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Both are online application platforms. Both enable students to apply to college. But there are major differences between the Common Application and Coalition Application that all high school seniors should know. To begin, do all colleges accept both the Common Application and Coalition Application?
Are there some schools that exclusively use one application versus the other? The Common Application has been around sinceand its membership seems to grow with each passing year. As of Septembercolleges accept the Common Appand this includes schools in 49 states, plus Washington D.
While the majority of Common App members are private institutions, public universities represent approximately 25 percent of Common App schools and include many options popular with College Coach students, such as the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech.
Coalition schools are primarily private, but close to 35 percent of schools using the platform are public institutions. Students applying to the University of Florida, University of Washington, and University of Maryland must use the Coalition Application, as these schools will not accept any other type of application this year.
Their eyes are trained to read and decipher the Common App. The Coalition Application is the new kid on the block. The questions themselves may be similar to those found on the Common App, but the forms themselves look completely different. Until the Coalition App gains more traction, I recommend that my students use the Common App whenever possible.
Essays are such a major component of any college application. How do the questions between the Common Application and Coalition Application compare?
The first essay option for each platform is very similar: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Common Application Essay Prompt 1 Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. Coalition Application Essay Prompt 1 And while the remaining questions on both applications vary somewhat, they all lead students to a similar outcome: The biggest differences between the essays across both application platforms are word count limitations and upload capabilities.
The Coalition Application strongly recommends that students stay within the maximum word count guideline of words for their main personal statement. Interestingly, each school using the Coalition App can adjust the maximum word count for this piece according to their own preferences; one school might cut the word count atwhile another could give you Additionally, the Coalition allows students to upload their essay as PDFs as well as Word documents, which allows students to use photos, colors, fonts, and more to customize the look and feel of their main personal statement.
Unlike the Coalition Application, the Common App does have strict word limits. The main essay must be between and words, and students are required to cut and paste their essay into a text box on the Writing page of the Common App. This means minimal formatting—just bold, italic, and underline font—is permitted.
Students who are artistically-minded may benefit from the option to personalize their essay uploads via the Coalition App, but be wary of going too far out of the box.
Some colleges may welcome creative multimedia documents, but others may strongly prefer to read straightforward, traditional essays. Consider your audience before creating especially unique essays!
What about extracurricular activities — does one application allow students to better showcase their out-of-class involvement?
While the Coalition App has less space for activities overall, with space to report only eight activities, it allows for more depth of information to be reported about those activities. The Common App, on the other hand, only permits students to include a character description of their activity which may include specifics about honors and accomplishments.
Additionally, the length of each activity name on the Coalition App can be longer than that allowed by the Common App 64 vs.
Finally, students are not required to report how many hours per week they participated in an activity; this is an optional field for students.
I agree that the Coalition Application gives students more flexibility to highlight their clubs and extracurriculars. Are there any other differences between the Common Application and Coalition Application?Age: 22 Degrees: B.S.P.H.
in Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, (expected ).
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Melissa Joy Adams received a BFA in Related Arts from. Admissions.
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