What Are the Different College Application Types?

What Are the Different College Application Types?

Written by Chris Hernandez

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What Are the Different College Application Types?

So, you're ready to embark on the exciting journey of college applications! Buckle up, because it's an expedition filled with choices, deadlines, and maybe even a healthy dose of stress. But fear not, for this guide will illuminate the different types of college applications you'll encounter along the way, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate this crucial stage with confidence.

The Big Two: Common, and Coalition Applications

First things first, let's address the main three of the application realm: the Universal Application, the Common Application, and the Coalition Application. These platforms streamline the process, allowing you to submit one application to multiple colleges with ease. Choosing the right platform depends on the colleges you're targeting:

  • Common Application: Used by over 900 universities, mostly in the US but also internationally. Offers the widest reach and a familiar format for many institutions, particularly for highly selective ones.
  • Coalition Application: Relatively newer platform accepted by over 150 colleges, mainly focused on public and liberal arts institutions. Emphasizes student agency and holistic review.

Application Structure and Focus:

  • Common App: Features seven essay prompts, including a personal statement and five "Common App prompts." Less emphasis on personal growth and more on showcasing academic ability and extracurricular involvement.
  • Coalition App: Offers ten prompts, including some focused on personal growth, challenges overcome, and "Why Us?" essays specific to certain colleges. Encourages students to share their unique stories and connection to individual institutions.

Additional Features and Support:

  • Common App: Provides a robust platform with helpful tools like document storage, recommendation management, and fee waivers. Larger applicant pool can lead to longer processing times and potentially less individual attention.
  • Coalition App: Boasts a unique "locker system" for sharing supplemental materials with specific colleges. Smaller applicant pool translates to potentially more personalized support and attention from member institutions. Emphasizes collaboration with counselors and mentors through Coalition resources.

Beyond the Big Two: Individual College Applications

While the Big Two offer convenience, some universities still prefer their own unique applications. These individual applications allow for a deeper dive into your specific fit with their institution, but be prepared for more essay prompts and specific formatting requirements. Researching college websites and contacting admissions offices are key to determining which platform they use.

Early Decision vs. Early Action vs. Regular Admission: Timing is Everything

Beyond the platform, understanding application deadlines is crucial. Choosing the right application timeline depends on your personal preferences and college choices. ED can be a gamble but offers a higher acceptance rate at some schools, while EA gives you more flexibility. Regular decision allows you to compare more offers but increases the pressure of waiting till spring. Be sure to check out Amikka’s guide to college deadlines!

Additional Application Types: Niche Options and Transfer Students

For specific situations, additional application types exist:

Transfer Applications: For students transferring from one college to another. Deadlines vary per institution.

Art Supplement Applications: Required for many arts programs, showcasing portfolios and artistic achievements.

International Applications: Specific platforms like ApplyTexas or Common App's international section cater to international students.

Remember, Your Application is Your Story

No matter which platform or timeline you choose, remember that your application is your chance to tell your unique story. Highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal experiences, and future aspirations. Proofread meticulously, be authentic in your essays, and don't forget to let your personality shine through.

Bonus Tip: Start planning early! College applications require organization and time. Research colleges, pick the best one for you, brainstorm essay topics, and gather supporting materials well before deadlines hit.

Written by Founder
Chris Hernandez

Christopher Hernandez, the founder of Amikka Learning, couldn’t afford expensive SAT tutoring so he spent hundreds of hours studying on his own.

After improving over 400 points and attending an Ivy League school he realized how unfair the playing field was with tutoring: no matter how smart you were, if you couldn’t afford tutoring you were stuck.
His dream was to change this.

He began tutoring for the SAT and quickly realized that he was a gifted tutor. His students were loving his program and improving very fast.

Fast forward 8 years, Amikka is a leader in the education industry and has helped thousands of students get into their dream schools.

If you’d like a free consultation for 1-on-1 tutoring schedule a call with our team here.

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