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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Coalition

What is the Coalition for College?

The Coalition for College is a diverse group of more than 140 distinguished colleges and universities across the U.S. that is committed to making college a reality for all high school students through its set of free, online college planning tools that helps them learn about, prepare for, and apply to college.

The Coalition’s online toolkit, MyCoalition, is designed to engage students in the college application process early and easily. It is comprised of a convenient digital storage Locker, interactive Collaboration Space, and easy-to-use application, which is accepted at all member schools.

The Coalition was founded by a group of dedicated college administrators in 2015 with the goal to improve the college application process for all students, particularly those from historically under-represented groups. Members are united in their mission to support lower-income, under-resourced, and/or first-generation students; provide responsible financial aid; and bolster students’ success in college—and beyond.

Who are our members?

The Coalition is made up of more than 130 distinguished and diverse public and private colleges and universities across the U.S. View our membership list here.

Who leads the Coalition?

The Coalition is led by Annie Reznik, executive director; Timothy Groves, director of development and partnerships; Stephanie Stelter, associate director of technology and operations; Dalinda Martinez, associate director of member engagement; and Sam Gordon, associate director of outreach.

The Coalition is governed by a board of directors that is comprised of administrators from member schools. Representatives from member schools also serve on committees that advise our leadership team.

How does the Coalition help make college accessible to all students?

Research shows that not all students have equal access to college. Specifically, students from disadvantaged backgrounds—including lower-income, under-resourced, and/or first-generation students—are not provided with the tools and resources they need to apply to college. In addition, they frequently struggle with applying for financial aid, and they often do not receive the financial aid for which they qualify.

As a result, some of the most highly qualified students do not attend college, or do not complete their college degrees.

That’s why we’re here. The Coalition offers students a set of free, online college planning tools, called MyCoalition, which helps them learn about, prepare for, and apply to colleges. Not only that, we provide informative articles and valuable resources for college preparation. With MyCoalition, we are breaking down barriers and increasing access to college for all students.

Read more here.

What does it mean when the Coalition says that member institutions are “affordable?”

All Coalition member schools graduate students with low-to-no debt, while either meeting students’ full demonstrated financial need, offering low-cost in-state tuition, or providing responsible financial aid packages. In addition, with the Coalition’s simple fee waiver, eligible students do not even have to pay to apply to Coalition schools.

How does the Coalition help lower-income students?

First, the Coalition increases awareness, beginning as early as ninth grade, by helping students learn about, prepare for, and apply to college—especially lower-income and under-resourced students.

Second, we demonstrate that college is affordable, and our members are invested in their success—they offer generous financial aid or low-cost in-state tuition AND graduate students with low-to-no debt.

Finally, we offer fee waivers to eligible students, so they don’t even have to pay to apply to Coalition schools.

 

About MyCoalition

What is MyCoalition?

MyCoalition is a set of free, online college planning tools that helps students learn about, prepare for, and apply to college. In addition to its convenient digital storage Locker, interactive Collaboration Space, and easy-to-use application, MyCoalition also provides informative articles and other valuable resources for college preparation.

By enabling students to explore colleges and compile personal and school-related achievements as early as ninth grade, MyCoalition empowers them to make smart college choices for success in school—and beyond.

MyCoalition contains the following tools and resources:

  • Locker: Students have private, unlimited space where they can upload important items, such as papers, videos, and photos, as a record of their high school experience; this cloud-based Locker becomes the foundation of their application to Coalition schools.
  • Collaboration Space: Students can connect with their teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors, or parents—and ask for advice, recommendations, and feedback on their path to college.
  • Application: Students can use the Coalition application to apply to all 130-plus member schools, and they can submit Locker items as part of their applications.
  • MyCoalition Counselor: Students have access to a collection of helpful and informative articles, checklists, and printables on the subject of applying to colleges, many authored by admissions experts.

Who can use MyCoalition?

MyCoalition is free and available for use by all high school students, as well as by parents, mentors, and high school personnel, including counselors, teachers, and administrators.

What web browsers and mobile devices are supported?

The following web browsers are supported:

  • Chrome: the two most recent versions
  • Firefox: the two most recent versions
  • Safari: the two most recent versions
  • Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer 11 only
  • Microsoft Edge browser is NOT currently supported

For optimal security and performance reasons, we recommend that users always run the latest version of the browser supported by their operating system.

MyCoalition has been optimized to work on any mobile device running one of the supported browsers.

NOTE: You must disable private browsing or incognito mode before accessing MyCoalition.

Is there a cost to use MyCoalition?

No. MyCoalition’s college planning tools—the Locker, Collaboration Space, and application as well as informative articles and other valuable resources for college preparation—are free for use by students, families, and high school counselors, teachers, and administrators.

 

MyCoalition Locker & Collaboration Space

What is the MyCoalition Locker?

The Locker is a private, secure online space within MyCoalition where students can collect and organize materials that may be useful during their high school careers and as they prepare college applications.

We recommend students include documents, photos, and/or videos that they consider an important record of their high school experience, like essays they’ve written, artwork they’ve created, or performances they’ve mastered. We also suggest they add standardized test scores and awards, letters, or accolades that pertain to efforts they’re involved in outside of school. Students can then share select items in their Locker with counselors or teachers and solicit their advice through the integrated Collaboration Space.

