The Coalition College Application Essay Prompts Are Released

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Mandee Heller Adler, CEO of International College Counselors, weighs in on the newly announced 2016-17 college essay prompts for the college application from the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success.

International College Advisors

International College Counselors

Once the Coalition App ramps up, this will almost certainly impact admissions strategy and how students submit their applications to colleges that are part of this initiative.

Without a doubt, the college application process is confusing. The good news is, the education consultants at International College Counselors are staying on top of recent changes for the benefit of students and their parents.

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success and their alternative college application have just announced their essay prompts for the 2016-17 application year.

First, what is the Coalition? The Coalition is a group of 93 leading colleges and universities that united to create an alternative for the Common Application.

The Coalition Application is set to launch in July. The big news for now is that the recommended essay prompts for the 2016-2017 season have been released, though colleges can choose to not require an essay or offer alternate options. A word limit has not yet been announced. Which schools will be using the application is still unclear, as well. Of its 93 members, “a few dozen” are saying that they are not planning to use the application this season, according to Inside Higher Ed (4.20.16). Part of their reasoning is the questionability of how well the technology will work.

The prompts are as follows:

1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Similar to the Common App, some Coalition member colleges will not require an essay, others will require just the one main essay, and others will require one main essay plus their own college-specific essay(s) and/or short-answer questions. So far, most members of the coalition who say they will use the application are also saying it will not be required and they will still accept the Common Application. Other schools say they are only accepting the Coalition App, including University of Florida, University of Maryland, and University of Washington.

Closer to the application launch in July, the Coalition will publish a list of which colleges are using the Coalition application and which are not.

“Like the majority of college admissions advisors, the expert education consultants at International College Counselors worry about using a new admissions platform in its first year, but we are committing ourselves to understanding the new application process so that we can best serve our clients around the world” said Mandee Heller Adler, CEO of International College Counselors.

The biggest difference between the Coalition App and the Common App is that students will be able to submit a portfolio with the Coalition App. In this portfolio, students will be able to share work, essays, other writing samples, videos, details about extracurricular activities, and more. The portfolio is supposed to go live this month.

“Once the Coalition App ramps up, this will almost certainly impact admissions strategy and how students submit their applications to colleges that are part of this initiative,” said Adler.

For more information on the Common Application or the Coalition Application or for information on college admissions, visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 954 414-9986.

About International College Counselors

The college advisors at International College Counselors help students from all over the world find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert educational consultants at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college admission process.

Additional Resources 
From Public School to the Ivy League: How to Get Into a Top School Without Top Dollar Resources by Mandee Heller Adler and Aimee Heller, International College Counselors

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