What You Need to Know About the Coalition Application

September 28, 2023
By AdmissionSight
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What You Need to Know About the Coalition Application

The Coalition Application is a relatively new player in the college application process. Aptly named, The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, this unique platform was developed with the goal of increasing access to higher education for all students. With a user-friendly platform and a mission aimed at democratizing access to college, this application offers a different avenue for students applying to colleges in the United States.

Understanding the Coalition Application

The Coalition Application was launched in 2015 as an alternative to the well-known Common Application. Today, more than 150 colleges and universities accept the Coalition Application, including all eight Ivy League schools and other prestigious universities like Stanford and MIT.

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Its inception was fueled by a commitment to access, affordability, and success — values that some administrators felt were lacking in other college application options.

But what led to the creation of the Coalition Application? It was a response to the growing concern that the college application process was becoming increasingly burdensome and inequitable. The founders of the Coalition Application believed that every student, regardless of their background, should have a fair chance at accessing higher education.

With this mission in mind, the Coalition Application was designed to address the specific needs of underprivileged students. It offers a range of tools and resources to support their scholarship search and application process. From personalized guidance to financial aid information, the Coalition Application aims to level the playing field in the world of college admissions.

The Purpose of the Coalition Application

What sets the Coalition Application apart from other common college applications is its founding philosophy of creating affordable access to higher education. It believes that the college application process should not be a hurdle for students from underrepresented backgrounds, but instead, a pathway to success.

But how does the Coalition Application achieve this goal? One of its key features is the Locker, a digital portfolio where students can store and showcase their academic and extracurricular achievements. This allows students to start building their college application early on, empowering them to present a comprehensive and compelling profile to admissions officers.

Additionally, the Coalition Application provides a Collaboration Space, which allows students to connect with mentors, counselors, and teachers who can guide them through the application process. This collaborative approach ensures that students receive the support they need to navigate the complexities of college admissions.

Furthermore, the Coalition Application offers a wide range of resources to help students explore their interests, discover potential career paths, and find the right college fit. From virtual college tours to interactive career exploration tools, the Coalition Application strives to empower students to make informed decisions about their future.

Who Can Use the Coalition Application?

There are no restrictions regarding who can use the Coalition Application. It is open to all high school students planning to attend college. Unlike other application systems, the Coalition Application does not have any geographic restrictions either, making it accessible to students globally.

However, it is important to note that not all colleges accept this application. While the number of participating institutions continues to grow, it is always wise for students to verify the application process of their desired universities. This ensures that they are aware of any additional requirements or deadlines specific to each institution.

Moreover, the Coalition Application encourages students to start their college planning early. By creating an account as early as ninth grade, students can begin exploring colleges, building their academic profile, and preparing for the application process well in advance.

In conclusion, the Coalition Application is a powerful tool that aims to make the college application process more accessible and equitable. By providing resources and support to underprivileged students, it strives to level the playing field and ensure that every student has a fair chance at pursuing higher education.

The Components of the Coalition Application

The Coalition Application, like most college applications, is composed of several sections. A clear understanding of these components can help students effectively navigate through the application process.

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Personal Information Section

The Personal Information Section on the Coalition Application gathers general information about the student. It consists of base-level questions like name, address, and gender. A separate section within the application requests more extensive demographic information, such as parental educational background and family income, to ensure comprehensive support for the applicants.

This section doesn’t just provide statistical information but helps to paint a vivid picture of the student’s life experiences that have shaped them.

For example, in the personal information section, students may be asked to provide details about their extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests. This allows admissions officers to gain insight into the student’s passions and commitments outside of the classroom. It also provides an opportunity for students to showcase their leadership skills and community involvement.

Furthermore, the personal information section may include questions about the student’s background and cultural identity. This allows colleges to understand the diverse perspectives and experiences that applicants bring to their campus. It also helps colleges create a more inclusive and supportive environment for students from various backgrounds.

High School Information Section

The High School Information section of the Coalition Application focuses on the student’s academic history. Here, students enter details about their high school and provide information about the classes they’ve taken and the grades they earned.

Additional features like the ‘grade calculation tool’ enable applicants to calculate their GPA, providing a unique advantage in tracking their academic progress.

Moreover, the high school information section may also include a space for students to list any honors or awards they have received during their high school years. This allows colleges to recognize and appreciate the exceptional achievements of applicants, giving them a better understanding of the student’s dedication and commitment to their academic pursuits.

Additionally, this section may provide an opportunity for students to explain any extenuating circumstances that may have affected their academic performance. This allows colleges to consider the context in which the student’s grades were achieved, providing a more holistic evaluation of their abilities and potential.

College Essay Section

The College Essay Section is an integral part of the Coalition Application. Unlike other applications, it offers students the opportunity to choose from five prompts for their main personal statement.

The essay showcases a student’s writing capability, allowing them to express their personal narratives and passions. This part of the application presents an opportunity for the student to stand out from the rest of the applicants.

Furthermore, the college essay section allows students to demonstrate their critical thinking and communication skills. It provides a platform for applicants to articulate their unique perspectives and experiences, shedding light on their intellectual curiosity and ability to engage with complex ideas.

