Coalition Application Essay Prompts 2020-2021

The Coalition App is a centralized application system, much like the Common App. You use it to apply to multiple colleges at one time instead of submitting individual applications to each college. All students submitting their college application through the Coalition App are required to write and submit a personal essay. Let’s go over the 2020-2021 Coalition Application essay prompts.

Graphic of a pencil for writing an application essay

5 Coalition Application Essay Prompts 2020-2021

For 2020-2021 Coalition Application offers five essay prompts that you can choose from. You can choose to answer any one of these prompts for your essay.

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These are the 5 essay prompts:

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

There is no word limit for answering these prompts. However the standard college essay length is 500-550 words. Aim for that word count.

Tips For Answering The 5 Coalition Essay Prompts

Let’s go over each prompt and some ideas for tackling them.

Essay Prompt 1

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

This prompt is pretty broad, allowing you to choose which significant experience in your life you want to focus on. The key to answering this prompt is to pick one specific event and highlight how that experience impacted you as a person.

For example, you could talk how your volunteering experience revealed to you the value of compassion. Or talk about the time you organized a successful fundraiser and in the process learnt a lot about your organization and leadership skills.

When answering this prompt, try not to focus too much on the negative. If you do want to talk about a challenging time, discuss how you overcame it rather than how it brought you down. You want to come across as positive, optimistic and ready to rise up to any challenge.

Essay Prompt 2

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.

This Coalition essay prompt is more specific than the first. Talk about a specific person or group that you worked with. Maybe you tutored one or more underprivileged students or coached one or more athletes with physical disabilities. Or maybe you volunteered at an assisted living facility. Describe the difficulties you encountered while trying to help that person or group. Emphasize how the experience shaped your interests and your goals.

Avoid talking about experiences that are overly general. And try not to come off as bragging about what you did to help somebody else.

Essay Prompt 3

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?

Are you open-minded enough to recognize and admit that another point of view may actually be better than your own?  You don’t necessarily have to change your mind and adopt a completely new stance on things. However, you should be able to demonstrate that you’ve gained a new perspective from the challenge to your accepted belief.

Avoid talking about religious or political issues or things like abortion rights.  These are always controversial and are best avoided.

Essay Prompt 4

What is the hardest part of being a student now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

This is in fact three questions in one. There’s a lot you can talk about in answering this prompt. Remember, the focus of this prompt is ‘now’, as in this particular era.

Students face many challenges nowadays—from rising college costs, to stress, to safety concerns, and more. Of course, there are plenty of upsides to modern schooling too–the availability of information on the internet, technology, and a wealth of school programs.

When answering this prompt, try and tie the essay back to you. Don’t make it about students in general. Talk about what you find is the hardest part of being a student today and what you find is the best part.

Essay Prompt 5

Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

The essay prompt pretty much leaves it up to you to discuss a topic of your choice. While you can write about anything you want to, you must keep a few things in mind.

Write about something that holds some significance for you. This could be a person, experience, event, activity or a long-term goal. The essay must reveal something unique about you that will make the admissions committee want to admit you.

Try not to choose something mundane or overly generic for your topic. And definitely do not rewrite your resume or just list your academic accomplishments.

College Application Essay

Remember, the purpose of the essay is to show colleges a side of you that they cannot discern through your test scores and transcripts. Your essay draws a more well-rounded picture of who you are and what’s important to you. Keep these in mind when choosing which essay prompt to answer as part of your application.

Remember, you can track all of your college applications–as well as see acceptance odds estimates–with a free College Raptor account!

 

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