coalition application

Coalition Application: The Ultimate Guide

Are you beginning your college application journey?  If so, you’ve likely heard of the Coalition Application, one of the nation’s most popular college application platforms. While not the only way to apply to college, the Coalition Application is unique in its mission. The Coalition Application hopes to make college more affordable and accessible to underrepresented populations, which it does by streamlining the college application process

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the Coalition Application and how to apply to Coalition Application schools.

Our Coalition Application Guide will cover topics that include:

  • A general overview of the college admissions process
  • What the Coalition Application is and why it exists
  • The Coalition Application vs Common Application
  • How to approach your Coalition Application essays
  • How to acquire transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other key documents in the college admissions process
  • Tips to successfully complete your Coalition Application

While the college admissions process can be complex, the Coalition Application is one platform dedicated to making it simpler. Similarly, CollegeAdvisor is here to help you navigate the process so that you can enroll in a college where you can thrive. Now, let’s kick off our discussion by exploring general information about applying to college.

Applying to College

coalition application

If you want to attend college, your first question might be: how do I apply? One of the first steps will be to decide which college application platforms you will use. Here are some of the different online platforms you may encounter:

Online Application Platforms

The Common Application

This is the most common platform in the U.S., in part because 1,000+ colleges accept it. The Common Application makes applying easier because you can fill in certain information only once (such as contact information, courses you are taking, and activities). This information is sent to every school you apply to.

The Coalition Application

Accepted by over 170 institutions, the Coalition Application is run by a collective of schools committed to making the college process more affordable. Later, we will share the qualifications to be a member of the Coalition Application. Similar to the Common Application, you can add information that can be used for multiple schools, making applying quick and easy.

School-Specific Applications

Some schools have their own specific platform. They may or may not also accept the Common Application or Coalition Application.

State-Based Applications

Some states have their own state-based application platform, such as the University of California application or the ApplyTexas application. These applications allow you to apply to several public schools within one state at once.

Determining which application platforms you use depends on which schools you wish to apply to. We recommend making a list of your schools and then researching which platforms they accept.

If a school accepts multiple platforms (such as the Common Application and Coalition Application), only complete one for that school. There is no preference given in terms of application platforms–so choose the one that makes the most sense according to your college list. Hopefully, your list will only entail using one or two platforms at most, so you can streamline your application process and save yourself time and stress.

Up next, we will explore the Coalition Application more in depth.

What is the Coalition Application?

coalition application

The Coalition Application is a college application platform created by the Coalition for College. The Coalition for College, founded in 2015, is a group of 170+ public and private colleges dedicated to making college accessible and affordable, particularly for lower-income and under-resourced students. 

However, anyone can use the Coalition Application–you do not need to have a specific background. When you create a Coalition Application login, you will have free access to the platform. There, you can upload demographic information, activities, test scores, essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation as well as submit this information to multiple schools.

You will also be provided with the supplemental essays that individual Coalition Application schools require. Upon submission, you will be charged an application fee if the school requires one. However, the Coalition Application fee waiver is an easy way to override this charge if you qualify.

As of today, the Coalition Application is offered in partnership with Scoir. Up next, we will explore what Scoir is and the role it plays in the college application process. 

What is Scoir?

coalition application

In 2022, the Coalition for College partnered with Scoir to make the college application process even simpler. Scoir is an online platform that high schools use to track student progress, facilitate communication between counselors and students, and streamline document sharing. 

With this partnership, students who have Scoir accounts through their high school can link directly into their Coalition account. And, they benefit from already being familiar with Scoir’s tools and interface.

If your high school uses Scoir, you can use the same Scoir login information for your Coalition Application login. However, if your high school is a non-Scoir school, you will have to create a free Scoir account that will also serve as your Coalition Application login. 

Who Can Apply Coalition?

As noted above, the Coalition Application is available to all students, regardless of their background. While the application was designed for lower-income and under-resourced students, any student can create a Coalition Application login and apply to colleges via the platform. 

Additionally, it doesn’t matter whether your school uses Scoir or not: anyone can use the Coalition Application. However, the process of receiving letters of recommendation is slightly easier if your school uses Scoir. Later, we will discuss the distinction between applying from a Scoir and non-Scoir high school in greater detail.

Coming up, we will explore why you might want to apply to colleges using the Coalition Application over other application platforms.

Why Apply Coalition?

