Competition for the Common Application

Dear Estelle. Lately there’s been talk that the Common Application is no longer the only show in town when it comes to applying for college. How will that affect how my son, a rising senior, at Cherry Creek High School, applies to college?

AJG, Parent

There is a “new guy” in town, called the Coalition Application, who looks appealing but is creating concern for rising seniors and counselors. A few years ago, admissions directors from many colleges and universities across the United States decided they wanted to introduce a college application that would be user friendly, holistic and give opportunities and access to underserved students who might not benefit from strong counseling programs at their high schools nor have funds to hire a private college counselor. The selected colleges were not all highly selective nor private but represented a strong cross-section of schools around the country. Their intention was to start the application process as early as the 9th grade and possibly encourage students with fewer means to start thinking about college earlier.

The Coalition Application is still a “work in progress” with member schools rolling out its usage slowly. Eventually 56 schools will utilize it but only 3 plan to use it this fall, Carleton, Indiana University, and Vanderbilt who will also accept the common application.

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