Applying with the Coalition App
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its panel on Applying with the Coalition App in a 60-minute presentation and Q&A with a Bullseye Advisor. Our presenter will provide information about why to apply with the Coalition App, how to optimize the academics and activities sections, how to request teacher recommendation letters, and more. Our advisor will share their experiences on applying with the Coalition App to show you how to best use the portal and answer your Coalition App questions.
2020-07-14 Applying with the Coalition App Webinar
So hello everyone. Hopefully you’re in the right presentation. This is applying with the coalition app. If you’re not well there should be a schedule, I guess, of, of all the other ones today, we’ll be talking about the coalition app. So you guys are probably familiar with stone as the common app.
It’s basically just a platform to submit one applicant or create one application and have that core application submitted to many colleges around the country. This is a very similar deal and I’ll basically be going over to start with, well, first I’ll introduce myself. So my name is Chris
I’m currently studying computer science at Princeton. I’ll be a junior this fall, so I’m really excited about that. And yeah, I guess, you know, let’s just get into it. So first off, why apply with the colon? Snap. So, like I said, it’s one application, one core application that allows you to apply to many different schools.
So yes, there is the additional, you know, maybe supplemental essay or additional questions that each school that you’re applying to might have, but for the most part biographical information you know, where you went to school, those sorts of things are covered in the core application, which is really nice and really convenient for you.
Sometimes it might just be your only choice. So sometimes the common app is your own choice. Sometimes the coalition app is your only choice for the college that you’re applying to. That’s obviously something you want to check out on the college website. And then something unique about the coalition app is that it’s sort of geared towards underrepresented groups, first-generation groups and low income students.
But with that said, it really can be used by anyone it’s not specific to those groups. It just tends to be advertised or marketed toward those. And what I like about it is that it’s a really easy process for applying for a fee waivers. So if that happens to apply to you, they make it really easy.
They don’t, they don’t even ask for documentation. And I’ll cover that in a second. So yeah, the fee waiver this is straight off of their website and obviously you can refer to these slides later, but essentially it’s a very easy process if you’re in any of these groups such as qualifying for a federal free and reduced lunch program, receiving a college board fee waiver or being a Pell grant recipient, any of those things qualify you for a fee waiver through the coalition app, which I think is great.
They don’t even, like I said, they don’t even ask for documentation. So it was just a very smooth process in that regard.
And some unique things about the coalition app. So I referred to the common app and I guess what distinguishes the coalition app is a couple of it’s a site features. So for example, you’ve got the coalition app blocker and what that is, it’s essentially a way for you starting in, let’s say ninth grade, 10th grade to start, or even now to start basically collecting all of your documentation.
So whether that’s, you know, trophies awards that you’ve won things that you’ve done in your activities that you really might not remember, I guess, when it comes to creating your activities anything like that. Whether it’s, like I say, in here a short video clip photo, you know, anything that you want to basically capture that you might not be able to hold onto, or that you might not trust yourself with holding onto all of that can be sorted in one easy to access place.
And what’s neat about this is it’s especially useful for music and arts students, because some colleges will actually allow you to replace their 400 words, supplemental essay with, for example you know, a sample of you playing saxophone or something of that sort that applies to you. If you’re applying to an arts program, which is really neat.
So this could definitely come in handy no matter where you are. You know, in your in the application process, whether you’re a ninth or 10th grade or whether you’re now applying, it’s a great way to just sort of keep everything in one spot. So this is what the locker looks like. Like I said, it’s really easy to use you select files.
There are some, you know, size restrictions just because they don’t want you using this, does your, you know, free Google drive. But it is overall pretty easy to use. So what I’m going to do now is send out a poll. Basically I just want to know, based on what I said with a locker, how many of you are planning to actually use the coalition app digital locker?
Does it seem like it’s something of interest do you actually see yourself using it or would you probably not use it?
So as we’re waiting for those response? Oh, it looks like we’ve got almost everyone. We got everyone. Okay, cool. So it looks like most people are basically undecided. We’ve got three S’s in window. But overall, most people say maybe good to hear, I guess. And I guess moving on. So some more unique coalition app features.
The fact that activities are not specifically defined, they’re pretty broadly defined, which is nice. And it means that you don’t have to sort of pigeonhole your activities into these, you know, what’s traditionally known as like the extracurriculars that you do in high school. So it’s not like you have to be on a debate team or you have to be, you know, on a sport team.
It said you could be explaining in this activities list, for example, some commitments that might’ve kept you from you know, participating in those more traditional extracurriculars. Maybe you have to stay home and take care of a sibling because your parents were working and they couldn’t take care of them.
Anything of a non, I guess, conventional nature, I, something that’s totally fair game for this session. And so you can really sort of be creative with, with what you’re talking about here. It could even be like a hobby that you’ve really, you know, spent a lot of time doing in high school. That doesn’t really fit into like a club or sport or sort of like academic activity box, but that is very important to you and that you want to explain.
So it’s totally the place to do that. I’m not saying that you can’t do that in the combat, but the coalition app seems to really emphasize that this is okay too. On the last slide, I think your audio cut out for a few seconds. Do you mind sort of recounting it really quickly? Sure. Sorry about that. So what I was saying was basically that yes, the common app also lets you flesh out some activities that aren’t as traditional, but what’s really nice about the coalition app is that it’s actually encouraged and it’s totally allowed.
Like they, they even stay on the website that this is something that you can absolutely do. And the fact that they sort of substantiate that by naming it, family responsibilities sort of gives a little more credibility to that. Hopefully the audio is the audio still good. Yeah, sorry about that.
Lapse. So yeah, I’ve been highlighting at a couple points. The I’ve been referencing that the common app a few times, but I guess to really get into it. So yes, both the common app and the coalition app are platforms for creating a core application that you can use to submit to many colleges both entail writing a main, you know, personal statement essay that tends to be a little longer than the supplemental ones.
