The process of applying to American universities is fairly streamlined. Many university applications are similar, which makes life much easier for families and for students. The process, however, still can be a lot to manage, which is why Occam Education created Vitae Me (download here for iOS and Android), the app that will keep you organized and on track during the college application process. The second article in this blog series will discuss one of the three of the most common applications used by colleges and universities in the US:

The Coalition Application. 

This application, which is used by approximately 90 schools, is the second largest application program for US colleges and universities. The Coalition App sets itself apart by only working with colleges that show they provide substantial support (through financial aid, scholarships, etc) to underrepresented and lower-income students. The application itself is fairly similar to the Common App, even though not all schools will require the same things. For instance, some schools require the student to answer some questions about themselves, while others do not.

What To Expect

The main section is a basic application similar to the Common App and it includes the following sections:

  • Profile: covers the student’s demographic, citizenship, and basic contact details.
  • Family: information about the student’s parents/guardians and siblings.
  • School Information: asks for information on all schools the student has attended, grades, courses they have taken, and honors, among others.
  • Activities and Experiences: a student may list up to 10 activities they have participated in, including school extracurricular activities, hobby clubs, music lessons, internships, and philanthropy work among others.
  • Testing: information about the student’s test scores, including country-specific exams. (An example of a country-specific exam is the A-level, taken by students in the UK.)
  • Writing: an essay between 250 and 650 words long. Students may select from five topics, which change yearly and may be viewed on the Common Application’s home page.

There may be a few specific questions and writing assignments for each university and each school will have their own form for submitting recommendations as well. As you can see, it almost mirrors the Common App in format and structure. 

The Coalition App is often used by students and families who want to apply to schools that focus on making college financially accessible to all students, especially those in underserved populations. When we at Occam work with students, we help students manage all their applications to ease the student’s workload and ensure that nothing gets left out. This is also why we created Vitae Me (download here for iOS and Android), an app to help you keep on top of all your admissions-related tasks and deadlines, right from your phone! Join us for the third post in this series to learn more about the University of California Application.