While the Coalition Application is gaining ground on the Common Application by increasing the number of subscribing colleges, the’ve got a lot of ground left to cover. Currently, 750 colleges subscribe to the Common Application while the Coalition Application has only 132 member institutions. Of these 132 members, 113 schools accept the application this year. Schools such as Brown University, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania will accept the application beginning next year (for the Class of 2022 or this year’s high school juniors). For those who aren’t familiar, the Coalition Application is the platform of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, which launched for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle — though some schools such as UPenn have waited to accept the application platform. Today, Ivy Coach was cited on the pages of “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, in which we make our criticism of this new platform known.
Common Application vs. Coalition Application Membership Numbers
As Harry Trustman writes in a piece entitled “Penn welcomes the Coalition App — an admissions platform designed to increase accessibility,” “Brian Taylor, the managing director of the college counseling service Ivy Coach, said the Coalition Application has a smaller number of member colleges than the Common App. ‘Why should you have to go to the great length of filling out this whole other application when so many schools don’t subscribe to the Coalition Application?’ Taylor said. ‘Why not just do it all on one application? It’s easier for everybody.'”
Indeed even after UPenn, Brown, and Cornell accept the Coalition Application for the Class of 2022, there will still be a number of colleges that subscribe to the Common Application but not the Coalition Application. To put the numbers in perspective, 132 schools are signed up with the Coalition, but only 113 schools are using the application platform this fall. Another 19 colleges will be adding the platform next fall (including UPenn, Brown, and Cornell). But these figures don’t compare to the Common Application’s membership numbers. To reiterate, 750 colleges accept the Common App.! So why work off two applications when one can much more easily only work off one application?
Coalition Application Limits Member Colleges
It doesn’t seem like the Coalition Application will be challenging Common Application in this numbers arms race anytime soon, instead choosing to apply restrictions on which schools can and can’t join. As an example, the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success has mandated that schools seeking to be member institutions much maintain a minimum graduation requirement of 60% (the figure was originally 70%). As Trustman writes in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “Taylor, however, did not see a purpose for this arbitrary bar for membership. He said it was likely to be an advertising tactic and likened the minimum requirement to ‘maybe the same reason why an empty bar keeps a line outside.'” Hey, we tell it like it is at Ivy Coach — always have and always will. Deal with it.
Beyond the membership numbers and how these numbers alone are cause to use the Common App., if you’re curious about the differences between the Common Application vs. the Coalition Application (and the pluses and minuses of both), check back tomorrow as we analyze the two platforms on the pages of our college admissions blog.