And both have like a new optional COVID-19 supplemental essay that allows you to basically just describe you know, how you’ve taken this time to you know, in whatever capacity you might seen this time to do, whether it was, you know reaching out to your community and volunteering taking on a new hobby, anything like.
So both open up on August 1st as well. So you indefinitely get a head start in the next two weeks and the questions or the prompts tend to be the same from year to year. In fact, both have actually come out with their prompts for this year. So I’ll actually be going over that in a couple of slides. And yeah, so now that will really give you an edge.
It’s sort of like the sat versus act debate. A lot of people have strong opinions, but at the end of the day, it’s really about choosing whichever platform will really highlight your strengths. And hopefully a couple of the things that can highlight your strengths have come up already. But I’ll try to also get into some of that in the next few slides.
So. Yeah. And the other thing is that all IVs and I actually, this is actually a mistake. It’s all Ivies except for Cornell, I believe. And many other highly selective schools will accept both applications. So sorry for that, that typo. And the next bullet point is really my opinion. This is not, you know, Bullseye’s opinion, but take it with a grain of salt the largest practical feature, in my opinion, that separates the two platforms is which platform your school offers.
I mean, that’s pretty objective. It could be, you know, your school could offer both the common app and the coalition app. But the, the common app does tend to be a little more common. And the other thing, in my opinion is just the ease of obtaining a fee waiver. I think it’s really neat how easy is to do with the, with the coalition app.
Because I know that at least for myself, I tend to use a fee waiver in high school. And I was on the common app just because, you know, everyone at my school used it and the guidance counselors tended to push that platform. And it was a little harder to get a fee waiver, not impossible by any means.
But I just like how easy it seems to be. With the coalition app, I submitted a few applications with the coalition app and it just was a lot harder. Like I had to go through a whole process to do that. But, you know, like I said, they’re both relatively there, we were able to basically do it with both without too much struggle.
So moving on to the next poll are you planning to use the coalition app for your college applications in general? So a little more proud than the locker. Let me just send that out. Sorry for that. Okay. So it should be on now. And yeah, while the responses are coming in hopefully I’ve been able to, to highlight some of the main differences. So number one, the fee waiver difference, number two, just who the coalition app tends to be targeted to. And some of the other things are relatively inconsequential, but also like, like I said, it’s really about highlighting your strengths.
So. The differences are inconsequential, but okay. So it looks like we’ve got mostly maybes, but we’ve got a good number of people who are saying yes. Good to hear. And then we’ve got two that are, yes. I’m only using the coalition app. So nice. And yeah, and then like any other questions obviously feel free. We’re going to have a live Q and a at about the 30 minute mark, and then also my information should be at the end of this of this slides. If you have any questions you can reach out to me. Yeah, I guess just moving on. So we’re not going to go over every section of the coalition app.
I have them all listed here. And. I’ve got the optional sections here. So we’re just going to highlight a few important ones. But this is every section I’m not going to go over, like filling in your biographical information because I just thought that that would not really be the greatest use of our time.
But I guess to start with activities and experience, so this is really where you are going to highlight what you’ve been doing in high school. And so basically the way the coalition app does it, that sort of sets it apart from the common app. Cause it has, you start with your top two activities. And this is where you’re going to be list your what’s known as a spike.
If you’re not familiar with the term spike, essentially, it’s like what activities, what themes, what components of your entire application from a holistic perspective really define you, really separate you from the next application. And that might sound vague. It’s something that you’ll probably work with.
You know, your advisor, if you have one. But essentially it is what like distinguishes you as an applicant. And so that’s really where you want to be describing your spike is in these top two activities really want to sort of grab the attention of the admissions officers. On the whole though, it’s not too important.
It’s really at the end of the day, you know, the two plus eight. So right. There’s eight more. Just to go over the character limit. You’re going to have a title we’re going to describe, and I’m also going to have a screenshot of this. So it’s going to be a title where you describe essentially what the name of the activity is.
And then you’re gonna have a short little description. So the title will be limited by 64 characters and the description will be max 255 characters. Like I say, here, aim for quality over quantity. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many activities you have. What’s most important is what you really do with those activities.
Right? So one measure of that could be as a lot of people, you know his leadership positions, but that’s not the only one. It could be, you know, what you might have done that, that might have exhibited leadership qualities, but wasn’t necessarily, you know, the role of president. Right. So it’s, how did you really feel your role, whether as a member, as treasurer, vice-president as some other, you know, unnamed role that’s where you really want to be describing that in the description section.
And like I say, as well, don’t feel obligated to fill all 10 activities. You could have an excellent application that gets you into the most selective schools without, you know, with no more than maybe three or four activities. But that’s, you know, three or four is really just an arbitrary number.
It’s whatever, you know pertains to you. And finally you want to be ordering this from most significant activity to least significant. And that’s also a little vague In the last slide, I’ll get into like one metric for how you can tell if something is most significant. What I really want to be conveying is the fact that it’s mostly most significant to you.
So whatever’s most, whatever you think is most significant is probably what’s most significant to an admissions officer, because this is your application at the end of the day and not the next guys. But there’s one sort of metric that I’ll get to it on the last slide that if you’re having, you know, a lot of trouble with this might be able to help you out.
And for the time of commitment, a lot of people are unsure for what to put for, you know, a good estimate. Basically it’s no one’s gonna call your admissions or your guidance counselor and check to make sure that you were actually spending four hours a week on your debate team. Right. But at the end of the day, it’s really about just being honest to yourself and to the admissions officer.
And one metric, I guess, for. Which activity might be more significant, is that a steady time commitment that you tend to do every week is better than a short one? There’s one over a short period, I should say. So if you’re doing something for two hours a week, but it’s, you know, throughout the entire year or throughout the entire school year, that tends to be a more significant activity than something that you did for, let’s say 40 hours a week for one week, right?
