Your Guide to the Coalition Application Essays

The Coalition Application lets students quickly apply to some of the best universities in the country by sharing application information with multiple schools at once. Currently, around 150 universities use or accept the Coalition Application, including all eight Ivy League schools.

The Coalition Application only partners with universities that offer financial assistance to students from low-income households, expanding the number of applicants applying to the nation’s top schools.

We'll help you make sense of these writing prompts, so you can make the right impression on admissions officers. 

Essay Prompts:

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

Tip: A great question for students with unconventional backgrounds, this question will help you stand out if you’ve had to deal with some challenging situations in your life. Focus on truly inspiring stories that go above and beyond the traditional high school experience.

  1. 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.

Tip: If you love giving back to the community, this is the prompt for you. You’ll really need to show off your selflessness here, so shy away from making yourself sound like a modern-day Mother Theresa. The best answers show a lasting tie to the community, not just one day of volunteering before you head off to college.

  1. 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?

Tip: We live in such a polarized political climate these days, so this is a great opportunity to show your open-mindedness. You should also provide some context for your beliefs, including where they came from and why you choose to stick with them to this day.

  1. 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)?

Tip: What it means to be a teenager has changed dramatically over time. If you feel strongly about your experiences as a teenager, you should be able to come up with a striking answer to this question. Despite the wording of the question, try to make your experiences feel unique, as opposed to talking about teenagers in general. Remember that the college is reviewing you, the applicant. Chances are they already have a keen understanding of what the average teenager looks like today.

  1. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Tip: Remember to focus on your individual experiences as they relate to this specific moment in your life.  You can also use this option to revamp your Common App essay with slightly shorter word count in mind.

 Just be yourself and take your time writing your answer. Even if you’ve lived a fairly ordinary life, colleges want to get a sense of your writing abilities, so make sure you’re telling a compelling story. Everyone has something interesting to say, it’s just a matter of finding your voice.

Need some help with your college application? Sign up for a free breakthrough session at VivED Consulting. We’ll help you determine your strengths that will help you succeed.