While there are many options for applying to college, including the very popular Common Application, there are some reasons why you might choose to use the Coalition Application over other platforms. Here are a few reasons students choose to apply Coalition:

Reasons for Choosing Coalition

1. Inclusivity

The Coalition Application is geared towards students from low-income and under-resourced backgrounds. If you identify as one of those students, you’ll find that the Coalition Application may be easier to use and is more geared toward your need to find affordable schools. As we shared above, the Coalition for College designed the Coalition Application as part of its vision and mission to dismantle barriers to college.

2. Fee Waivers

The Coalition Application fee waiver is easy to claim. To claim fee waivers, simply check off which criteria make you eligible for a fee waiver in your profile, such as qualifying for free lunch or receiving a College Board fee waiver for the SAT. Checking off any of these criteria will automatically bypass the application fee page. Additional criteria can also make you eligible for a fee waiver at specific schools, which we’ll discuss more in-depth later on.

3. Start Early

The Coalition Application platform is designed to help you start collecting the information you need to apply to college as early as 9th grade. You can add schools to your list, save college-related documents in your Locker, and check out free resources such as screenshots of Coalition Application samples. If English isn’t your first language, some resources are offered in Spanish as well!

Using the Coalition Application is one way to expedite your college process, as you can apply to multiple schools at once. If the schools you are interested in accept the Coalition Application, consider using the platform, especially if you come from a low-income or under-represented background. 

Next, we will look at which schools accept the Coalition Application and what makes these schools special.

Coalition Application Schools

coalition application

There are over 170 Coalition Application schools, including both public and private universities and colleges. To become a member of the Coalition for College and be listed on the Coalition Application, schools must meet certain eligibility criteria. These eligibility criteria align with the Coalition for College’s values of equity and inclusivity within college access and outcomes.

The Coalition is eager to promote colleges that are affordable and have positive outcomes for students. In addition to being a four-year, accredited, degree-granting institution, here are the eligibility criteria to become a member school on the Coalition Application:

Coalition Application Eligibility Criteria

Ten percent or more of enrolling students must be Pell-eligible

This means they come from lower-income or underrepresented backgrounds. This criterion is an indicator of the school’s commitment to recruiting students from these types of diverse backgrounds.

Meet enough financial needs or have low enough tuition costs

This means that students graduate with less than $30,000 in Title IV debt, which is a type of debt resulting from federal loans that have lower interest rates. Schools must also have a 10% or lower loan default rate, indicating that most students graduate with the means to pay back their loans. This criterion indicates that a school is generous with its financial aid and prepares students with the skills to find jobs that allow them to pay back their loans. 

Have an overall graduation rate of 60% or higher

That figure must be 50% or higher for students from low-income or underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, 33% of the student body must be from these backgrounds. Again, this criterion emphasizes the school’s commitment to accessibility as well as economic and racial diversity.

While many Common App colleges also meet these criteria, not all do. By applying via the Coalition Application, you can ensure that all the schools you apply to meet demonstrated financial need and have a solid graduation rate. In doing so, you can feel confident you’re applying to inclusive, effective institutions.

Exploring member schools

Included in the list of 170 schools on the Coalition Application are some familiar names, such as Yale, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt. However, many more schools are also members of the Coalition, such as Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and Union College in Schenectady, NY. 

You can search the member list alphabetically, by state, and by public vs private institution. Use all the search options to get a strong sense of which schools are Coalition Application members. This can help you decide if using the platform is right for you. If any member schools interest you, then the Coalition Application could be the perfect platform to use when applying to those schools.

Coming up, we will explore the cost of using the Coalition Application to apply to college.

How much is the Coalition Application?

coalition application

You have probably heard that applying to college is expensive. While this is generally true, with the Coalition Application, you have the potential to save a lot of money. Firstly, using the Coalition Application is free. This means you can create an account, research schools, upload documents, and look at applications at no cost. 

When you are ready to submit your applications, you may find some schools require their own application fees. These fees are typically between $30 to $90, with the average around $50 per school. If you are applying to multiple schools, this can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars. 

For some families, paying the application fee alone is a barrier to applying to college. The Coalition Application recognizes that barrier and has made it much easier for students to claim a fee waiver. This fee waiver allows qualifying students to apply to college for free. 

Whereas other platforms do offer fee waivers, some require additional documentation to prove you qualify. The Coalition Application automatically issues fee waivers for several reasons. In the next section, we will discuss who is eligible for and how to get a Coalition Application fee waiver.

