What is the Coalition App?

If you’re thinking about studying at a US university, you should know your way around the Coalition App. It’s one popular method of applying to multiple colleges and universities in the United States. Stay tuned to get to grips with everything you should know about this online application system.

Here at The Profs, we specialise in university admissions, including US applications! We can provide you with valuable support to maximise your chances of success. So, don’t be shy to reach out to us if you’re serious about getting into your dream university.

We also have previous blogs on how to get into US universities as a UK student, as well as how to get into Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, MIT, NYU and the University of California specifically as a UK student.


What is the Coalition App?

The Coalition App is an online platform designed to streamline the application process for students applying to multiple US universities. It was created to promote accessibility, affordability, and student success. The platform facilitates the submission of applications, recommendation letters, and other supporting documents to participating colleges and universities.

What universities use the Coalition App?

Slightly over 150 US colleges are using the Coalition App. Some of these universities are extremely prestigious and well-regarded. 

The list below documents some of the highest-ranking US universities using the Coalition App in alphabetical order:

  • Amherst
  • Bowdoin
  • Caltech
  • Carleton
  • College of William and Mary
  • Columbia
  • ​​Harvard
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Middlebury College
  • Northwestern
  • Pomona
  • Princeton
  • Stanford
  • Swarthmore
  • UChicago
  • UMich (Ann Arbor)
  • University of Florida
  • UPenn
  • UT Austin
  • Vanderbilt
  • Wellesley
  • Williams College
  • Yale

Many of these universities place highly in US rankings!

Want to secure a place at any of these prestigious universities? The Profs can help! US admissions are our forte. 

The criterion for the Coalition App

Each university must meet the following criteria to be on the Coalition App: They must have affordable tuition, need-based aid, and a six-year graduation rate of 70% or higher. 

Accordingly, the Coalition App actively supports students from underrepresented populations or low-income families.

The benefits of using the Coalition App

  • Centralised application form: The Coalition App allows students to complete and submit a single application to multiple universities, saving time and effort compared to filling out individual applications for each institution.
  • Applicant locker: The Coalition App provides an Applicant Locker, a secure digital space where students can store important documents, such as essays, projects, and resumes, throughout their high school years. This feature enables students to showcase their academic and extracurricular accomplishments to universities.
  • Collaboration and mentorship: The Coalition App encourages collaboration between students, mentors, and counsellors. It offers resources and tools for students to seek guidance and support from their mentors and counsellors throughout the application process.
  • Collaboration space: Allows feedback from family or teachers on applications.
  • Inclusive: Resources aiding low-income and underrepresented students.
  • Free: The app is free to use, with college-set application fees.
  • Extracurricular report: Report up to eight extracurricular activities.

The cons of the Coalition Application:

  • Limited acceptance: 150 schools vs. Common App’s 1000. Hence, it affords much less choice and it’s harder to apply to a vast portion of the USA’s best universities. The Common App has access to more high-flying universities, purely due to the fact it offers more universities.
  • Limited accessibility: Absence of a mobile application.

For guidance and advice, reach out to our expert US university admissions team

The Common App vs the Coalition App

In the context of US university applications, two prominent platforms, the Common App and the Coalition App, provide students with tools to streamline the application process. While both serve a similar purpose, they exhibit distinct differences that applicants should weigh when deciding which to use.

  1. Number of participating colleges: As already stated, the Common App offers 1000 colleges. Whilst the Coalition app offers 150+ colleges. However, the Coalition App is growing.
  2. Application features: The Common App has a rollover feature for saved information, whereas the Coalition App has a “Locker” for storing application materials.
  3. Platform familiarity: The Common App is widely understood by teachers and counsellors. However, the Coalition App is gaining popularity but may need wider recognition. 
  4. Emphasis on underrepresented groups: The Coalition App is focused on aiding underrepresented students. This is evident in its collaboration space and readily available application fee waivers.
  5. Technical support: The Common App’s higher user volume causes it to have the potential for delays. Whereas, the Coalition App has fewer users and potentially quicker tech support.

Choosing between the Common App and Coalition App: what works best?

It’s worth remembering that if a college offers both application methods, they don’t favour one over the other.

Opt for the platform aligning with your target schools and personal preferences.

Ultimately, whether it’s the Common App or the Coalition App, selecting the application platform that aligns with your goals and college choices is key. Each has unique features, and your decision should be based on what suits your needs best.