In addition to the main personal statement, the college essay section may also include supplemental essay prompts that are specific to each college or university. These prompts give students the chance to showcase their knowledge of the institution and explain why they are a good fit for that particular school.

Moreover, the college essay section often encourages creativity and originality. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and present their ideas in a compelling and memorable way. This allows colleges to see the applicant’s potential for innovation and their ability to contribute to the intellectual and cultural diversity of the campus community.

The Benefits of Using the Coalition Application

One of the key advantages of the Coalition Application is its mission to make college accessible and affordable for all students. However, the features that aid this mission extend beyond just affordability and accessibility.

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The Coalition Application is entirely free to use, giving all students irrespective of their financial situation a fair shot at applying to their dream colleges. This means that students from low-income backgrounds can have the same opportunities as their wealthier peers, leveling the playing field and promoting social mobility.

Moreover, the application is designed to be flexible, allowing students to start and save their progress as they navigate through it at their own pace. This feature is particularly beneficial for students who may have busy schedules or limited access to technology. They can work on their applications whenever and wherever they have the time, ensuring that they can put their best foot forward without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Virtual College Locker Feature

The Coalition Application takes a unique approach to collect and review students’ portfolios through the feature known as the “Virtual College Locker”. This novel feature allows students to upload and store relevant documents, awards, or portfolio pieces throughout their high school years, and not just during the application period.

This tool facilitates organization and ensures nothing important gets overlooked while applying. Students can use the Virtual College Locker to keep track of their extracurricular activities, community service projects, and any other accomplishments they want to highlight to colleges. By having a centralized location to store these materials, students can easily access and showcase their achievements when it comes time to apply.

Furthermore, the Virtual College Locker encourages students to reflect on their high school experiences and think critically about their goals and aspirations. As they curate their portfolio, students can gain a deeper understanding of their own strengths and interests, which can ultimately help them make more informed decisions about their college choices.

In addition, the Virtual College Locker allows students to share their materials with mentors, teachers, and counselors, who can provide valuable feedback and guidance. This collaborative aspect of the Coalition Application fosters a supportive environment where students can receive personalized advice and support from trusted individuals who have their best interests at heart.

Overall, the Coalition Application goes beyond just being a platform for submitting college applications. It is a comprehensive tool that empowers students to showcase their unique qualities, overcome financial barriers, and navigate the college admissions process with confidence.

Tips for Completing the Coalition Application

While the Coalition Application is quite user-friendly, there are still tips that can make the process smoother for applicants.

Starting Early

The importance of starting the application process early cannot be overstated. Given the comprehensive nature of the application and the time required to thoughtfully reflect on essay prompts, the earlier students start, the more thorough their application will be.

Not only does starting early allow for ample time to gather all the necessary information and materials, but it also provides an opportunity for applicants to carefully review and revise their essays and responses. This extra time allows for a more polished and well-crafted application, which can greatly increase the chances of being accepted.

The flexibility of the application allows students to start and save their work, making it even more advantageous to start early. By starting early, applicants can work on their application in smaller, more manageable chunks, ensuring that they have enough time to complete each section with attention to detail.

Making the Most of the Virtual Locker

Using the Virtual Locker feature is a fantastic way to stay organized throughout high school. By continuously adding to this digital portfolio, by the time they start their application, students already have a diverse collection of work, awards, and recognitions to draw from.

Female student using a laptop while studying on her desk.

The Virtual Locker serves as a centralized hub for students to store and showcase their achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal projects. It allows applicants to maintain a comprehensive record of their accomplishments, making it easier to remember and include them in their application.

This feature eases the burden of scrambling to find materials at the last minute and allows applicants to choose the most relevant and significant components for their application. By curating their Virtual Locker throughout high school, students can ensure that they have a well-rounded and impressive portfolio to present to admissions officers.

Furthermore, the Virtual Locker can also serve as a source of inspiration for essay topics. Reviewing past projects, experiences, and accomplishments can help applicants identify compelling stories and unique perspectives to share in their essays.

In conclusion, while the Coalition Application is designed to be user-friendly, there are still strategies that can enhance the application process. Starting early and utilizing the Virtual Locker feature can greatly improve the quality and thoroughness of an applicant’s submission. By following these tips, students can maximize their chances of standing out and impressing admissions officers with their well-crafted and comprehensive application.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Coalition Application

As helpful as the application might be, there are still pitfalls to avoid. Awareness of these common mistakes can save students from unnecessary stress and disappointment during the application process.

Procrastination and Last-Minute Submissions

Despite the application’s flexibility and easy navigation, procrastination is a common pitfall. Last-minute work often results in overlooked details and hastily completed sections. Students should use the advantage of the Coalition Application’s flexibility and complete sections gradually to ensure a well-rounded submission.

Overlooking the Essay Section

The essay is arguably one of the most significant parts of the application. Despite its importance, students often overlook it due to its seemingly daunting nature. However, the Coalition Application provides a variety of prompts. Therefore, students should invest time and effort in choosing a prompt that resonates best with their experiences and showcases their unique voice.

In conclusion, the Coalition Application is a powerful tool designed to make college applications more accessible and less intimidating. By understanding its components, benefits, and common pitfalls, students can leverage this tool to create an application that truly represents their potential and aspirations.

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