Coalition Application Fee Waiver

coalition application

The process for getting a Coalition Application fee waiver is very easy. To claim one, simply go to the fee waiver section of your profile and indicate which criteria make you eligible for a fee waiver. Any of the following criteria make you automatically eligible to apply for free to any of the Coalition Application member schools:

Criteria for Automatic Fee Waiver at Any Coalition App Schools

  • Your family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. For a family of 4 in 2024, this means that your family’s annual income is $57,720 or less.
  • You have received a College Board, ACT, or a National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) fee waiver. These refer to waivers that are given for testing fees or college applications.
  • You are eligible for a Pell Grant. Pell Grants are forms of federal aid for college that are calculated by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • You have participated (or are participating) in TRIO programs (such as Upward Bound). TRIO programs are federally funded programs geared towards increasing educational access for lower-income students.

Additionally, there are several criteria that will make you eligible for a fee waiver at some, but not all, of the Coalitional Application member schools. You may qualify for a fee waiver if you:

Criteria for Fee Waiver at Some Coalition App Schools

  • Are a veteran or an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Self-identify as the first in your family to attend college.
  • Receive public assistance such as food stamps or disability benefits.
  • Are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families. 
  • Live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless.
  • Are a ward of the state or an orphan. 
  • Receive need-based scholarships elsewhere.
  • Are being assisted by any college or university access program.

If you select any of these options on your Coalition Application, you will be presented with a list of schools that offer fee waivers for students with that particular experience or background. 

Additionally, there are some schools that have no application fees at all, such as Smith College and Grinnell College. While these schools are certainly still selective, no student will find the application fee to be a barrier. 

Coalition Application vs Common Application

coalition application

If you’re not using the Coalition Application, you’re more than likely using the Common Application. So, let’s talk about how these two application platforms compare to one another!

While they share some important similarities, there are also key differences when it comes to the Coalition Application vs Common Application. We’ll review some of these similarities and differences so you can decide which platform is best for you.

Similarities Between the Coalition Application and the Common Application

Here are some core similarities between the Coalition Application and Common Application:

Overlap Between Coalition App and Common App

Apply to Multiple Schools at Once

Both platforms can help you save a lot of time by allowing you to only enter some information once. Once you’ve entered your contact information, courses, test scores, activities, and college admissions essay, they will be loaded onto all your applications.  

College Admissions Essays

For most schools, you will have to submit a personal statement, referred to as a Coalition Application essay or a Common App essay depending on which platform you use. Supplemental essay requirements will differ by school, but they’re generally the same on both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Read more about how to write a great essay by checking out some Coalition Application essay examples here.

Generate a PDF

Both platforms allow you to view a PDF of your applications as you work on them. This is useful if you want to send your Coalition Application sample to a counselor or other mentor for review before submitting. Simply download your Coalition Application sample and attach it as a PDF to an email. 


Both platforms are free to use, though most colleges will still charge application fees before you hit submit.


Regardless of which platform you use, the deadlines for each school will be the same. You can check application deadlines on the platforms or each school’s admissions page. 

As you can see, the core functions of both the Coalition Application and the Common Application are the same. Now, let’s look at some of the differences that exist between the two application platforms.

Differences Between Coalition Application vs Common Application

The differences between the Coalition Application and the Common Application may seem insignificant or meaningful depending on your priorities when applying. Here are some of the key differences between the two platforms:

Coalition App vs Common App

Type of Participating Colleges

As mentioned above, not just any college can be a part of the Coalition Application. The Coalition for College has strict criteria that focuses on highlighting colleges that meet full financial needs or have low tuition costs. Therefore, Coalition Application schools have automatically been vetted for their financial practices and are more likely to be sound financial decisions for students and families. 

Number of Participating Colleges

The strict membership guidelines of the Coalition Application mean that 170 schools are on the platform, as opposed to over 1,000 Common App colleges. If several schools that you hope to apply to are not part of the Coalition Application, then the Common Application might be a better fit for you. Otherwise, you will have to fill out applications on both platforms, which creates additional work in an already lengthy application process. 

Coalition Application Essay Topics

College admissions essays are an important part of your application, no matter which platform you use. Your college admissions essays will include a personal statement as well as school-specific supplemental essays. While the supplemental essay prompts will not vary by platform, the personal statement prompts do differ. Indeed, if you look up Coalition Application essay examples, they will vary slightly in content because the prompts are different from those of the Common App.