Not a hard and fast rule, but you know, if you’re really at a loss for what seems more important, that could be one metric. Another thing that I tend to tell my clients is that it’s really important to tell two, to pretend that this is a resume, right? A lot of people put a lot of effort into their essays, their supplemental essays.
And then they sort of like, forget about really honing in on their activities list. This is sort of a mistake, right? Like you want to pretend that this is an extra essay. So when possible, just like you would on a resume quantify your achievements as much as you can. Like I say, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but sometimes you just can’t quantify something.
But if you can quantify like how much you might’ve fundraised for some event or how much you know, you might’ve achieved in a, in a quantifiable way. I also listed the word in the character count will be an issue at some point it might not be, but a lot of the time, you know, with 64 characters, 255 characters, you could easily, you know, run out of space to describe everything you wanna describe.
So that’s also where really maximizing every word comes into play here. And that’s why I like to tell my clients to treat this like an extra asset. So this is what that activities list looks like. This is, you know, filling in one activity. And you can see at the end, if you hit yes. For, are you involved in leadership role?
You just have to fill in whether or not you share that with anyone else. I guess there’s not too much to this. You’ll probably go over this with your advisor, but you know, like I said, I just want to emphasize that you should be treating this like like it’s like a, a separate writing section, I guess.
And then there was the honors and distinction section. So this is where you want to be highlighting your achievements. And again, if you can quantify if possible similar to the activities list you want to be ordering from most impressive or international or significant again, a little big too.
Sometimes it’s not big. Sometimes it’s really clear what you’re most impressed. You know, what your most impressive achievement is. Sometimes it might be a little harder. I also list that it’s actually not that necessary to, to fill in this section. A lot of people think that it’s a terrible thing.
If they don’t have any honors or distinctions, I personally only had one and I think it turned out fine because I highlighted my application in other parts or other sections of the application and that turned out to be okay. For me and for other people. I know. But this is a great place I think is what I tell clients is it’s a great place to really substantiate what you’re talking about in your activities list in your essays.
And so it’s sort of like gives credibility to what you’re talking about. So definitely take advantage of that. If it works. I list here, I guess the important point on this slide is really that you don’t want to be writing, for example, in my case CDL, because absolutely no one knows what that is.
And that might seem like common sense to you, but you’d be surprised how many people we’ll just use abbreviations that, you know, no one is aware. Yes. There are some like international words that maybe every admissions officer is aware thereof, but when you can try to just list out the full name, there’s probably space.
So the coalition essay, this is basically like the common apps equivalent of a like a personal statement. So it’s recommended that your essay is between 500 and 550 words, which is notably different than the common app, 650 word limit. What’s interesting about the coalition app is that actually every school can adjust that maximum word count.
And so you’re not bound to the 500 to 550. So usually schools don’t do more than a max of six 50. They usually don’t do less than a max of 500, but again, you want to be consulting your individual school just to find out the specifics there. And I’m not going to go too far or too in depth with the essay, but I do just want to cover a couple points and one is thinking of an essay idea.
So if you happen to find yourself in this boat, my recommendation is to really brainstorm a topic. And think about what essay seems to just fit for you before you actually look at the essay prompts that you know, you might’ve already looked at the prompts. That’s fine. But I guess my point here is the prompts are actually largely not too important.
You do want to be focusing on some some key aspects of the prompts, basically showing that you’re a thoughtful person who’s showing you, showing the admissions officer, what makes you, you, but at the end of the day, you know, and again, you’ll probably go over this with your, your advisor.
That is literally just tell a story from your life describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. And sorry, I just want to make sure that the audio is still okay. Because I’m getting a notification that my network is. Yeah. Christopher, do you mind repeating the last bit of what you just said?
Maybe like last two minutes or so I think your audio just cut out for a little bit and it came back. Sure. If anything I’m going to see if I can connect on my, on my phone. Cause that might just be easier. Sorry about that.
Yeah, if you want to maybe connect for like two minutes or so if you guys are attending dialing and just take a few minutes, so we’ll, we’ll continue to a little bit cool. Okay. Yeah, I guess during this time, if you guys want to start submitting your QA questions, that way they’ll all just be lined up when Christie first starts the QA section.
Okay. I just tinkered with the, hopefully my network is a little better now. If not then yeah. I’ll definitely jump right over to the phone. But in the meantime, hopefully this is okay for now. Again, very sorry about that. Basically. I was just saying that the coalition app essay is intended to really highlight what makes you different from the next person, right.
At its core. And I list here that it’s, it’s showing that you were a critical thinker, a thoughtful person and that you can really articulate that in words. Right? So it, there is obviously a writing component. It’s not just about the content, even though it mostly is about the content. And I guess just to substantiate my point a little bit, we can look at the first prompt, right?
And the first prompt is very vague. So tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. And so that’s sort of like substantiates what I’m saying a little bit, just the fact that like it’s with a prompt, as broad as that, there are so many different possibilities for what direction you could go in.
But at the end of the day,
it’s more about. I guess how you’re telling your story and also what the analysis of your story is. So what you sort of like recognize from, from an experience, what you you know, came to learn it after X, Y, and Z, it’s sort of always the same format, even though there’s a million different possibilities for what you could write about.
And so the, the reason why I’m including this is even though I said, I wouldn’t get too deep into the essay portion is because this is still a pretty, you know, arguably the important part of your application. And so I’ll just quickly go over these prompts. So I went over the first one. Second one is, 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 a contribution.
There’s. 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? So again, that sort of theme of like like metamorphosis for like changing from before to after. Number four, what is the hardest part of being a student now?
What’s the best part? What advice would give you would you give a younger sibling or friend assuming they would listen to you? This one is notably a little different from the other ones, but again, if you are trying to sort of like find the similarities essentially this one is asking just to sort of like, it’s sort of like trying to just get at your thought process, right?
