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What Schools Use the Coalition Application?

By Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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Reviewed by Cari Shultz

Cari Schultz is an Educational Review Board Advisor at Scholarships360, where she reviews content featured on the site. For over 20 years, Cari has worked in college admissions (Baldwin Wallace University, The Ohio State University, University of Kentucky) and as a college counselor (Columbus School for Girls).

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Updated: October 12th, 2023
What Schools Use the Coalition Application?

As you start to prepare for your college applications, you’ll probably hear about an alternative to the Common Application called the Coalition Application. The two are very similar in some respects, but the Coalition Application differs in that it focuses on matching students with affordable educational options. Here is what you should know about the Coalition Application and a list of the schools that accept it.

Jump straight to the list of Coalition App schools

What is the Coalition Application?

Students use the Coalition Application to apply to any of the institutions that are members of The Coalition. These consist of over 150 schools which have banded together and committed to offer substantial financial aid to admitted students based on their demonstrated financial need. So, although the Coalition App is less of an industry standard than the Common App, it can be useful for students who know that affordability is going to be one of the main deciding factors in their choice.

Being a member of the Coalition is not just about pledging to be affordable. In fact, schools must meet a rigorous set of standards in order to maintain their membership. These include maintaining high graduation rates, high rates of low-income students, and low average debt levels among graduates. So, if you are applying to a school with the Coalition Application, you can do so with confidence that you are pursuing an affordable option.

How does it differ from the Common Application?

The Common Application and the Coalition Application share a few main similarities. They are both standardized applications that students fill out online, and then can submit to a variety of schools. They each have their own essay questions, and also allow schools to include their own supplemental essays. In fact, we have guides on how to complete each Common App prompt as well as each Coalition App prompt.

That being said, only schools that have met the affordability criteria of The Coalition can accept the Coalition App. So, if you are applying to schools using this application, you can be sure that you’ll receive generous financial aid if accepted.

Which should I pick?

So, which one should you use? Well the good news is, you can use both the Coalition App and the Common App. You can still only apply once per school, but it’s totally within the rules to use them both. Most schools on the Coalition App are also on the Common App, but the opposite is not true. So, the Common App is more versatile. 

However, if the essay questions suit you better on the Coalition App, or if you want to be sure that every school you apply to gives good financial aid, the Coalition App could be a helpful resource. Both are free to use, so why not try each one out and see which you prefer?

List of schools that accept the Coalition Application by state


  • Birmingham-Southern College




  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona




  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Pomona College
  • St. Mary’s College of California
  • Stanford University


  • Colorado College


  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Wesleyan University
  • Yale University


  • University of Delaware

Washington, DC

  • American University


  • Florida Southern College
  • Florida State University
  • Rollins College
  • University of Florida
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tampa


  • Emory University
  • University of Georgia






  • Illinois College
  • Illinois State University
  • Knox College
  • Lewis University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • North Central College
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Indiana University—Bloomington
  • University of Notre Dame


  • Cornell College
  • University of Iowa




  • Berea College
  • University of Kentucky




  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Colby College
  • University of New England


  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • St. John’s College
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • University of Maryland—College Park


  • Amherst College
  • Babson College
  • Boston University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Harvard University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Northeastern University
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Smith College
  • Tufts University
  • University of Massachusetts–Lowell
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College


  • Hope College
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan


  • Carleton College
  • St. Olaf College


  • Mississippi State University


  • Maryville University of Saint Louis
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Webster University




  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln



New Hampshire


New Jersey

  • Princeton University
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Rutgers University—Camden
  • Rutgers University—New Brunswick
  • Rutgers University—Newark
  • The College of New Jersey

New Mexico

  • St. John’s College
  • The University of New Mexico

New York

  • Alfred University
  • Barnard College
  • Colgate University
  • Columbia University
  • Hamilton College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Manhattan College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Skidmore College
  • SUNY Binghamton (Binghamton University)
  • SUNY Buffalo (University at Buffalo)
  • SUNY Stony Brook (Stony Brook University)
  • Union College
  • University of Rochester
  • Vassar College

North Carolina

  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • UNC Chapel Hill
  • UNC Charlotte
  • Wake Forest University

North Dakota



  • Case Western Reserve University
  • College of Wooster
  • Denison University
  • Kenyon College
  • Miami University
  • Oberlin College
  • Otterbein University
  • University of Dayton


  • University of Oklahoma


  • Portland State University
  • Reed College
  • University of Oregon


  • Allegheny College
  • Acadia University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • Chatham University
  • Drexel University
  • Duquesne University
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Haverford College
  • La Salle University
  • Lehigh University
  • Lycoming College
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Penn State—University Park
  • Robert Morris University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • York College of Pennsylvania

Rhode Island


South Carolina

  • Clemson University
  • Furman University
  • Presbyterian College
  • University of South Carolina

South Dakota



  • Vanderbilt University


  • Austin College
  • Rice University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Southwestern University
  • St. Edward’s University
  • St. Mary’s University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Trinity University
  • The University of Texas at Austin




  • Middlebury College
  • University of Vermont


  • Christopher Newport University
  • James Madison University
  • University of Richmond
  • Virginia Tech


  • University of Washington—Bothell
  • University of Washington—Seattle
  • Western Washington University

West Virginia






Frequently asked questions

Is the Coalition App cheaper than the Common App?

The Coalition App and the Common App are both completely free to use. Colleges charge their own fees for reviewing applications, but these are set by the college and do not vary based on which application you use to apply. So, neither is cheaper than the other. However, the Coalition App only allows you to apply to schools that meet the membership requirements, including offering generous financial aid.

Do schools give better financial aid to Coalition App applicants?

There is no evidence to suggest that schools offer better financial aid packages to students who apply with the Coalition App. The application is meant to certify that the schools you’re applying to are serious about giving financial aid. But other than that, they do not affect your package.

Is the Coalition App free?

The Coalition App does not charge any user fees; it is free to make an account and fill out your application. Most colleges that you apply to will charge an application fee, but this fee will remain constant regardless of which application you use to apply. So, although the product itself is free, you will likely spend money to apply unless the college does not charge an application fee or you qualify for college application fee waivers.

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