Still, the prompts are usually general enough that Coalition Application essay examples could also work for the Common Application, especially because both platforms have a “choose your own topic” prompt. Later, we will discuss the differences in college admissions essay topics on both platforms in more depth.

Coalition App vs Common App: Essays

Activities Section

On the Coalition Application, you can list up to 8 activities. Meanwhile, Common App colleges let you list 10. However, the Coalition Application provides more characters to describe your activity. Additionally, the Coalition Application actively encourages students to describe less traditional activities such as babysitting, art projects, or hobbies. While you can list such activities on both platforms, the Coalition Application highlights this option more heavily to recognize that many students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds do not have the means or time to devote to clubs and teams.


The Coalition Application provides a digital space, called a “Locker.” This is a space where you can start compiling documents as early as 9th grade that might be useful for developing your personal brand in the college process. You can upload videos and documents, which might include awards, videos of performances, and papers you are proud of. Schools won’t see your Locker–it is merely a tool to help keep you organized so you’re ready to craft your most competitive and cohesive applications come senior year.

Fee Waiver Accessibility

While both platforms offer fee waivers to students, the Coalition Application’s process is streamlined and does not require additional paperwork. If you request a fee waiver on the Common Application, your high school counselor may be asked to verify that you qualify for this waiver. Additionally, in rare cases, Common App colleges may decline to honor your fee waiver unless you submit additional documentation. In a process that is already so complex, additional documentation can be a real burden.

Deciding which platform to use might seem daunting–but it doesn’t have to be. Start by prioritizing what is important to you in the application process. If your priority is getting fee waivers and applying to affordable schools, then the Coalition Application may be best for you. If a top priority is having access to as many schools as possible in one platform, then the Common Application might be a better fit. 

Regardless of which platform you choose, remember that when applying to schools that accept both platforms, there is no benefit to applying with one over the other. Both applications are weighed the same. Most importantly, do not apply to any school on more than one platform. Only submit one application per school.

In the following sections, we will share detailed steps for how to apply to college using the Coalition Application.

How to Apply to College through the Coalition Application

coalition application

To apply to college with the Coalition Application, you’ll need to understand the process a little bit better. The first thing to know is that the Coalition Application is broken down into two parts.

The first part of the Coalition Application is the basic application information. This includes information about yourself, your family, your education, and your essay. The second part of the Coalition Application will be specific to each school. The Coalition Application works with over 150 Coalition Application schools, to which you can use the Coalition Application to apply. Part Two includes things like supplemental essays and any other school-specific information. 

Now that you know a bit more about the Coalition Application, let’s walk through the application process. The first step is creating your login. 

How to create your Coalition Application login

In order to create your Coalition Application login, you’ll need to first create a Scoir account. Your Coalition Application login and your Scoir login are the same, but the Scoir login comes first. Scoir is a platform where you can search for different colleges and universities and manage your applications in one place. 

Previously, the Coalition Application used a platform called MyCoalition. If you previously had an account there, you can still access it through their new platform called StandOut Admissions Network. However, if you are just starting to apply to schools through the Coalition Application, you will only be able to apply with the Coalition Application through Scoir.

To create your Scoir account, you must provide an email address, verify that email address, and then provide your name, high school graduation year, date of birth, and create a password. Once you’ve done this on Scoir, you will use that same login for your Coalition Application login. 

If you’ve attended a Scoir high school, you should link your Scoir account and your Coalition Application login to your high school. If you have no idea what a Scoir high school is, don’t worry: you should just follow the regular process of creating a Scoir login, and then use that same information to create a Coalition Application login. 

Coalition Application: Part One

coalition application

Once you’ve made your Coalition Application login and have gained access to the platform, take a look around. Familiarize yourself with the Coalition Application’s components, especially Part One and Part Two of the application. 

Here’s what you can expect from Part One of the Coalition Application. 

Personal Information

The first section of Part One of the Coalition Application is the “Personal” section. Here, you provide all your demographic information to the Coalition Application. This includes things like how old you are, your ethnicity, your sex and gender, the languages you speak, and your address. This is all basic demographic information, the kind that you would submit when applying for a job or a university. Here, you’ll also specify if you intend to apply for financial aid.

