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Sebastian (a lady)

Coalition App - Anyone Have Experience or Tips?

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I haven't heard much discussion here of the ins and outs of using the Coalition App.  Does anyone have experience with this one yet?  

Can a parent/counselor create a practice account and test drive the application?

How did you use the locker feature? Did it have any impact on the application process?

Did it seem to accommodate homeschooled applicants?

Does anyone know of a nice guide for using it (like the College Wise Common Application guide)?

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It looks it's still a pretty new platform -- rolled out in 2016 -- so this may end up with you being the trailblazer with the Coalition App, Sebastian. (LOL)

I found this blog article with general overview about the Coalition App. And this 3.5-page document of tips on filling out the app.
Here's a 75-min video tutorial, but it is from 2016, and here's a 26-min video tutorial for the 2017-18 app. Neither is focused on homeschoolers.
And the Coalition App website has a Quick Start, a sample pdf of the application, and a Counselor manual to filling out the app.

Perhaps chat with one of the community-based counselors linked in the website's counselors in the community?

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We got through about 95% of the Coalition App. I found it very frustrating, in comparison to the COmmon App.  The Coalition App locks certain sections until you finish previous sections.  It also requires you to input all of your 12th grade coursework by hand.  The Common App assumes the readers will, you know, read your transcript for that information.  Locking sections is very frustrating because you can't really look ahead to see how far down the rabbit hole you are.  It starts to feel like a neverending process, which, as you know, when you're in the thick of college apps can really feel awful.  

I do believe you should be able to create a dummy account, because it's not tied to anything but your email and password and birthdate (aka it's not tied to your school code or college board number)

As a homeschooler, the Common App was far better.  The common app opens up a whole new page for you to explain your unique situation and always has homeschooler as an option.  The Coalition app makes you dig to be able to figure out how to show yourself as a homeschooler and I could not personally figure out a way to change the whole system to reflect that.  It does allow you to choose homeschool but then it doesn't offer an explanation page, and it doesn't change the other fields.  For example when it says "did you graduate from a US high school?"   well..not really...but I just chose Yes becuase yeah ok he graduated but I don't have an official diploma but oh well I'll just say yes. In the Common App once you choose homeschooler everything changes from then on out to allow you to be different 🙂

You don't really need a guide to use it.  It walks you through everything with an easy to use, user friendly interface. You just need time and copious amounts of patience. 

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On 10/26/2018 at 10:29 AM, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I haven't heard much discussion here of the ins and outs of using the Coalition App.  Does anyone have experience with this one yet?  

Can a parent/counselor create a practice account and test drive the application?

How did you use the locker feature? Did it have any impact on the application process?

Did it seem to accommodate homeschooled applicants?

Does anyone know of a nice guide for using it (like the College Wise Common Application guide)?

 

I completed it for my dd a few weeks ago.  It was okay, not great.  Mostly, I had a difficult time determining if I had completed everything.  And I had a difficult time figuring out how to even get started.  But once I clicked on the right thing it was mostly straightforward.  

I wasn't anticipating having to use it, so I didn't make a practice account last year.  My dd sort of sprung it on me this year.  Then she almost decided to give up on it in frustration, but ultimately completed that application.    

I'm not aware of the locker, and didn't use it.  I hope it isn't important?  

I didn't experience any difficulties specific to homeschooling.  

(Now I wish I had seen one of those linked guides from Lori D!)  

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My daughter used it for University of Washington last cycle.

There were some quirks -- for example, the preview-before-you-submit mode would not display the major she was applying to. (Due to the way UW does majors, this is a critical field to get right when you apply... it caused much consternation!)

UW does not use the locker (I do not know if any school uses it for admissions purposes). They also did not use a school or counselor report or recommendations. So, it was just the student part of the app to complete (including the self-reported grades -- which did not cause us any problems).

We felt that having fewer activity slots but more words to write what you did per activity suited her better for telling her story. Other than that, and the different essay prompts, I don't think there was anything that would make doing the Coalition App easier or harder than the Common App from the student's point of view. But again, we didn't have the counselor/recommender sections to complete in our case.

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