Coalition Application Users Posted

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The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success is unveiling a new college application this summer and has announced which of its members will be using it in the next admissions cycle and which are holding off a year. Fifty-eight will use the new application and 36 will not. The list may be found here.

The (58) schools planning to accept the Coalition application for 2016/2017 are:

American University
Amherst College
Bowdoin College
Bryn Mawr College
Carleton College
Claremont McKenna College
Clemson University
Colgate University
College of the Holy Cross
College of William & Mary
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Davidson College
Denison University
Duke University
Emory University
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Indiana University – Bloomington
Johns Hopkins University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Pomona College
Purdue University
Reed College
Rice University
Rutgers University – New Brunswick
St Olaf College
Stanford University
State University of New York – Binghamton University
State University of New York – College at Geneseo
Swarthmore College
Texas A&M University
Tufts University
Union College
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Iowa
University of Maryland – College Park
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Vanderbilt University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wake Forest University
Washington University in St. Louis
Williams College
Yale University

The (36) additional member schools that will accept the Coalition application for 2017/2018 are:

Bates College
Brown University
Colby College
College of New Jersey
Colorado College
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Florida State University
Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Grinnell College
Haverford College
Illinois State University
James Madison University
Miami University – Ohio
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
Mount Holyoke College
Oberlin College
Princeton University
Ramapo College
Skidmore College
Smith College
State University of New York – University at Buffalo
University of Georgia
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Mary Washington
University of Michigan
University of Missouri
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Vermont
Vassar College
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University

More Schools Added to The Common Application


So happy Indiana and Wisconsin will now be on the CA. It is always helpful to students (and counselors) to have one less school specific app to proofread. Big time-saver!

New Members of The Common Application

United States

Alvernia University
Antioch College
Baker University
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Baylor University
Benedictine College
Benedictine University
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
Carthage College
Concordia College at Moorhead
Concordia University Chicago
D’Youville College
Dean College
Eastern Kentucky University
Edgewood College
George Mason University
Goddard College
Hastings College
Indiana University-Bloomington
Keiser University Flagship Campus – West Palm Beach Florida
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Middle Tennessee State University
North Park University
Northwest Nazarene University
Ohio University
Paul Smith’s College
St. Andrews University (NC)
Stephens College
The Culinary Institute of America (CA)
The Culinary Institute of America (NY)
The Culinary Institute of America (TX)
Touro College
University of Akron Main Campus
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Bridgeport
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Western Illinois University


Birmingham City University
Bishop’s University
Doshisha University, The Institute for the Liberal Arts
IE University
Quest University Canada
Saint Louis University-Madrid
University of East Anglia
University of Hong Kong
University of Lincoln
University of Warwick
University of Worcester

The Coalition Releases Application Essay Prompts


The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success recently released its application’s 2016-2017 essay prompts. With the inclusion of the “topic of your choice” prompt, it looks like students will not have to write a new personal statement if they decide to submit apps via this prompt in addition to the Common Application—so that’s good news! Additional information from their site, and the prompts, below.

Submission Guidelines

With so many institutions participating in the Coalition, there are many different admissions guidelines, and schools will treat these general application essays differently in their admissions processes: some schools won’t require an essay at all; other schools will require one of the general essays and answers to additional school-specific essays or short answer questions. Please consult the application requirements for each Coalition school in which you are interested.

Suggestions for Use

You are free to work on these essays at any time. (You can even store essay drafts in your Locker!) They are useful for honing your essay writing skills as well as for inclusion with your application. If you plan to submit one of our general essays with your application(s), please use one of the prompts offered during your application year.

Essay Prompts

The prompts for the 2016-17 application year are:

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

-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.

-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?

-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)?

-Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Princeton Review: Why You Need a College Counselor


According to the Princeton Review, a college counselor should be a strategy consultant, coach, and cheerleader all rolled into one. I couldn’t agree more! Here are a few of their thoughts on why you need a college counselor and how your counselor fits into your overall application timeline.

Lower your college stress

Applications are stressful. 73% of respondents to the 2015 College Hopes & Worries survey gauged their stress levels as “high” or “very high.”  Knowing that there are college experts in your corner can make all the difference. At The Princeton Review, our college counselors are available face-to-face whenever you have a question (or just need some encouragement).

Make a wish list

Talking with a college counselor about your dreams and goals can help you figure out what you really want out of college. Does your best-fit college run a popular co-operative education program? Are you looking for a politically active student body? Conversations with your counselor about what’s important to you in terms of academics, campus culture, and financial aid will help guide your overall college search.

Find and compare colleges

There are hundreds of colleges out there, and the right school for your unique personality and goals may be an Ivy League or it might be a school you haven’t heard of (yet!). College counselors are pros at helping you research schools and then narrowing your list to the colleges you should focus on.

Help you rise to the top

In a competitive applicant pool, a stellar college application is about more than just grades and SAT/ACT scores. Your college counselor will help you position the rest of your application to tell the story of who you are through your essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Counselors know which essay topics are overdone, how to make good use of supplementary materials, and how to explain an uncharacteristic bad grade to admissions committees.

Choose the right school for you

Your college counselors will help you craft your list of dream, match, and safety schools and craft the right application strategy for your college wishlist. And when those acceptances roll in, your counselors help you compare programs and financial aid packages so that you make the right decision for you.


2016-2017 Common Application Essay Prompts

CA 2016-2017 Prompts

No changes to the CA essay prompts for the upcoming admissions cycle; yay!

Most of my students disregard the prompt when thinking about their essay, but when it comes time to submit end up categorizing it as #1. See all five options below. Time for juniors to start brainstorming!

2016-2017 Essay Prompts
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.