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Wait for it - Another College Application Platform Opens this Month!

A new college application form was announced in October of 2015 with a roll out date of July 2016 for the 2016-17 application year and controversy dogged it immediately. Named the Coalition Application for short- it stands for Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success- and to date approximately 90 schools are participating to some degree and at some point although only about half will be accepting the application for the 2016-17 year. Yet, some some schools are already indicating they will only accept the Coalition Appllication for 2016-17 while others will accept all three types of applications that allow students to apply to many schools with one application: the Common Application, the Universal Application, and the new Coalition Application and yet others- Stanford and the Unversity of Chicago, for example, will accept the Common Application and the Coalition Application.

All schools who accept more than one type state that no preference will be made for one or the other form.

What is driving this new apppllication (two years in the making)? Two goals appear on the face of it. The meltdown during the 2013 Common Application revision roll out (all problems have been resolved) left some people worrying about a reliance on one application tool. More broadly, the Coalition Application is specifically aimed at widening the base of applications to underserved students and encouraging college appplication with an easier, more intuitive application that can be filled out on mobile devices.

The group of more than 90 public and private US colleges and universities agree to provide need-based financial aid or low-cost in-state tuition, and have a six-year graduation rate of at least 70%.

Possibly the most attractive aspect in the Coalition Application is the "locker" system it offers (although some schools ready offer lockers on their websites for students to upload material) to students beginning in the 9th grade to digitally upload videos, writing, projects, etc. The material in the lockers remains in the hands of the student until the student releases it to colleges during senior year applications.*

Just as the Common Application, the Coalition Application has choices of essay questions. Coalition Essays www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/essays.html

Also, just as some schools require supplements to the Commona Application, colleges and universities may ask for supplements to the Coalition Application.

At Rivermont, students in grades 9-12 will learn about the Coalaition Application and workshop it just as they workshop the Common Application. In the junior year, as they develop their lists of schools of interest, they will take note of what type of application each school suggests or requires. The list of colleges and universities that are participating at this time can be found at www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/members.html

To learn more, go to mycoalition.org

*" The Coalition Application provides a private online space called the Locker, where students can collect and organize digital material that might help them prepare for their college search, preparation, and application process. Only students have access to their Locker – however, they can share individual items from it with counselors or mentors for feedback and guidance. Students can also choose to attach selected items from the Locker to individual college applications based on college preferences. College admissions officers will not see what a student stores in the Locker and will not have access to any materials in a student Locker other than those included with a college application." http://admissions.yale.edu/coalition-application

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