What is Coalition Application?

What is a centralized, subsidized college application platform? The Coalition Application. Learn about its features, member schools, and more

TCM Staff

19th October 2020

An integral breakthrough in the domain of U.S education is the conception of the Coalition Application. With its popularity soaring high with every rotation of admission, the Coalition Application has catered to the interests of more than a million users and educational institutions. 

The Coalition Application is a centralized platform for college applications, essentially designed to make the process of applying to colleges affordable, and accessible to all strata of the student population. With similar yet distinctive fundamentals as the more popular Common Application, the Coalition Application is the latest college application medium in the market servicing as a 'one-stop destination' for applying to multiple educational institutions. Currently, posing as a competitor to the Common Application, the Coalition Application, although accessible to everyone, exerts top priority to the socially, racially, and economically underrepresented population.

While the Common Application is still the kingpin, the Coalition Application has successfully qualified the benchmark with financial aid as its most powerful weapon. College application has never looked this easy, thanks to the efforts of the Coalition Application. 

Here is our take on the magnanimous journey of the Coalition Application.

Table of Contents

A bird’s eye view 

Pioneered by the Coalition of College Access in the year 2015, the Coalition Application is tailor-made for students who are economically ‘unstable’, have less or no resource(s), and are historically, culturally, and racially under-represented. The Coalition Application has emerged as an economical platform for college applications, catering to the needs of everyone. It offers an assortment of online tools that assist students with the successful completion, and submission of their college applications.

Through an extremely “slick” application fee process, the Coalition Application has substantially reduced the financial pressure on the students. Admission, and graduation with meager to zero debt have motivated students to do better and be better. Students receive monumental assistance while choosing financial aid plans, scholarships, and loans. This is achieved by the cooperative efforts of the member schools, and the students. The Coalition Application is configured identically to most college applications, by including the conventional structure of user information, extracurricular achievements, and essay prompts. This is a ‘one-time fill-up’, and the same data can be transferred for numerous colleges.

The Coalition Application runs on the following beliefs,

  • Education is a birthright of every human being, irrespective of caste, creed, and financial status

  • Early involvement in college applications is beneficial to everyone

  • Every student should be granted equal access to every tool or resource(s) to make their application journey a grand success. Self-reflection, self-discovery, and exploration are the strong pursuits of the Coalition Application

  • Every student must receive equal assistance ( through financials, resources)

  • Unified efforts of the member schools are pivotal in enhancing the Coalition Application’s goal for equal access, success, and affordability

Top tools of the Coalition Application

The Coalition Application tools can be deemed as the “guiding lights” for college applications. Right from posing as a dias for collaboration with school counselors, to providing explicit knowledge on different aspects of college applications ( and more), these tools make the process of applying for colleges tenfolds easier, and efficient. All the tools of the Coalition Application are free to use. They are of top-notch standards, user-friendly, and highly effective. To derive the optimality of these tools, one needs to scrutinize through their functions and understand their multi-dimensional serviceability. This further enhances the user experience and saves ample time. Below are the enlisted top features of the Coalition Application.

  • MyCoalition Counselor: Behaving as the repertoire of ‘infinite knowledge’, the MyCoalition Counselor tool is the online resource center for students. It offers in-depth information on the various aspects of the college application. Students learn to manage their ACT and SAT scores, pay for college tuition, administer innovative techniques for application essays, and much more

  • Locker: Synonymous with the functions of a real-life locker (lockers in schools, banks), the Locker tool is for storage of all the handiwork of students. This may include school projects, research work, certifications, essays, art, photographs, and videos. This promotes user-experience as the Locker becomes the one-stop destination for a student’s supporting documents. They can rummage through, pick the necessary material, and use it in their application  

  • Collaboration Space: This is a shared platform between the students and the counselors, family, and friends. There is a high-voltage flow of information, assistance, and counseling (for essays, the application process, choosing financial aid plans) through the Collaboration Space 

  • Coalition Application: This is the final stage of the college application. Students pluck through their assortment of supporting documents, resort to the best application practices, submit the top picks, and hit the send button

User Eligibility

Everyone is eligible to use the Coalition Application for college applications. It is free, and accessible to every student seeking consultation in their school application, preparation, and planning. However, students with critical financial need or little to no resources benefit from the various perks of the Application. The historically, culturally, and racially under-represented demographic are also placed on top priority to provide all necessary assistance.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal choice. If the user believes in the efficacious functionality of the Coalition Application tools, he/she will religiously use the Application. 

How much do you pay for the Coalition Application?

Colleges typically demand anywhere between $40-$90 as an application fee. With almost 5-6 colleges in the queue, this amount can escalate to become quite hefty and non-viable for many students. Many times, the cost of college applications restrict candidates from applying to more colleges. This narrows down their options, and the acceptance probability.

The Coalition Application is free. Users can utilize all the benefits of the Application ( tools, and information) for zero cost. However, a nominal fee has to paid while applying for the colleges. This fee is substantially waived or made economically feasible for the following groups - 

  • Members or veterans of the U.S Army

  • Economically ‘backward’ students

  • Candidates with free or subsidized meal programs in high-school

  • Active participants of the Federal TRIO programs

  • Eligible candidates of the College Board, ACT, and NACAC fee-waiver initiatives

The Coalition Application Essay Prompts

An essential feature of the Coalition Application is its essay element, drawing another similarity to its rival the Common Application. The essay is a requisite for most partner schools, although, few of these may request a supplementary essay in addition to the Coalition Application essay. Many educational institutions hold their unique essay/academic/extracurricular requirements, and admittance is through acing all one or all of them. 

