Coalition Application Essay Prompts for 2017-19


While the most popular college admissions application is the Common Application, over a 100 colleges are now using the Coalition Application, a competitor to the Common App first announced back in 2015.

Most colleges using the Coalition Application require you to submit one essay, and most times, more than one. The nice thing about the Coalition App is that you can start working on these essays at any time and save drafts on the Coalition website as you get feedback and make revisions.

139 schools plan to accept the Coalition Application in 2019-20 including Harvard, Duke, Columbia, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, and Stanford. You can see the full list here. The Coalition brags on its website that schools that use the Coalition App, have on average a 30 percentage point higher graduation rate than the national average.

One of the most unique features of the Coalition Application, which differentiates it from the Common App is its Locker system. The Locker lets you gather and store your application materials including essays, letters of recommendation, photos, and videos. The Coalition App also has a Collaboration Space where you can connect online with your parents and counselors to work on essays and other aspects of your application.

2017-19 Coalition Application Essay Prompts

The prompts for the 2017-19 application years 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.

While there is no required length for the essay, the folks over at the Coalition Application recommend that you aim for 500 to 550 words. I recommend staying as close to this count as possible. Admissions officers read dozens, if not 100s, of applications each day. Having a concise essay ensures the application reader can get through the entire thing. A brief, but well-written essay will always get you more points that one that is long-winded, but ultimately doesn’t say much.