Like, are the hardest parts of being a student? Like, are you just going to talk about the fact that it takes away from playing video games? If so then, like that sort of shows the admissions officer that like where your priorities are, I guess. Although you could totally turn that into like a good essay, if you sort of focused on the right things, I guess, right?
Like there’s no, there are a few topics that are really off limits. But the general idea is to sort of just get a sense of your thought process. And then number five, submit an essay on a topic of your choice. This is really as open-ended as it gets. But again, like, you don’t want to just be rambling on about, you know, the mitochondria, right?
Like aids gotta be some sort of focused essay on you. Right. You also don’t want to be focusing on, you know, someone else write the essays about you. So the additional information section is essentially, it’s supposed to be where you can explain accentuating extenuating, excuse me, circumstances. So something like financial you know, situations that might’ve affected your performance in school canceled internships, especially this year.
But there are also some other sort of creative ways that you could use this section. I tend to advise against just elaborating on activities or sort of pasting in a resume here, which some people try to do because that’s not what the section is intended to be. It’s not supposed to just be an extra space section.
It really is additional information. But if it’s something, if it’s, if there’s activities that you really just couldn’t fit, right. Activities that, you know, a new rate of more than 10, that just didn’t find their way somewhere else in the application, then you can sort of use the space wisely.
Definitely use a bullet points here because you don’t want to just be putting like an extra step. If it is something of this nature and like I say again, impressive is a, is another big word, but you can sort of get a sense of, of what really deserves to be here. Right. And yeah, so moving on to school specific supplemental essays these tend to vary from questions, like why Princeton to how do you, how would you see yourself contributing to you know, X, Y, Z school to just another essay that’s sort of similar to your personal statement, but, you know, obviously on a, on a smaller scale, because they do tend to be shorter.
Although there are exceptions so there’s really a, a wide breadth of possibilities here. Essentially you want to, you know, be following the same sort of guidelines that you would be following for the for the personal statement, right. And I list here as well that you should be you should stay tuned for bulls-eye articles.
Essentially these will be articles where people will really get in depth you know, into, in terms of how to really nail these essays. And these are written by students from the school which is, I think really convenient. So requesting recommendations or recommendations are obviously another pretty big part of your application.
The locker section that I went over earlier in the call is actually we’re going to be doing this. And so there are a few different types of recommended. I’m not going to get too. In-depth just because it looks like we’re running a little low on time, but essentially there’s the academic, the counselor and the general.
So the counselor and the academic are actually shared between the common app and the coalition app. But the coalition app gives you a lot more of each to actually submit. And I just want to quickly go over the general one, cause that’s the, you know, the most vague one here. Essentially this is supposed to be anyone who can share information about you and really any context.
But I tend to advise going for someone like a coach, a supervisor or manager and not like a friend is good if you, you know, maybe use one of them. But you don’t want to make, you know, let’s say all eight of them. If you’re submitting eight just friends, like it really should be. Someone who might be a superior, a superior, who’s seen your work in a non-academic context.
And so my reckon might actually the conventional recommendation, but also my recommendation is to always waive your rights to view this document though, you know, your FERPA rights. A lot of people sort of are uneasy about this, but 9.9 times out of 10, your teacher is going to say nothing but good things about you.
And so there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Hopefully you’re choosing you know, your recommendations wisely. And so the, the, the possibility of something negative or even, you know, two neutral won’t actually come about. Another, just sort of like practical point is that people tend to do one stem teacher and one humanities teacher for the common app, because you have a lot more you know options for the coalition app or a lot more recommendations that you can submit you might want to do more, but it’s a good idea to sort of get that breadth of the different subject areas.
And so I’m going to send out our last poll and that’s going to be, are you planning to use the coalition app for, oh, sorry. Have you recommended, have you requested your recommendation letters yet? So as those are coming in, I’m not exactly sure. I guess where you guys are at, in the application process, but typically by the end of your junior year is a good time to at least start thinking about asking your teachers end of junior year, going into the summer of your junior year is probably the best time, but it’s also totally fine.
If you ask your teachers at the beginning of your senior year, it looks like we’ve got actually, you know, a pretty good spread between you know, asking some, but not all asking all. And I want to know I know who I want to ask when school starts to sort of in that way. Hopefully, I guess, senior year a boat still deciding who to ask at 17% and then I guess, undecided.
Cool. Okay. And then as we just wrap this section up, so I just have a few tips. Like I already said, I’m not going to get too in depth with this because I already sort of went over it on and on is that you want to really treat your activity section like it’s another essay. And so one point that I haven’t gone over is the fact that you want to be sort of grouping your activities so that similar ones appear next to each other.
This is not really a hard and fast rule because maybe, you know, a, in terms of like significance or impressiveness, your most significant applications or activities are at the top. And so you can’t really group similar activities together. But when possible it’s nice, at least for the admissions officer to see similar activities next to each other, Also, this is just a tip that will help with you know, spam is to create a new email for all of your common app applications.
So this will both help you avoid spam and it’ll ensure that you won’t miss out on important emails because you’ve got sort of everything in one spot. It’s not like you’ve got, you know, your different emails, mixing. Finally something you hope might not be aware of is the fact that there’s going to be a print preview function.
This applies to both the common app and the coalition app that basically just allows you to see what an admissions officer would see. So after, you know, you filled out all the forms, what does the PDF format look like? This is a great way to see, you know, line breaks and just formatting in general, just to see if everything looks clean and you know, well prepared.
And so now I guess we’ll get to our live Q and a questions. And if we run out, it looks like we’ve got a good number, but if I get through all of these, then I’ll just go through the ones that you guys submitted you know, while you were signing up for this. So we’ll start with a tools question.
So if our school doesn’t report exact letter grades, so a plus a or a minus, but just reports, you know, a or B, et cetera, how should we input our letter grade into the coalition app? So this is actually a great way to be using the additional information section. And the other point about this is, I guess, just the first answer to your question directly is you want to be putting, you know, the ABC, the full letter grade but in general you know, user additional information section.
