Application?

The Coalition for College (also known as The Coalition Application) was founded in 2015 to make college more accessible to low-income and underrepresented students. 

According to The Coalition’s website, “Coalition member colleges and universities must provide substantial support to lower-income, under-resourced and/or first-generation students; offer responsible student financial aid; and demonstrate a commitment to student graduation.” Every school on The Coalition Application has a graduation rate of at least 70%. 

What Schools Use the Coalition Application, and How is The Coalition Application Different From Common App? 

The Coalition is comprised of over 150 colleges and universities throughout the United States. All of the Ivies — as well as Vanderbilt, Rice, Duke, Notre Dame, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Johns Hopkins, Stanford and other top schools — are part of The Coalition. State schools such as the University of Washington, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Georgia and Ohio State University are also members. Small liberal arts colleges like Wesleyan, Vassar and Wellesley are members, too. To view a complete list of participating schools, click here. (It’s also worth noting that most of the schools on the Coalition App are also on the Common App, so feel free to use whichever one you prefer.) 

While the Coalition Application and the Common App are similar, some key differentiating factors set the two apart. For example, The Common App and The Coalition Application have distinct interfaces and resources, as well as slightly different essay prompts (more on that later). 

How Can Ninth and 10th Graders Use the Coalition Application to Prepare for College Admissions

Unlike the Common App, the Coalition Application has a unique “Locker” feature, which serves as a free and unlimited cloud storage system. Freshmen and sophomores can use their cloud-based Locker to upload and store documents, transcripts, essays, resumes and other application materials that may be helpful to reference when it comes time to apply for college.

While colleges and universities can’t access your Locker without permission,  you may want to share your Locker information with a trusted mentor (like a teacher or guidance counselor) so that he or she can help you review your application materials. Students can communicate with their mentors using the Collaboration Space feature. 

How to Write a Good Coalition Application Essay 

Wondering what makes for a robust and memorable Coalition Application essay? You’ve come to the right place! 

Our recently released 2020-21 Guide to the Coalition Application Essay Prompts will help you get a jumpstart the brainstorming process. If you prefer videos to text, you’re in luck: we just launched our Video Guides to the Coalition Application Essay Prompts. In these videos, our Founder and Chief Advisor, Stacey Brook, shares her top tips and tricks to help you ace your personal statement. Happy viewing!

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