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Applying to Colleges with Different Application Platforms: Common App and Coalition App Strategies


Hey there, future college applicants! If you’re about to embark on your journey to higher education, you’ve probably heard about the Common App and the Coalition App. But how do you navigate these different application platforms? Do not worry in this blog post, we will discuss several tactics that will enable you to maximize both choices.

Understanding the Common App and Coalition App

Before we jump into the strategies, let’s get a solid understanding of what the Common App and Coalition App are all about. The Common App has been around for a while and is widely used by hundreds of colleges and universities. It streamlines the application process by allowing you to complete one application and share it with multiple institutions. On the other hand, the Coalition App was created more recently with a focus on providing resources and support to students from diverse backgrounds. It offers a range of interactive features to help you showcase your achievements and interests.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Application Platform

How can you choose which platform is best for you now that you have some knowledge of both? Here are some points to consider :

  1. School requirements and preferences: Some colleges may prefer one application platform over the other, so be sure to research the specific requirements of your target schools.
  1. Application fees and financial considerations: Applying to college can be expensive, so it’s important to factor in application fees. The Common App and Coalition App may have different fee structures, so weigh your options carefully.
  1. Essay prompts and topic choices: The essay is your chance to stand out and showcase your personality. Examine the essay questions provided by each site and select the one that speaks to you the most.
  1. User interface and ease of use: Both platforms have their own interface, so consider which one feels more intuitive and user-friendly to you. The application procedure should go as smoothly as possible.
  1. Additional resources and features: The Coalition App offers additional tools like the Collaboration Space and virtual locker, which can help you present a more comprehensive profile. If these resources align with your goals, it might be worth considering.

Strategies for Maximizing the Common App

Now that you’ve chosen the Common App, let’s discuss some strategies to make the most of it:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the application: Take the time to understand all the sections and requirements of the Common App. This will help you gather and organize the necessary materials efficiently.
  1. Organize and prepare application materials: Create a checklist of all the documents and information you need to include in your application. Stay organized to avoid any last-minute panic.
  1. Tailor your application for each college: While the Common App allows you to apply to multiple colleges, remember that each institution has its own unique preferences. Customize your application to showcase how you fit into each college’s culture.
  1. Manage deadlines and submission process: Mark down all the important dates and deadlines for each college you’re applying to. Stay on top of the submission process to ensure your application reaches its destination on time.
  1. Highlight extracurricular activities and achievements: Use the Common App to showcase your involvement in clubs, sports, community service, or any other activities that demonstrate your passions and dedication.

Strategies for Maximizing the Coalition App

Here are some tips to get the most of the Coalition App if you decided to use it:

  1. Research Coalition member colleges: Take advantage of the Coalition’s resources to learn more about the member institutions. Understanding their missions and values will help you tailor your application accordingly.
  1. Utilize the Collaboration Space effectively: The Collaboration Space allows you to interact with mentors, teachers, and counselors. Take advantage of their expertise to refine your application materials.
  1. Showcase your portfolio and multimedia elements: The Coalition App gives you the opportunity to showcase your creative work and multimedia elements. Use this feature to bring your accomplishments to life.
  1. Utilize the Coalition’s virtual locker: The virtual locker is a space where you can store important documents, projects, and other artifacts that highlight your abilities and experiences. Use it to curate a compelling profile.
  1. Demonstrate commitment to community service: The Coalition App places a strong emphasis on community service and social responsibility. Highlight any volunteer work or initiatives you’ve been involved in to show your dedication to making a difference.

Common Challenges and Tips for Overcoming Them

Throughout the college application process, you might encounter some challenges. Remember the following points to overcome them : 

  1. Managing time effectively: Stay organized, create a schedule, and break down tasks into manageable chunks. Prioritize your tasks to ensure you meet all the deadlines.
  1. Writing compelling and authentic essays: Be true to yourself and let your voice shine through your essays. Share personal stories that are meaningful to you and showcase your unique perspective.
  1. Addressing application-specific requirements: Pay attention to each college’s specific requirements and tailor your application accordingly. Be thorough and double-check that you’ve provided all the necessary information.
  1. Seeking guidance from mentors and counselors: Don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers, mentors, or college counselors for guidance. They can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the application process.
  1. Reviewing and proofreading your application: Spend some time carefully reading over and editing your application. Typos and mistakes can detract from your overall presentation, so make sure everything is polished and error-free.


Phew! Although there was a lot of information there, you can handle it. Whether you choose the Common App or the Coalition App, remember that these platforms are here to make your college application process more manageable. Examine both choices, take into account the points we covered and pick the one that best suits your interests and goals.

Good luck, future college students! We’re excited to see you thrive as you continue on your road to a higher education. The application is only the first step, so stay focused, be yourself, and seize the wonderful prospects that await you. You’ve got what it takes to shine!

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