Family Information

The next section of the Coalition Application asks questions about your family. You’ll provide information like who regularly lives in your household, the addresses of your parents or guardians, their contact information, and their education level. This all helps the Coalition Application better understand who you are and how they can best communicate with you. 

The “Family” section of the Coalition Application also offers a space for you to share whether you have been impacted by a disaster. If your life has been affected by a natural disaster, or by COVID-19, you can share this with the Coalition Application here.

Education Information

After the “Family” section of the Coalition Application comes the “Education” section. In this section, you’ll write about a pretty significant part of your college application: your high school experiences! This is where you share things like your grades, your GPA, AP courses, SAT and ACT scores, and extracurricular activities. 

When you’re comparing the Coalition Application vs Common Application, the way the two applications handle extracurriculars is fairly different. On the Common Application, you have the opportunity to describe and rank your extracurriculars, and this disclosure tells a lot about you to the colleges you apply to. However, on the Coalition Application, there is less space to document multiple extracurricular activities. So, if you have specific experiences you’d like to highlight, you’ll have to emphasize them in other sections of the Coalition Application. 

Essay and More

One place on the Coalition Application where you could go deeper on your extracurricular activities is the next section: “Essay and More.” This section of the Coalition Application is largely taken up by the Coalition Application essay.

To again compare the Coalition Application vs Common Application, both provide unique prompts for a personal statement. Certain Coalition Application schools require the Coalition Application essay, just like Common App schools might require the Common App essay. Both the Coalition Application essay and the Common App essay are around the same length, and both ask questions that encourage you to reflect on your experiences. 

In this final section of the Coalition Application, you can also supply additional information about yourself if you feel like it hasn’t been included elsewhere. You’ll also provide the Coalition Application with your school guidance counselor’s name and email so that the college has a point of contact with you.

Coalition Application Essay

coalition application

The Coalition Application essay is for schools to learn more about your life and your values, in your own words. When comparing the Coalition Application vs Common Application, the Coalition Application essay and the Common App essay are pretty similar. Each should be around 500-650 words, and both the Coalition Application essay and the Common App essay ask students to reflect and tell a story about themselves.

While some Coalition Application schools don’t require the Coalition Application essay, this is the exception rather than the norm. It’s more than likely that at least one of the Coalition Application schools that you’re applying to will require the essay. So, you’ll want to start your applications feeling confident and ready to write one! 

Like the Common App essay, the Coalition essay is a pretty standard college admissions essay—sometimes called a “personal statement.” While the Coalition essay prompts are similar to the Common App prompts, they’re not identical.

Coalition essay prompts

There are 6 Coalition Application essay prompts:

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

2. What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?

3. Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?

4. Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?

5. What success have you achieved or obstacle have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?

6. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Many students feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing an essay about themselves–and that’s okay! If you start working on your Coalition Application early, you can take your time and give yourself the best chance of writing a great essay.

The first step to writing your college admissions essay is to pick your prompt. The Coalition Application website offers some tips for getting started:

  • Talk about your ideas with a friend
  • Write a list of phrases that describe you and stories about yourself where you demonstrate those qualities
  • Write all associated words that come to mind when you read a prompt.

Try brainstorming for all of the questions, then pick the one that stuck out the most to you or felt the easiest to write or talk about.

The Coalition Application also provides the option to submit an essay on the topic of your choice. Here, if you were applying to schools using the Common Application, you could simply submit that essay to the Coalition Application as well. 

Essay writing tips

For each question, you want to tell a story: there should be a clear beginning, middle, and end. The best college admissions essays describe some kind of change or development. Was there a moment when something changed your perspective, or when you learned something? When you faced a challenge and overcame it? All of these college admissions essay questions are encouraging you to reflect on what you value and how your values have developed over time. 

Keep in mind that your college admissions essay is meant to add your voice into your college application so that it’s not just grades and demographics and awards. Whichever question you pick, make sure to tell a story about yourself that would convey something about you to the admissions committee. 

Here are three tips on how to write a great Coalition Application essay from us at CollegeAdvisor:

  • Start with an engaging hook, like an anecdote or a quote that pulls your readers in.
  • Use specific details, both to make your writing more vivid and to emphasize your uniqueness.
  • Revise, revise, revise. 

Another way to prepare to write your Coalition Application essay is to read Coalition Application essay examples. These Coalition Application essay examples will help show you what makes a great Coalition Application essay, and how to tell a personal anecdote in the appropriate word range.

