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Writing the Coalition Application Essay

The Coalition Application allows you to apply to over 100 schools with just one essay. That's fantastic... but it does mean that one essay needs to be great.

The Coalition Application essay prompts are out for 2020-21. Let's take a look at the options.

  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  • Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  • Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.


The first step is choosing a prompt.

Or is it? We actually recommend not starting with the prompt. Instead, start with yourself, and the values, traits and experiences you want to highlight. With our process, choosing a prompt is the third step, after brainstorming and outlining.

Once you've spent some time thinking and writing about the story you want to tell, return to the Coalition Application essay prompts, and pick the one that fits best. For example, if you want to highlight your idealism, flexibility and practical thinking, you might use the second prompt to tell the story of how you started an environmental non-profit, but then realized it made more sense to join forces with an existing organization.

It’s hard to brainstorm and outline without guidance, so the editors at Prompt got together with Ethan (the College Essay Guy), and put together our personal statement essay module. It will take you through a series of exercises that will help you think through your life story and how to tell it. It takes about an hour to go from questionnaire to outline, and anyone can use it, whether or not they are asking for feedback from the Prompt editors.

You can sign up below.  Remember, the sooner you start prewriting, the sooner you'll start writing.  And the sooner you start writing, the sooner you'll have a Coalition Application essay that works!


Write your Coalition essay with our free brainstorming tools!


Prompt’s Essay Specialists reviewed 13,000 admissions essays in 2018, helping thousands of students submit their applications with confidence.

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