If you need help with navigating the US college admissions system and submitting the best possible application, allow us to help.

How to get started with the Coalition App

1. Research participating universities 

Begin by identifying the US universities that accept the Coalition App. Visit their websites or contact their admissions offices to ensure they are part of the Coalition.

Feeling overwhelmed? Need guidance? Just let us know and we can offer dedicated support.

2. Make your profile 

Visit the Coalition App website and create an account. Provide accurate personal information and create a strong password. Remember to write down your login credentials for future reference. 

Complete your profile by providing essential details about your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal background. This information will help universities assess your fit within their institution.

3. Write your Coalition App essay: The statement of purpose 

The Coalition App requires students to write essays that reflect their unique experiences, goals, and aspirations. Take your time to craft well-written and impactful essays that highlight your strengths and personality.

The Coalition Application, akin to the Common Application, features both a main essay and school-specific prompts. Institutions can opt to include additional prompts. 

There are six main essay prompts to choose from on the Coalition App. You can view the current Coalition Application essay prompts for 2023-24 below or here:

  • Life Story: Share an experience that reflects your character or contributed to its development.
  • Passions and Influences: Discuss what interests or excites you, shaping your present and future self.
  • Positive Impact: Narrate an instance where you positively influenced others. Highlight challenges and rewards.
  • Challenged Beliefs: Recount a moment when your idea or belief was questioned. Explain your response and the lessons learned.
  • Achievement or Obstacle: Detail a personal success or challenge faced. Offer advice to a friend in a similar situation.
  • Free Choice: Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

You should note that there are many differences between the personal statement and the statement of purpose. Firstly, the personal statement is an essay required by all UK universities, whereas the statement of purpose is an essay that’s required by most US universities. 

The personal statement is intended to be less personal than the SOP and more focused on academia. The objective behind it is to sell yourself to your chosen universities as the perfect student for your desired course and a good fit for the university’s community. Usually, students demonstrate their relevant academic achievements and prove their academic aptitude for their course. Extracurriculars are almost irrelevant if they are not connected to the student’s chosen course. 

However, the statement of purpose differs entirely in that it is a student’s chance to introduce themselves to their chosen universities. The SOP is supposed to demonstrate who they are and what kind of character they have. 

Due to the American university system, students might have not yet chosen their majors, and hence, they cannot talk about their passion for a specific course. The SOP might include personal stories pertaining to challenges they’ve faced or what drives them. Moreover, US universities love to hear about extracurriculars, even if they seem irrelevant! 

If you want to nail your statement of purpose and/or your university-specific essay questions, then reach out to our expert US university admissions team and/or writing tutors. You can also check out our previous article on how to write a statement of purpose. We also have a previous video on the UK’s personal statement.

4. Request recommendations

Reach out to teachers, counsellors, or mentors who can provide strong letters of recommendation. The Coalition App allows you to send invitation requests directly to your recommenders, making the process seamless.

5. Submitting your application

Review your application thoroughly before submitting it to ensure accuracy and completeness. Pay attention to application deadlines for each university and submit your application well in advance.

For insider knowledge, chat with our expert US university admissions team!

How to use the Coalition App as a UK applicant

UK and other international students can use the Coalition App to apply to colleges and universities in the United States, of their choosing. So, UK applicants and those from across the globe, don’t fret! 

You must fill in your application the very same way that a US student would. However, you will need to submit your country’s equivalent to the US qualifications e.g. A levels or IB etc. There may be some slightly different questions about citizenship and residency, and you may have supplementary questions to answer from some of the colleges.

Also, if you’re applying to a US university from a non-English speaking country you will probably need to submit proof of your English language proficiency. 

When you accept your offer to a US university, you’ll need to begin your US student visa application. Click here to apply for a student visa.

Additional tips to succeed with the Coalition App

  1. Start early: US university applications can be time-consuming and require careful planning. Begin the application process well in advance to avoid unnecessary stress and ensure you have enough time to prepare a strong application.
  2. Research university requirements: Each university may have specific requirements and supplemental essays. Familiarise yourself with these requirements and tailor your application accordingly.
  3. Seek guidance: Reach out to your school’s college counsellor or mentor for guidance throughout the application process. They can provide valuable insights and support.

For expert guidance and advice, reach out to our US university admissions team!

The Coalition App fee waiver

By checking applicable boxes in Scoir’s Fee Waiver section, students can explore fee waiver opportunities without additional documentation.