By looking at Coalition Application samples and example essays, you can gain inspiration for how to go about your own application—just make sure that regardless of what Coalition Application samples you read, you’re always using your own work when you write your essays.

If you’re looking for more advice, check out CollegeAdvisor’s Coalition Application essay examples and explore our college admissions essay-writing resources. However, if you’re ready for Part Two, let’s look at what’s expected in the next section of the Coalition Application. 

Coalition Application: Part Two

coalition application

Part Two of the Coalition Application is where you’ll start to encounter school-specific questions. Part One of the Coalition Application is submitted to every school that you apply to, whereas Part Two is only submitted to the specific school that you’re answering questions about.

Looking at the Coalition Application vs Common Application, they both follow a similar structure. Another similarity between the two applications is that the supplemental questions are often the same. Below, we’ll take a closer look at supplemental questions from a partner school: Yale.

Yale is one of the Coalition Application schools because it provides need-based financial aid or low-cost in-state tuition, which is the main requirement to be part of the Coalition. Unlike the Common App colleges, which have nothing in common besides using the Common App, Coalition Application schools also need to satisfy requirements around tuition and graduation rate.

The Coalition Application prioritizes access and affordability, so it makes sense the Coalition Application also incorporates a Coalition Application fee waiver for those who need it. With that background in mind, let’s turn our attention to Yale’s supplemental questions.

Yale supplemental questions

For Yale, the Coalition Application essay topics will be the same regardless of how you choose to apply. Yale is also one of the Common App colleges—you can apply using the Coalition Application or the Common App—so, the supplemental essays they request from their students are the same. 

If you’re applying to Yale through the Coalition Application, you’ll need to answer an additional 8 questions. This might seem like a lot. Not all schools require this many questions, but this is why it’s important to explore the application requirements early in the college admissions process so nothing catches you by surprise when you’re close to the deadline. 

Yale’s supplemental questions consist of 7 short answer questions—some very short, only 35 words—and one short essay of 400 words. For the 400-word essay, Yale provides a choice of three prompts: one on conversing about opposing views, one about community, and one is about part of your personal experience that you would bring to the college. 

How to approach supplemental questions/essays

These essays and questions are similar to many others you’ll encounter in the college admissions process. Generally, supplemental essay topics fall into a few categories:

  • Why School / Why Major
  • Community essays
  • Extracurricular activities essays
  • Personal challenge essays
  • Cultural diversity essays
  • More unique essays

So, by reflecting on and completing supplemental prompts for the Coalition Application, you will better prepare yourself for the entire college process. 

Even though many schools use similar prompts, that doesn’t mean that you should be submitting the exact same essay for multiple applications. The school-specific portion of the Coalition Application should be exactly that: school-specific. When you write why you want to attend Yale, or other Coalition Application schools like Vanderbilt or Notre Dame, make sure to include specific mentions to the school. This could be a professor you’d like to study under, research being done at the school that interests you, a club you would join, or something you noticed while touring the campus. 

Whatever details you choose, make sure to connect them to yourself. These supplemental essays aren’t about why just anyone would want to go to this school, but why it’s a perfect fit for you. If you’re still confused about what this might entail, look at some Coalition Application sample or Common Application sample essays.

Requesting Important Documents

When filling out your Coalition Application, you’ll need to request certain documents to submit to colleges. As part of your college application, regardless of what platform you use, you’ll need to both request and submit transcripts and letters of recommendation through the application portal.

Since Scoir works with some high schools, the process is a bit different for Scoir vs Non-Scoir high schools. When used in high schools, Scoir is a place where students can plan their college process outside of just their application. Because of this, some schools’ guidance counselors are already connected on Scoir and don’t require as many steps to reach. 

Scoir has resources on how to navigate this process for each student. If you already attend a Scoir-connected school, check out these resources for how to request letters of recommendation and transcripts

Alternatively, non-connected students can look at this article for guidelines and advice. While the process is a little more intensive, it’s still straightforward. Again, always make sure that you understand your college application before you start it so you don’t get confused too close to the deadline. 

When Should I Start My Coalition Application?

coalition application

So when should you start your Coalition Application? For context, let’s look at some deadlines

Exploring application deadlines

Early Decision or Early Action deadlines happen in the Fall, usually around November 1. With Early Decision, you are bound to attend that college if you get in. If you’re applying ED to a college, that means that it is your first choice, your dream school, and nothing would sway you from going—even if you don’t get the most optimal financial package.