The Locker allows students to begin their college preparations early—and that means they can stress less. When they begin compiling documents and achievements as early as ninth grade, they are well-prepared to apply to college by the time they reach senior year. Students even have the ability to attach materials from their Locker directly to their Coalition applications, making applying to colleges easy and efficient.

What are a student’s privacy rights for materials stored in their MyCoalition Locker?

Materials stored in a student’s Locker are completely private. Students choose what to share, when to share it, and who to share it with (typically a trusted mentor, like a teacher, guidance counselor, or family friend, in the Collaboration Space). Colleges and universities cannot see any Locker contents without the owner’s permission.

Is there a limit to what a student can upload into their Locker? Will there be a maximum file size for a single upload?

Students can upload most standard file types to their Lockers, including documents, spreadsheets, graphics, audio, and video. However, they cannot upload executable files or zipped archives.

The maximum file size for any single uploaded file is 50MB, although the storage space is unlimited.

How long will a student’s Locker and/or MyCoalition account be active?

A student’s MyCoalition account, including access to their Locker, will be available for years after the student graduates from high school, in case he or she decides to apply to transfer to another college or university.

Can a student use the Locker if they do not intend to use the Coalition application?

Yes, a student can use their private MyCoalition Locker to collect and organize materials that may be useful during their high school careers and as they prepare college applications—even if he or she chooses not to apply to schools using the Coalition application.

What is the MyCoalition Collaboration Space?

The Collaboration Space in MyCoalition enables students to connect digitally with trusted adults (such as teachers, counselors, coaches, parents, or family friends) and ask for advice, recommendations, and feedback on their path to college.

Integrated with a student’s Locker, the Collaboration Space is where a student can share items from his or her Locker (like an essay, college list, or piece of artwork) with mentors and solicit their opinions on them; mentors can only comment on items they are invited to view, and they cannot make any changes to items in a student’s Locker. In the secure Collaboration Space, students are encouraged to start meaningful conversations that can directly impact their college success.

 

The Coalition Application

Do students still have to pay application fees when they apply to Coalition schools?

Regardless of which application a student chooses to use (the Coalition application, a school’s own application, or another system entirely), he or she must follow the established admission fee policy of each individual school. Most schools require application fees, although many accept a variety of fee waivers. We recommend applicants inquire directly with their intended colleges and universities for details.

The Coalition offers its own, easy-to-use application fee waiver to eligible lower-income students. It doesn’t require any documentation or verification from applicants, and it enables eligible students to bypass the payment screen each time they submit a Coalition application to a waiver-participating member school. We also offer an application fee waiver to veterans and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Can community college students use MyCoalition and the Coalition application?

Yes, community college students have access to the full range of resources on MyCoalition, including its application, should they choose to transfer to another college or university.

Can a student use MyCoalition to apply if he/she didn’t use the Locker and other free planning tools?

Yes. A student can complete and submit a Coalition application in MyCoalition without using the Locker or Collaboration Space features. (Required application materials can be uploaded directly from another storage source.)

Do Coalition colleges prefer one application over another? Are my chances of getting in better if I use MyCoalition to apply?

No. Coalition member schools do not have a preference for how students submit applications. Whether applicants use the Coalition application, the school's own application form, or another application system entirely, member colleges believe that students should use the application that fits their needs best. And admissions officers at Coalition schools do not give preferential treatment to students based on how they submit their applications.

Why do some colleges and universities offer more than one application?

The reasons vary: For some schools, offering multiple applications ensures that a technology failure does not impact their application process. For others, doing so may set them apart from peer schools (that don’t offer multiple applications), while also allowing students to use the application that best fits their needs.

Can a student view contents of letters of recommendations or official transcripts in MyCoalition?

No. It is not possible for a student to preview, download, or view any locked document, such as a confidential letter of recommendation or official transcript in MyCoalition.

In the student’s Locker, these documents are represented as an icon, which tells the student that materials are available to submit with his/her application. When a student elects to send an official transcript and/or recommendations to a college, MyCoalition will submit the locked document(s) to the college(s) indicated.

How will schools send transcripts and recommendations in MyCoalition?

Submitting application documents (like transcripts and recommendations) via MyCoalition is simple for school personnel and does not require an outside tool; it is as easy as adding an attachment to an email message.

The process is the same whether a school uses GuidedPath, Maia Learning, Naviance, PowerSchool, or any other system. Counselors and teachers will only need to upload materials once per student (rather than submitting materials multiple times, for each and every college to which a student applies). All materials will appear in a student's MyCoalition profile in electronically sealed envelopes to ensure confidentiality; an icon will be visible to the student once uploaded. The student will not be able to preview, download, or view the contents of these envelopes, but will be able to submit these materials, as required, to colleges to which they apply.

What resources are available to help counselors and students utilize MyCoalition and the Coalition application?

For school counselors, helpful resources that are indexed and searchable, and can be accessed in our Counselor Resources section, available here.

For students, MyCoalition provides informative articles, checklists, and printables—many authored by insider experts—that can be accessed using the “MyCoalition Counselor” link (located under the “Help” drop-down).

For both audiences, the “Technical Support” link (located under the “Help” drop-down) offers more detail on MyCoalition functions and answers to common questions.