And the other point is that something that you might not be aware of is the fact that your guidance counts. When they’re sort of submitting your, their recommendation, there’s a, there’s a process of them submitting how your grades are calculated. And so there will probably be some about how you know, there are full letter grades for your school.
So hopefully that was helpful. How has the Cola, the coalition at different than its common app counterpart? So this was submitted a little earlier on, hopefully I’ve addressed that. And yeah, but a, just to sort of like summarize that so the biggest thing is just like what schools are actually on which platforms.
So at the end of the day, if your school doesn’t offer the coalition app, well, then you’re not applying with it. Right. Some other things are just the ease of obtaining a fee waiver. And then besides that you’ve got the locker, which is a nice feature the activities list, which allows you to sort of be a little more creative with what constitutes next.
And yeah, hopefully, hopefully that answers that. Do you know if any of the top schools I’m assuming they met, do you know if any of the top schools require the coalition app, but if I’m misinterpreting your question, then I guess you can resubmit. Yeah, like I said every Ivy except for Cornell and most other highly selective schools do accept the coalition app.
So hopefully that answers your question. If it doesn’t then, like I said, feel free to resubmit. Where can I DW the coalition app? I am embarrassed that I don’t know this abbreviation. But I’m looking it up right now. Okay. I’m not sure. So the revision is either if you’ve heard this question, I’ll, I’ll send you a reply back and then if you want to resubmit, I can, I can like.
Yeah, that would be great. Thank you. So would you recommend putting president of a club or science Olympiad captain before or after research project internship in a lab. In the, okay. So I guess this is like a priority, like you know, which should come first. So president of a club or captain before or after research internship.
So I guess if we’re going beyond the whole, like, what’s most significant to you sort of deal, I think, whatever you spent more time doing and wherever you like fleshed out your role, more like, to me, it seems like in internship is sort of on a shorter term than like a, a year long or school year long captain position.
So it seems to me that like the captain or the captain or president. Position should come first, but at the same time, you know, if you really took on that internship and you made the most of it, like maybe that should come first. I guess it’s a little circumstantial. So what are some examples of honors or awards?
So one example is like best speaker at a debate tournament or first place at the big tournament. It could be you know, first place at a science Olympiad event. So it’s mostly like, it’s, it tends to be like more academic words, but it could totally be something like you know, like a music award.
I know my one friend who, you know, really made a whole application out of playing the violin. She did NYO, which is basically this national youth orchestra. Her awards were entirely just arts awards. So you can definitely get creative. If I’m taking dual enrollment classes, do I need to add the college?
I took the courses from, yes. So if I, if so, do I need to make it clear in my app that I took it dual enrolled? Yeah. So I think there’s going to be a section in basically in the coalition app that basically allows you to just flesh out it’s actually a section called like college or something that lets you just talk about you know, what the college was, what the courses were.
So I go to a middle high school. So should I add extra curriculars and awards I did from then? That’s a good question. And I actually don’t have any experience with clients who sort of are in this boat. My, like I’m sort of leaning towards no, like don’t include the medical middle-school stuff unless it’s, you know, activities that you’ve sort of done since middle school and you’ve continued doing in high school.
Although, you know, like I showed you guys the combat doesn’t really have a way of indicating that because it’s just going to be like 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, I think in post-grad. So, but I, I would tend to advise against including like a middle school only activity that you didn’t continue doing in high school, because just based on all of the metrics that we’ve gone over in terms of like, what constitutes a worthwhile activity, doing something in middle school, no matter what, like I’m not saying that, you know, it wasn’t impressive or good or that it wasn’t important to you.
But it’s not, I guess, as relevant as, as some other activities. So what grade should we start using the coalition app? So, yeah, that’s a good question. Like I said, you can actually start using it as early as ninth, 10th grade. You can probably even make an account earlier than that with an email.
That would mostly just be for like keeping track of what your activities are, just so you don’t forget, you know, the smaller details keeping track of things like awards and any documents that might substantiate those awards. But in terms of like, when do you need to start actually creating your applications or like, I guess writing your like creating your core application and then also filling out, you know, like essay stuff.
People tend to do this sometime, either in their junior or in the summer leading up to their senior year or at the start of their senior year. And it’s really up to you. Like how early you want to start looking at these things. You obviously don’t want to be looking at it too soon because you won’t have the actual prompts that the schools use, even though they tend to be pretty similar.
I would say no earlier than I guess the, not really in the beginning of your junior year it just doesn’t seem to make sense from a, like, from a logistical sense. So what’s the main difference or benefit between the common app and the coalition app? So hopefully I have covered this by now. I think I, there was another Q and a question with the same like content how many recommendations would you say to submit?
So it would occur to you to submit less than two, right? Like the common app tends to, or like most people submitting with the common app tend to do, you know, one stem, one humanities. And so you could do the same thing here because you’ve got all of these slots though. I would say it would be nice to do, you know, if you can, if it applies to you and there are other teachers that would be willing to write recommendations maybe like one extra teacher, if they don’t fall into either of those categories.
If you’ve got a coach or a supervisor that could fall into the general category if you’ve got a friend that could really write a killer recommendation for you, maybe also something like that for the general catch-up. But definitely don’t, you know, don’t go crazy in terms of trying to find a bunch of recommendations because at the end of the day, too, I think is enough.
Sure. I just heard back from the other student, who’s another question where can IDW the coalition app or they met download the coalition. Yeah. I had a feeling that it might’ve been that. Okay. So just to clarify, download the coalition app, does that mean like, just like, I guess sign up for an account and cause I guess, okay.
Let me clarify something. Essentially. The coalition app is all done through like a, a web format. And there’s no like program that you need to download. The only thing that you might download, I guess at some point is that print preview. Cause you can create like a, a PDF form, but there’s no There’s no, like download per se, I guess, but if you want to, again, clarify, then I’d definitely be willing to, to re answer.
