Common Application and Coalition Application to Study in the USA


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on May 13, 2022 03:34 PM IST

Applying to US universities at one time can be a tedious process. Thus, to facilitate students and make the application process more efficient, USA universities tend to prefer the Common Application or the Coalition Application portals. In this article, we will discuss both the portals in detail and how to apply to US universities via these portals.

Common Application vs Coalition Application to Study in the USA

Every year, thousands of prospective undergraduate students apply to numerous colleges and universities. On average, a candidate ends up filling out at least 7-10 admissions applications to get access to their desired college or university.

However, managing those applications can become a tough job indeed. Though with these two famous applications - Common Application and the Coalition Application - any student can easily apply to their choice of universities.

The Common App and the Coalition App allow students to fill out one standardised application to apply to multiple universities. Both give students a way to track, fill, and submit applications to multiple schools. The platforms are free to use, though applicants may still need to pay application fees for the colleges they are applying to achieve their dreams.

What is the Common App?

The Common Application is one of the most sorted applications in terms of filing admission applications and is majorly used by international students. The most exciting part is that this application covers almost all the colleges and universities in the USA and other major destinations to study abroad.

The Common App covers 700+ colleges and universities globally. So, candidates have a plethora of options to choose from. Another thing is that students have full freedom to apply to up to 20 colleges through the application.

What is Coalition App?

The Coalition Application was introduced recently in 2015 as a free platform that allows students to apply at multiple colleges with a singular application.

Various top colleges and universities come under the list of this platform. Here, prominent universities like John Hopkins University, Stanford, and the University of Chicago are all included in the application's list.

Just like Common Application, candidates can use the Coalition Application for free, however, they are needed to pay an additional fee to schools which demand an application fee during the time of applying. The best part of this application is that it also accepts colleges that offer significant financial aid via scholarships or financial support to underprivileged or low-income candidates.

Get Personal Assistance in Applying to TopUSUniversities!

How to Apply to US Universities?

Both Common Application and Coalition Application are easy-to-navigate portals, and hence, students can quickly apply to their desired college or university in no time. Here is how you can apply to US universities via the Common Application and Coalition Application:

How to apply to universities using the Common Application portal?

Follow, these easy steps to apply to your favourite college:

  • Create an account: The candidate just requires an email address to get started. He or she will be asked a few questions (personal details) and generate a password.

  • Confirm college: As Common Application does not accept all educational institutes, make sure your desired college or university is on the list of applications.

  • Add colleges: Add the colleges and universities to the 'My College list' in your account.

  • Review: Review the admission information first. Make sure that colleges and universities listed here can have different writing, testing, essay, and LOR requirements.

  • Gather information: Gather all documents required for Common Application. This will includea copy of your high school transcript, a list of extracurriculars, and details about your parent or guardian's educational background and work history.

  • Work on your application: Start working on your application. All your colleges and their status will now show you on your dashboard. Pick one and start filling up the details.

  • Track Status: The icons can help you out with this. A green check means the work has been submitted, yellow depicts that it is still in progress and a red dash means that a particular section is not so needed by the university or college.

  • Submit: Make sure to submit all the applications by sharp 11:59 pm (in your local time) on the date of the deadline.

That is how a candidate can apply at Common Application for various universities and colleges.

How to apply to universities using the Coalition Application portal?

Follow these steps to begin a Coalition college application here:

  • Register: First of all the candidate is required to register himself or herself with basic information.

  • Check: Give a check first whether your desired college falls under the list of Coalition Application or not.

  • Add colleges: Select colleges and universities you are interested in.If the college or university is a member of the application and is currently taking admissions, tap on the start application button.

  • Check requirements: Go through the requirements of every college, as they may vary.

  • Type of applicant: Select what type of applicant you are - a first-year student or a transfer student.

Now your application has been submitted and you can track the status in your dashboard.

Universities Accepting Common App and Coalition App

Common Application is accepted by over 900 colleges and universities. While the Coalition Application, which includes colleges in at least 35 states and Washington, DC, is now being accepted by these institutions.

Check out the university list that falls under both these two applications.

Common Application Coalition Application
Harvard University University of Florida
Princeton University Caltech University
Yale University College of William and Mary
Stanford University Columbia University
Duke University University of Chicago
Rice University Yale University
Brown University Amherst College
Dartmouth College Vanderbilt University
Northwestern University Northwestern University
Cornell University Princeton University

Universities That Do Not Accept Common App or Coalition App

Both the Common and Coalition applications are quite popular amongst the students who are aspiring to pursue an undergraduate course. However, there are still a few universities that do not accept either of both applications. For these colleges and universities, students can either submit the application individually (direct application via university website) or via any other centralised application system as per their preference.

Here are some schools that do not accept Common or Coalition Application

What is the difference between Common App and Coalition App?

As both the Common App and Coalition App share several similarities, they also feature key differences that applicants should consider before deciding which to use.

Over 900 colleges in the US use the Common App, which was created in 1975. While the Coalition App has comparatively low college enrolment at its application.

At Common App, students can save their information for years. The Coalition App features a tool called a locker through which students can store materials such as essays, videos, and projects that may be useful for the application process.

The Coalition App was introduced to make it easier for students from underrepresented groups to apply for college. The Coalition App's "collaboration space" allows students to invite teachers, counsellors, and family members to read and review their application materials.

Common App vs Coalition App - Which is Better?

One of the biggest advantages of these applications is that students can apply to multiple universities in one form. Both of them have almost similar features, but choosing one over the other completely depends on the candidate's circumstances.

Similarly, universities that accept both applications do not prefer one over the other. However, as observed, various colleges and universities choose Common Application because it has existed for a long time and it works according to their system.

Students generally apply to more than one university. They should check which application has a list of all their desired universities and hence take the decision. Certain application features are also a determining factor.

Both the applications are for free and serve the same motto. The Common Application and Coalition Application are somewhat similar but are slightly different from each other which makes them best at their own level.

Note: Only one application is accepted by a university from either of the portals. If students fill out forms for the same university in both the portals, then one will be rejected automatically. More details about this can be found on any university website.

If you still have doubts about these applications, feel free to write to us at to get the best suggestions from our experts.

Get Help in Applying to top Universities via the Common and Coalition App!

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2023

Related Articles

Jun 10, 2023 12:48 PM IST

Top Scholarships to Study Abroad

Jun 09, 2023 11:21 PM IST

How to Write an LOR for MS?

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Articles

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.