Let’s face it. Applying to college can be confusing. With different schools requiring different types of applications and having different deadlines, the process can feel like trying to play a board game without any instructions. However, it doesn’t have to be some nightmare version of Monopoly. If you’re looking for some guidance as you start your applications, here’s a simple breakdown of the different type of application available to prospective students.
1. The Common App
The Common App has been around since the seventies and is accepted by over 800 colleges and universities. It is the most widely used application and is a huge time saver, as you can apply to tons of schools while only having to enter your personal information once. This application portal is definitely the most convenient, and I would recommend using it whenever possible.
2. The Coalition App
The Coalition app is a relatively new application platform created in an effort to make applying to college more affordable. It is used by 140 schools who meet certain criteria and have committed to making college accessible to low-income students. Although it is accepted by less schools than the Common App, if a lot of your schools accept it, it can be a very efficient way to apply to college.
3. School System’s Applications
Some school systems, such as the University of California System or the State University of New York system, have their own application that allows you to apply to all of the schools in the system at once. In many cases, these schools don’t accept any other type of application, so be sure to check the schools’ websites for their instructions.
4. Individual School’s Applications
Some schools will offer a school-specific application. While some may require you to use this application, others may allow you to use either the school-specific application or the Common App. In those cases, it may be more efficient to use the Common App.
Between researching schools, taking tests, and writing essays, applying to college can feel overwhelming.
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