So what do you suggest rising high school juniors doing to prepare that would be helpful for applying to college? The biggest thing I think is like, you don’t want to forget what you’re doing. Like obviously you’re not going to forget the activities, but you want to really remember what the highlights are of your activities.
And so you want to be keeping track of like, oh, I did this, you know, really cool thing that my coach recognized. I should probably jot this down. Great place to do. That would be the locker. So things like that. But other than that, I guess just keeping, being aware of like what college essay prompts could be like for when the time comes to write that or to write them, excuse me.
That could definitely come in handy, I think. So what if you weren’t able to join as many activities due to financial reasons? Yeah. So this is a great place to explain. Maybe like how you might’ve. Yeah. I guess done more like creative type activities instead of the traditional ones. But even if that doesn’t apply the additional information section is a great place to explain, for example, extenuating surface circumstances and things that might’ve kept you from participating in more traditional activities.
Like you definitely don’t need to be that like conventional star student that does everything. In fact, no one, no admission officer wants you to sort of like spread your, be like what they call the Jack of all trades and just do like every possible activity. So definitely like work your work with your advisor in terms of like, finding the best way to like present yourself, I guess.
Yeah. Yeah. Cause you’re speaking of working center Badger, do you want to tell the group how, you know, they can work with you or also other advisors? Sure. So what I’m going to do is send out essentially. Sorry for that delay. So hopefully you should be seeing now a way to get actually started with actually working with adviser, which I’ve been alluding to a few times in these slides.
So hopefully this information here is clear. If there’s a starter plan for $49 a month, this is the most affordable way just to break into this like whole consulting plan. And essentially it’s an hour per month of private advising. There would be like technically a match between someone like me and you.
And behind me, there’s also someone working really diligently. Who’s actually an alum of the school. And then in addition to that, there’s someone who’s experienced in working with college applications. So there’s that mix of like three people, someone who’s currently at the school, someone who’s graduated and then someone who has a lot of experience with working in.
With college applications. So this tends to work really well for giving you the best advising possible. The scholar plan is sort of a step up from that it’s two hours of private advising per month. Also a match with an advisor of your choice. And with both plans you can cancel at any time.
There’s no contract locking you in. So if that sounds of interest to you, definitely feel free to sign up. And I’d love to get to know you and work with you closely to I guess really find what, what makes you, you that’s, that’s what I might, what my motto tends to be with working with clients is I really do think everyone has like one to two to three things that really set them apart.
Yeah, I guess just moving on with these questions. So if I got an award or honor for multiple. Then how can I include that in the honor or distinction section since it only lets you choose one grade level for honor, also thank you for all. Okay. No problem. So I think, yeah, this is a good question. I think what I tend to advise is just list the, the earliest year.
If it really is important to you that you explain that the years, you can definitely include that in for example, the additional information section, but it’s not too important. But again, if it’s like really significant to you, then definitely include that. There’s a way to do that in the additional information section.
So how can we tie it together or find commonalities and seemingly different activities that may not all be related to the major that you’re applying with. Okay. That’s a really good question. So I’ve found empathetic communication to be rather, okay. This is a great question. Actually a lot of people are under the impression that your activities needs to be closely tied to your major.
And that really couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, I shouldn’t say that because, you know, if they are tied, then it is nice, right? Because you can explain that you really have this strong interest, but most people actually have like a mix of two things. One could be like their academic interests.
The other could be what they spend most of their time doing. And that’s what, like, I tend to see as like combining two major parts of your application. You actually don’t want to just have this one thing that you do. Although like, for some people, like if you’re. Sports you know, if you’re an Olympic runner or something, then like, that’s totally fine to just have that one thing.
Right. But for most people it’s hard to really stand out with one thing. And so it’s actually nice to have two things that you’re, you know, that you’re really excelling in. Right. It’s it gets a little tricky when you start talking about, like, I do these 10 things, because like I said, you don’t want to be the Jack of all trades.
But finding like two or three core things that really make your application stand out is what you want to be aiming for. I was wondering if any of the top schools only accept the coalition app and not the common app? This is actually a question that I can’t answer because none of the schools that I applied with the coalition I’ve actually only accepted the coalition app.
But I will say that like, Hmm. Yeah, I guess it’s just like a question. Yeah. Yeah, sorry, I just got into that. But hopefully that information is easily accessible online. If not, then like definitely shoot me an email and I can, I can look into that. So do colleges prefer one over the other? Yeah, so they really don’t it’s really, really eat whatever platform, like I said, highlights your strengths.
There’s no preference between the colleges of one over the other. Should you list clubs that you did before high school, but then stopped doing so hopefully I covered that with that, you know, multiple question, but if not, just to, I guess, recap it almost like always tends to be the case that something you did in middle school, but didn’t continue is not something you should be putting in application, but it’s, that’s not totally like a hard and fast rule.
Like if there’s something that really was significant to you that you want to highlight, I guess that’s a question. You would want to work with, I apologize if I keep referring to an advisor and that’s not something that you’re interested in, but I think to give like a, a more direct answer, I, in most cases would not include that on my application.
So do our portfolios play a large role in the app? If music will likely be a large part of my app, I’ve been playing piano for 12 years and I’ve won many awards, but if admissions officers deem if it’s not the best, is it a huge deal? So I think that, let me just make sure I really understand that.
Okay. Okay. I, yeah, I just got it. I think in most cases, like eight depends on what you’re actually applying to. So like, I’m not sure if you were implying that you’re applying to some sort of music program, it seems like you weren’t. But if you are then obviously, like there’s a whole process for that.
Whether it’s like something like a conservatory or they’re supplying to like something like the Yale some like Yale music school or music department in most cases, and in those cases, obviously you do want to be include. Okay. In other cases, people tend to feel like sometimes like, okay, well, what if it’s actually not that good?
