THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Francesca Kelly writes frequently for the
on education issues relevant to the Foreign
s if life weren’t
App, we now have—ta-da—the Coali-
tion Application, a free online college
application platform developed by the
Coalition for Access, Affordability and
Success, a membership group of col-
leges and universities.
The Coalition App has been variously
described as an application designed for
low-income and first-generation college
applicants; as a way to round out the
application so it tells colleges more about
their applicants; and as an alternative
to the Common Application, which has
admittedly held somewhat of a monopoly
What Is the
There’s a new college application platform on the block.
Most schools aren’t using it exclusively yet, but underclassmen may want
to set up an account and test its unique new Locker feature.
BY FRANCESCA KE L LY
on the application business.
Launched just a few months ago,
the Coalition App is only required by
one school for the 2016-2017 academic
year—the University of Florida. Other
schools, all members of the Coalition,
offer it; but they do so alongside their
own or the Common Application so that
applicants have a choice. About half of
the Coalition membership schools are
taking a wait-and-see approach.
Although it’s too early to tell how
well the Coalition App works, high
school students should investigate this
new player in the college applications
game; and students applying to the
University of Florida have no choice but
to get to know it.
Access, Affordability and
The Coalition for Access, Afford-
ability and Success sprang out of
discussions among elite institutions
about accessibility to higher educa-
tion for all, leading to the development
of the Application by administrators
from Emory, Smith and the University
of Maryland. The Coalition now has
95 members, including all of the Ivy
League universities, as well as other
College admissions officers have
long observed the difference between
students who receive help with their
applications—typically wealthier stu-
dents at better-equipped high schools—
and those who are disadvantaged in
some way vis-à-vis the college applica-
tion process, either by being first-gener-
ation applicants or coming from schools
with few resources to assist them.
The Coalition sought to create a col-
lege admissions atmosphere that was
friendlier to minority and low-income
students. The technical problems that
wreaked havoc after the 2013 Common
App revisions added momentum to the
desire to create an alternative platform.
And so CAAS was born.
To be a Coalition member, schools
must graduate at least 70 percent of