Early Action is another early deadline, but you’re not obligated to attend the school if you get in. This means that you can apply to multiple colleges and weigh your options once you’ve received your admissions decisions.

You can also submit your application Regular Decision, which is generally around January 1. You can apply Regular Decision to as many schools as you would like. Some schools also offer Rolling Admission, which means that they accept students as they receive applications. Even if a school is Rolling Admission, you should still apply as soon as you can. 

Some schools offer a Priority Deadline, also around the same time as Early Decision and Early Action. If a school offers a Priority Deadline, it’s a good idea to get your application in by then if you can. The school likely accepts most of its students by that deadline and will also be giving out scholarship funds with these applicants at the top of the list. 

When to start exploring Coalition

Each student will be different when it comes to their ideal application timeline. In general, you’ll want to start thinking about your applications July/August of your senior year. However, you may start thinking about certain aspects of your application, like SAT/ACT, extracurriculars, potential recommenders, and AP classes, much earlier.

If you want to get a head start on your college applications, you don’t need to wait until your senior year to look at the Coalition Application. You can create a Coalition Application login and start building your college list as early as 9th grade. There’s no pressure to know where you want to go to college that early, but know that the platform is open for you to explore! 

5 Tips for Submitting the Coalition Application

coalition application

Now that we’ve covered the general process of completing the Coalition Application, here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you work towards your deadlines: 

Tips for the Coalition Application

1. Use the platform to research schools and build your college list

The Coalition Application isn’t just an application, but it’s a way to explore colleges. You can take the Find your College Match Quiz to get matched up with schools that would be a good fit for you. Additionally, you can use the discover feature to look at different college profiles and find admission events like information sessions and tours. You can also follow colleges on Scoir to receive outreach and materials from these colleges during your high school years. 

2. Keep track of important application documents

You can use the Coalition Application to keep all of your important application documents in one place. These are documents like your letters of recommendation, your transcripts/school reports, Early Decision Contracts, and Coalition Application fee waivers. 

3. Connect with your supporters

These are people like your high school counselors, your parents/guardians, and your teachers—people who you may want to seek letters of recommendation from in the future.  If your high school is on Scoir, it gives you the opportunity to keep all of your communications with these people in one place. 

4. Budget time for all of your application essays

Using the Coalition application, you can and should spend enough time to brainstorm, draft, and revise all of your essays: both the Coalition essay and your school-specific supplemental essays. With the supplemental essays, make sure you research them early so that you can plan your time accordingly. You don’t want to get caught off guard with 8 extra questions like Yale’s the day before your application is due.

5. Thoroughly review part one of your application before moving on to part two

This is important: unlike with Common App colleges, the Coalition Application requires you to submit Part One separately from Part Two. Once you submit Part One of your application, you cannot go back to edit any of the information you provided. So start early and make sure that all of your information is correct before submitting.

Coalition Application Guide – Final Thoughts

The Coalition Application is a type of college application platform that aims to make the college admissions process more accessible for all students, especially lower-income students. Unlike Common App colleges, the schools you apply to via the Coalition Application have been vetted in line with the Coalition Application’s mission. These schools all have significant need-based financial aid or low in-state tuition fees, and have strong graduation rates.

Make a Scoir account to get started

In order to apply using the Coalition Application, you first make an account on Scoir. Scoir is a platform for centralizing college preparations, and some high schools use it to put everything from guidance counselor communications to college research in one place. Even if your high school doesn’t use Scoir, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply using the Coalition Application—you just have to go through a couple extra steps to make sure all of your transcripts and other important documents are getting sent to the right places. 

Once you’re in the Coalition Application, it’s pretty standard. The Coalition Application has Part One, with all of that personal data and your Coalition essay, and then Part Two, which is specific to each school and contains the supplemental materials. Overall, the Coalition Application makes the college application process centralized and straightforward. And the platform provides Coalition Application fee waivers for students for whom submitting multiple college applications poses a financial burden. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with any part of the college application process, remember, you’re not in it alone. At CollegeAdvisor, our expert team is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the Coalition Application. Through one-on-one advising, we’ll help you organize essential documents, build your personal brand, and revise your application and essays to make them the best they can be.

coalition application

This article was written by senior advisor Courtney Ng and advisor Rachel Kahn. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.