In most cases, it won’t hurt you. And I think if it’s something that you’ve been doing for a while for 12 years, it’s probably like, it’s probably really good. Right? So like, I guess I would just send it in. It can’t really take away from your application. You can only add to it. So should I quit club volleyball, even if I really truly enjoy it and feel personally fulfilled, but it takes a large amount of my time and might not be the largest part of my application.
So this is a really tough question and a really good question. And it’s actually funny because I was in the opposite boat. I found myself doing something that it took me way too long. It took me until like 11th grade to stop doing something that I really hated doing. Because I felt that like, it was important for my application.
This is sort of like the opposite situation. And I think it depends at the end of the day on, on what that time commitment is. And if you can sort of make compromises with that. So if club volleyball is a type of thing where you can say like, okay, You know, there are X number of practices. Like maybe it’s just impossible for you to say that you’re not going to go to every practice, but if it is possible to sort of compromise see if you could do something like that.
And at the end of the day, if it comes down to like, this is just too many hours, even if it’s something that’s personally really fulfilling, if it’s taking away time from your other activities that you also enjoy doing, or that like where it comes to a point where like, you, you feel like you are just not getting enough sleep because you want to do all these different things.
That’s where like the, the positive, you know, the benefit of continuing this is sort of outweighed by the negative effects of either stress or sleep for other things. So I would sort of like consider everything. I hope that’s not too big of an answer. So hi, I’m a freshman going to sophomore year, this fall.
Is there any tips or advice that you can give me? I have pretty good grades. I joined leader. I’m assuming that’s like a leadership position I’m in cross country and track. I have 180 plus hours of community service. So I think I’m pretty well rounded, but is there anything I should do more or less of, or any advice in general?
So first of all, like menu for, you know having such an impressive resume just from what I’m looking at. I think this is sort of like piggybacking off of the last question, focus on sort of like what you enjoy the most. It seems like this is not like, just based on what you’re talking about. This seems like a pretty good application.
Does it seem like you’re overloading on, on one thing, but if you find yourself, you know, participate in some activity that you just don’t enjoy I have the same advice as before, like consider if it’s actually worth it for you. I think as of now it looks fine. And in terms of like the community service, I guess it would depend on like, If you’re making the most of like, you just, you don’t want to just be doing like volunteer work just because you want to slap onto your resume.
Like see if you can find ways of maybe taking on a leadership position there or showing that you really care about the community service that you’re doing. And hopefully, you know, you enjoy doing that. So if we have an activity that we’ve put a huge amount of time into that doesn’t really go along with our spike or theme.
Is it a better idea to put it further down your list or keep it at the top another, you know, great question. And I think it’s something that like, in terms of like, this is a very sort of subjective thing, choosing the order of, of everything. And it’s something that I actually spent a lot of time doing, sort of going back and forth.
I do think it would sort of take it down a small notch if it’s not totally related to everything else. And if it is something that I myself had to do with one of the activities that had sort of nothing to do with the rest of my application, but not too big of a notch down, if that makes sense. So. I guess like, sort of like middle of the list, if you, if you have 10 activities or like maybe like, but no less, like, I wouldn’t make it like the last activity.
Cause it seems like a pretty impressive thing that you were talking about. So if I go over the 550 recommended word limit, will it potentially look bad for the admissions officers? I think it depends on the school that you’re applying to. They all have their different word counts, which is actually really annoying.
But yeah, I would say just like, if it’s more than like 650 words and the school limit is 550, I would probably cut a little bit. So if I have multiple words from the same competition I’ve attended for numerous years, should I list my words separately or together in one section? It’s a good question.
And I think I’m assuming you’re implying that like you have like more words than five and if that’s the case, then I would sort of condense a little bit But at the end of the day, that’s like another thing that you could either include in your additional information section or could even bring up in your activities list.
Right? Like I remember bringing up some, I guess like things that some other people might consider awards in, but that weren’t awards in my activities list. See, you know, if you can work with either of those should you submit AP test scores? Absolutely. Unless I don’t know if the implication was that they’re not, you know, fours or fives.
I guess like with threes, it’s, it’s sort of like a, maybe if you should submit it. But I think even if you don’t submit your AP test scores, I’m almost positive that you can still like submit them for credit. Like, let’s say you don’t want to submit your three, but your school accepts the three. I’m like 99% sure that you can still use that.
Like when you enroll in the fall is being coauthor of a research paper and honor award, or should this just go under an activity description? That’s a good question. Research papers are sort of hard to describe, I guess, but if it’s part of some sort of internship. Or one of the activities, I would probably just include it in the activity section.
And you can, again, elaborate on that in the additional information section. So if I’m doing a senior year nursing program, which section should I mention that in? Or should I not mention it at all? I would definitely mention it. It seems like something that is interesting and hopefully you enjoy doing and I I’m assuming is related to what you’re majoring in, in college.
So I would include it somewhere either as an activity, most likely as an activity or in the additional information section how many essays are required for college admissions. It is important to include your extracurriculars and awards in your college essays. I think the number of essays just depends on how many schools you’re applying to.
And I would actually advise against including extracurriculars or at least awards in your college essay. So some people think that the essays are just another spot to flush out their resume. And that’s a big mistake as I supposed to highlight a different part of your application. Right. A very subjective sort of like squishy you part, right?
So you don’t want to be talking about, you know, the trophies you won or the awards you won, you know, in, in X, Y or Z sport or activity. But obviously like some essays just lend themselves well, to talking about an extracurricular, that’s important to you. If that’s the case then like you don’t want to be talking about every extracurricular on your resume.
Just the one that you’re focusing on. Should I add extra curriculars that weren’t super significant to me on my application. So sort of like a very, I’m going to have one of those vague answers, unfortunately, because I feel like I don’t have enough information. I think it depends on how insignificant it is.
