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Common App or Coalition App: Which Should You Choose?

Deciding between the Common App and Coalition App can be slightly confusing. While there are several similarities in both applications, there are some distinct differences to consider. In this post, we’ll discuss some key takeaways from both applications that may help students decide to choose one, or both, applications.



The Common App was created in 1975, and currently, has more than 700 member schools. It gives students the convenience of only having to fill out their personal information and achievements once. The Common App allows colleges to supplement additional essays and short-answer prompts as part of their individual applications but still reduces the time it would take to fill out multiple school applications.



Created in 2015, and with more than 100 member schools, the Coalition App offers some additional features not found in the Common App, such as, the “locker” tool which allows students to store important documents from as early as 9th grade in one place. The aim of the Coalition App is to include underrepresented students. The application does this by allowing students to report a variety of activities both academic and family related. This allows students from working class families a chance to explain the commitments that may prevent them from participating in extracurriculars and clubs.



Both applications place certain requirements on their member colleges, such as non-profit status, degree-granting, accreditation, and a focus on equality. They both require essays and allow schools to provide supplemental material. Additionally, both offer students the choice of an essay topic in addition to specified topics. Both applications are free to use, but individual school application fees still apply. Neither application gives an edge in the admissions process–they are merely tools to streamline the application process.



Both applications help to simplify the admissions process. Both can save students a significant amount of time.  However, the Coalition App’s “Locker” requires all grades and courses through high school to be listed, whereas the Common App only requires students to list more recent coursework. Deciding between the Common App or Coalition App, or both, is entirely dependent on the requirements of individual schools.

Don’t forget! The Common App goes live on 8/1/18!

Not sure which application is best for you? Contact InTuition Works today and let us help you decide!