Every year the Coalition Application announces 5 essay prompt. Students are required to attach at least one essay with their application. Though there is no barrier to the word count, however, a minimum of 500-550 should be maintained. The Coalition Application essays largely examine the student's interpersonal, and intrapersonal attributes. The essay prompts are extensive, universal, and the author has the advantage of allowing their creativity to soar high. According to popular belief, the Coalition essay is for judgment of character. For the session 2020-2021, the Coalition Application has announced the following prompts -

  • Essay prompt 1- Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it

  • Essay prompt 2 - Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution

  • Essay prompt 3 - Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?

  • Essay prompt 4 - What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

  • Essay prompt 5 - Submit an essay on a topic of your choice

You may also read - How to Write the Coalition Application Essays?

Partner School Membership

The Coalition Application is designed to support the phrase ‘education is a birthright for everyone’. To be a part of the Coalition Application community of educational institutions, the foremost criteria is to firmly agree with the beliefs of the Coalition Application. Access, success, and affordability are the cornerstones of the Application. All the member schools must adhere to these practices religiously. The final goal is to enhance the quality of the application process, make education accessible to everyone, and contribute to the success of each student. The following criteria must be fulfilled in order to be accepted in the Coalition Application community of schools - 

  • All member educational institutions must extend an affordable/economical tuition fee in addition to financial aid (on the basis of socio-economic status) for all the in-state students

  • Private educational institutions must extend a generous financial aid package to all the needy domestic students

  • All partner schools require to be accredited, and non-profit institutions

  • All member educational institutions must constitute undergraduate degree programs 

  • All member institutions must pledge to adhere to the norms of integrity and equity in college application practices.

  • A minimum of 70% of the student population ought to graduate in a span of 6 years

Schools that use the Coalition Application

Since the conception of the Application, it has grown to host as many as 800 members and 150+ educational institutions. The schools in the United States actively seek a diverse school population. Students from various ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds are welcomed to attain a world-class education. The concept behind the provision of multiple portals for college application is to mitigate technological glitches, which happen to exponentially increase around the deadline. Statistically, a minimum of 1 university/college in every state offers the opportunity to apply through the Coalition Application. 

Here is the consolidated list of the top schools that use the Coalition Application for their application process

The Coalition Application has been joined by the following new member schools for the year 2020-2021 - 

Common Application vs Coalition Application

The Common Application and the Coalition Application preach the common dictum of promotion of education by making college applications look like 'a walk in the park'. However, they constitute some fundamental distinctions that make out them stand out as separate (rival) entities.

Due to its long tenure in the market, the Common Application has been evolving and branching out to secure their trust among a large audience. While the Coalition Application is comparatively new, it has proved its efficiency in a short period. With the progress of time, and season we can anticipate a greater expansion of the Coalition Application.

Below are the top differences between the Common Application, and the Coalition Application - 

  • The foremost difference is the age of these applications. The Common Application has been running in the market for more than 40 years, whereas the Coalition Application was recently founded in the year 2015

  • The Common Application grants the users to list as many as 10 activities in the activity section of the Application, whereas the Coalition Application has broken down the listing of high-school activities by setting the initial requirement for the top 2 activities and then eventually granting to list 8 more

  • The Naviance/eDocs tool of the Common Application permits the user to merge and connect with an institution's counselor office, whereas the Coalition Application lacks this feature (as of now). However, the user can use the Locker tool to share documents with the school advisor/counselor

  • The Coalition Application runs in the belief of early engagement in college applications, whereas the Common Application does not hold the same verdict

You may also read - Common Application vs Coalition Application

Top hacks for the Coalition Application

The Coalition Application ranks well in terms of user experience. The user interface is at par, and all activities are swiftly undertaken. The tools offer optimal assistance and inherently uplifts the quality of the process for college application. Even with the aid of the Coalition Application tools, it is safe to have a few ‘tricks’ upon your sleeve. The idea is to save time, work smart, and swiftly. A thorough read of the user guidelines can reduce your work to a great extent.

We have prepared a list of the top hacks that would help to make your application stand out from the rest.

A stitch in time saves nine

Procrastination on your college application will falter your efforts to score admittance in the best college or your choice of college. It is highly recommended to jump-start your preparation for the same right at the start of your senior year, or maybe before. Unsolicited circumstances are feared because they are unsolicited. A late engagement is like playing with fire. It may falter your chances, create confusion, and reduce the quality of work.

Unique essays are the key

There would be thousands of students applying through the Coalition Application, and your job is to stand out. The Application announces its essay prompts early in the season. The idea is to formulate essay techniques, create a road map, and brainstorm on unique subjects for your essay. The essay is your strongest pursuit. A highly engaging, out-of-box, and eccentric essay can help a long way in your college admission. Let the ‘wordsmith’ in you flourish, and do not forget to make to include your greatest attributes.


As they say, little information can be dangerous. We recommend thorough research on each and every requisite for college admission, including SAT/ACT scores, GPA, extracurricular achievements, and FAFSA requirements. Additionally, students may also look into the profiles of all the universities, and colleges to make a detailed decision on their choice of school. A quick chat with alumni or students (of the institution) can be beneficial as they get real-time, and unbiased insights on the educational institution.

Seek help

It is always safe to consult your school teacher, advisor, family, or friend on your college application. The school-advisor/counselor is the person for your letters of recommendation, and high-school transcripts. They can provide you authentic intel on different colleges/universities, and you make the correct choice. 

The Coalition Application revolutionized college application. Every student is offered with a plethora of lucrative opportunities to ace school. It is wise to research every aspect of the Application before resorting to it. To date, the Coalition Application has been extremely helpful. In addition to its free of cost features, it has also ignited the will for higher education in so many students, who otherwise had to succumb to their ill-fate of the financial crisis and more. With the progress of time and season, we are anticipating a larger branching of the Coalition Application. 

Good luck! 

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