And I would say if you like have fewer than 10 activities and it’s something that you would do every week definitely include it. It’s something you did for one week then probably not. So you may have already answered this, but I play a unique instrument which doesn’t have any awards or certificates.
I can take part in. So should I still write it in my sorry, I just lost the question. So should I still write it in my college apps? I’ve been doing it for around four years. I would say it definitely definitely included. It seems like it’s something that, you know, if you’re doing it every week or every month, even it’s probably worthwhile.
How can I explore more of a field that I think I’m interested in, even if I feel behind and everyone’s already accomplished in it? So my biggest advice as a college student, so I’m currently, like I said majoring in computers. I think my biggest regret from high school is not, you know, looking into programming or computer science earlier because I always felt like, oh, you know, everyone else that programs has been doing this for so long.
And it wasn’t until my freshman year when I started looking into that, I think just really jump in. And like the biggest advice that I have is just like the mental, emotional part of it, which is like, don’t worry if everyone else seems accomplished, whether or not it’s something you can put on your on your college application is, is one question.
But like, if it’s something that you’re truly interested in then you probably, you know, are, are going to continue doing that in college. And so it’s worthwhile to look into that now. Does volunteering experience go in the activity section or should I put that in the additional info section? I would definitely put that in the activity section.
You also mentioned that you have numerous volunteering experiences. If they’re extremely related, let’s say they’re all like, for example, the same hospital, I would try to condense them into one. If it’s a bunch of volunteering experiences and that sort of what you’re referring to that, like, you don’t have enough space maybe maybe list like your top one or two try to condense if you can, and then yeah.
Then you would move on to the additional information section. Cool. So thanks a lot of your so we’ve got some questions from like some pre submitted ones. So why did you use the coalition app rather than the content. That’s a good question. And actually, this is something that I really don’t advise doing.
I actually had like hit the limit for the number of applications I could do with the common app. Again, like not something I’d recommend both on, from a perspective of like mental health. And also just like, it’s, it’s something that I have, that’s a regret from high school. Right. But it’s just, you know, the situation that I was in.
And so I just moved to the college now just being honest, if I don’t have a leadership role in my leadership class, should I still commit? I was a commissioner in freshman year and in my upcoming sophomore year, and this class requires a lot of work and stress. It can be fun at times, but it’s pretty difficult.
Most of the time this class makes me lose my Spanish two class. So would you recommend dropping the class, but I don’t really like it. Let me just make sure I really understand the question.
So I’m not too sure what you’re referring to exactly. But if it really is taking away time from like your, or taking away time from yourself really, right. Like, and adding a lot of stress and not allowing you to really like, make the most of your other activities, I think. But yeah, I think in that case then you, you might want to drop it.
Especially since, you know, it seems like you’re not in upperclassmen, if you are in it, like, I would still probably drop it. Like I mentioned, the band situation, how I dropped the 11th grade. You sort of just need to cut your loss at some point, I guess. I’m not sure if, you know, but can people go into biology or some interdisciplinary major, but without being a pre-med track?
Absolutely. I know a lot of people were in that boat, both at my school, people that I’ve advised. I know once they’re not Vanderbilt that I’m biased. Who was doing exactly that, actually. So what if I don’t have a specific theme? This might be the last question by the way, as we wrap up. So what if I don’t have a specific theme?
But I have different passions and interests. So student government music, church organizations, volunteering tech internship. How can I connect those? Good question. I was sort of in like a relatively similar boat because I didn’t have like, just two that I can focus on. You can still sort of find commonalities.
So like sometimes it’s just in like what you’re doing. So like, what I mean by that is like, maybe you can find commonalities in, like I volunteered for this political organization and I also was really interested in fate and those things might not seem too similar, but at the end of the day, I was able to talk about how like political issues matter a lot to me and how I was able to sort of connect those two.
It’s really impossible. I guess it’s not the end of the world. Like you don’t need to just have like two things that you do. Like people are human beings, they just do different things and that’s totally fine. And let me just see, how has your Princeton experience been? I’d love Princeton. Unfortunately, you know, as everyone knows, we had to go home earlier this year, but, you know, I just, I was, I was lucky enough that I sort of found a good group of friends before all that went down.
And so overall school’s amazing great professors. It is a very like undergraduate, like vibe, which I like it doesn’t, I don’t feel like, you know, very overwhelmed by the graduate programs. And yeah, just a good time. So hopefully that was helpful. I guess I’ll pass it over to Lily to wrap up.
And yeah, like I said, if at any point any of my advice interests you and you would like to work with me my name is here and it should be easy to find me on the list of mentors. Yeah, they want to work with Christopher specifically. I’m going to rescind the offer that he sent her. This way you can actually get in touch with, you know, Christopher and ask him more questions.
I know some of the questions we got in the QA were sort of really specific on these, really the questions that you want your advice to to answer and really just like, you know, have someone guide you along with your college process. So I’m going to read that out to everyone. Sorry. Christopher, do you have any, any concluding.
Yeah. You know, a again, like I basically, you know, with, with anyone that I’m working with, I always try to find, you know, those few key things that really set their application apart. So if that sounds like something that might interest you again, my name is there. Thank thank you so much Lilly for, you know, all of your help.
She’s been sort of like working on all the technical stuff behind the scenes and she, you know, prepped me beforehand on how to, you know, work with big markers, so props to her. Yeah. Yeah. So if you enjoyed this panel hopefully you’ll also like our next one. So we have another panel in two days.
It’s going to be a combined panel for boating college in Williams college. They’re both, you know, some top liberal arts school, so you can learn more about the liberal arts in general, and also learn about that these specific schools. So definitely recommend that you guys come to that. When you leave this webinar, you’ll be redirected to the link to actually register for this webinar.
But yeah. So thank you guys so much for coming out tonight, Stan and hope you guys know learns more about the collision app from Christopher and that you guys feel better about your college app.