Gear Up for Undergrad College Admissions in the U.S. (Part 1/2) Common App vs Coalition App

Updated: Aug 14, 2021

Every year hundreds of aspiring undergrads apply to international universities. A top college in the United States gets not less than 60,000 applications a year! Blame it on the American dream, or the incessant desire to experience studying in one of the most progressive countries in the world, America is flogged by millions of immigrant students at the beginning of every academic year.


We have discussed in our earlier posts, that creating a successful AP profile takes foresight and a lot of planning. It is found that each student fills up at least 7-10 forms to secure admission. Fortunately, to ease the application process to colleges in the U.S., we now have not one but two very helpful methods. The Common Application and Coalition Application. The good news is that with these methods, you can apply to multiple schools at once. Let’s have a look at the basic and the not-so-evident differences between the Common Application and Coalition Application to help you decide the one that’s suitable to you:



Common App vs Coalition App:


1. What are they?


Both Common and Coalition App are designed to smoothen your college admission journey. They help you apply to multiple colleges at once and manage your application meticulously.


2. Cost of Usage


Fortunately, both the applications do not charge anything for registration. However, some colleges charge an application fee which you might have to pay. The significant difference here is that, unlike the Common App, Coalition App onboard colleges offer significant financial support especially for students belonging to the underprivileged and economically weaker sections of the society.


3. Number of Colleges onboard


This is one of the major differences between the two applications. Common App has a larger pool of over 700 colleges onboard, however, the Coalition Application has only around 132 colleges registered with them. This explains why a greater chunk of students prefers the Common App against the Coalition app. But read on to understand the areas where the Coalition app scores.


4. Financial Aid


As mentioned earlier both the college application tools are free. However, there are certain inflexible criteria for schools to join the Coalition app. The Coalition app is made with a vision to make college applications accessible, affordable, and guided. So only the colleges that offer scholarships and financial aid to students coming from the neglected sections of the society can join the Coalition app. This makes sure that the students can get fee-waivers and financial assistance by choosing the Coalition app over others.


5. Other factors


Did you know, you can even add your parents, guardians, or mentors to your Coalition profile and include them in your decision-making process?

In addition, the Coalition app introduces a locker system to help you store your SOPs and LORs.

The Common App gives you a wider range of essay topic options and a recommended word limit of 500-550. The Coalition app has a lesser number of topics and allows a strict word limit of 650 words at max.


Also, it’s mandatory with the Coalition application to fill your complete academic performance beginning with high school- each of your subjects and their respective scores and your GPA.


To cut to the chase, both the applications are created to help students get their best shot at U.S. College admissions. However, some colleges have preferred to avoid both the portals. It’s mandatory to apply to them separately if you wish to be considered.

Here are the names of the colleges that are neither on the Common App nor Coalition App:

  • University of California system (including UC Berkeley or UCLA)

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • California State University System

  • Georgetown University

  • Brigham Young University

Team WritersQi lives and breathes college admissions. We stay on top of the admission trends to help students looking for guidance in the admission process. We know applying for colleges is a hectic process. Get in touch with us to clear your doubts. Because your first step to success should be a confident one.


All the best!

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