Universal eligibility criteria accepted by all Coalition members include:

  • Qualification for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Programme.
  • Receipt of College Board, ACT, and/or NACAC fee waivers.
  • Pell Grant eligibility.
  • Participation in TRIO programmes.

Additional opportunities are available for students who:

  • Are veterans or active U.S. Armed Forces members.
  • Identify as first-generation college attendees.
  • Receive public assistance.
  • Participate in programmes offering financial aid for low-income families.
  • Reside in subsidised housing or are homeless.
  • Are wards of the state or are orphans.
  • Receive need-based scholarships elsewhere.
  • Are assisted by college or university access programmes.

The fee waiver questionnaire, housing these choices, is available on Scoir. By selecting relevant options, students can access a list of fee-waiver-enabled schools. Additionally, direct school contact is an option for fee waiver requests.

For more information on application fees and the Coalition App fee waiver, see here.

Get 1-to-1 guidance from a US admissions consultant

Hopefully, this article has given you a comprehensive understanding of the Coalition App and how it can simplify the college application process. Remember, by utilising the Coalition App, you can present a compelling application to your dream universities. 

If you’re serious about getting into your dream US university, contact our admissions team. We are university experts; that’s why over 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities. 

We have countless success stories from our students, who’ve gotten into top universities, like Yale and Harvard, through our guidance. Why should your story be any different? Contact us to secure your spot.


How do UK students apply to American universities?

UK students can apply to undergraduate programmes at American universities the same way that Americans do. Most US universities offer one more of the following application methods:

Always check how your chosen university would prefer for you to apply as this can vary.

Don’t forget that our team of experienced admissions experts are here to guide you through your US university applications. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you. From selecting the right universities and crafting a compelling statement of purpose to preparing for interviews and understanding the intricacies of the Coalition App, our tutors provide personalised support tailored to your specific needs. We have a proven track record of assisting UK students in gaining admission to top US universities, including Ivy League schools and renowned medical schools. 

Contact us today to start your journey towards success.

Can Coalition App detect AI, like ChatGPT?

It appears that the Coalition App does not have a feature that checks personal essays for the presence of AI. However, the Coalition App does not admit you, it’s merely a vehicle used to present you to your chosen universities and assess your application for admittance. 

Some universities may have systems in place to check for AI-generated applications, and those that don’t will still be very aware of the current popularity of tools like ChatGPT. Admissions staff are likely to look out for certain phrases, tones and sentence structures that point towards AI being used!

The point of the SOP is to generate something personal and unique to you; it’s hard for ChatGPT to achieve that and it’s almost impossible for it to capture your voice. Hence, it’s highly recommended that you write this essay yourself! There are many reasons to use ChatGPT:

  • Now that AI is so popular, many applicants could be using it. So, you will not sound original or stand out.
  • AI-generated writing is often mediocre and unengaging. You will have to rephrase and edit the work a lot to make it good quality and your own. At that point, you may as well write something yourself!
  • An AI-generated SOP will be generic and fail to offer personal insight into who you are, your character and your voice.
  • Admissions staff might be able to tell that your essay has been written by ChatGPT and think you’re lazy or unimaginative and decide not to offer you a place.
  • ChatGPT pulls its knowledge from the internet, hence it is often considered plagiarism to turn this work in as your own. So, some admissions staff could disqualify you as an applicant on the grounds of plagiarism.  

For expert help, reach out to our expert US university admissions team and/or writing tutors

What is the Coalition Application and how does it differ from other college application platforms?

The Coalition Application is a versatile college application platform used by approximately 150 US colleges. It stands out for its emphasis on accessibility, offering resources for low-income and underrepresented students. Unlike some platforms, it allows students to save information and materials for multiple applications.

Can international students use the Coalition Application, and what are its benefits for them?

Yes, international students can use the Coalition Application. While it is primarily focused on US colleges, several international institutions also accept it. The platform’s unique features, such as the Locker for storing application materials, can be advantageous for any student.

How can students access fee waivers through the Coalition Application, and what are the eligibility criteria?

The Coalition Application simplifies the fee waiver process. Eligibility criteria include qualification for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Programme, receipt of certain fee waivers, Pell Grant eligibility, and participation in TRIO programmes. Additional opportunities are available for veterans, first-generation college attendees, and those receiving public assistance.