With so many choices, it can be hard to know which application to submit for which school, so I thought I would provide some guidance to help families navigate the various application options.
Always choose the Common App
If a school accepts the Common Application and ANY other application, always go with the Common App. Always. Regardless of the other factors involved (the only exception to this rule would be for a “priority” application that waives the application fee, IF AND ONLY IF the application fee represents a financial hardship or concern). This will save you a lot of time!
Coalition App vs. Institutional/Systemwide Apps
Unfortunately, this decision isn’t as clear-cut because there’s more to consider. This became lengthy as I typed it out, so I decided to put together the infographic below to make it easier to understand.
Don’t Forget: Not every school offers a choice!
There are still plenty of schools out there that do not offer an alternative to their institutional and systemwide applications. When you’re considering the infographic below, make sure that you only include the ones that offer a choice when asked to do so.
Examples of Schools in Various Categories
Schools requiring institutional or systemwide applications:
The University of California system-wide application, College of Charleston
Schools requiring the Coalition Application (a.k.a. Coalition-Exclusive):
Virginia Tech, University of Maryland
Schools with abnormally difficult institutional or systemwide applications that offer the Coalition Application as an alternative:
ApplyTexas (the University of Texas systemwide application)
Schools with typical institutional or systemwide applications that offer the Coalition Application as an alternative:
Note: All requirements are accurate as of June 11, 2019