Your Guide to the Coalition Application Essays

The Coalition Application lets students quickly apply to some of the best universities in the country by sharing application information with multiple schools at once. Currently, around 150 universities use or accept the Coalition Application, including all eight Ivy League schools.

The Coalition Application only partners with universities that offer financial assistance to students from low-income households, expanding the number of applicants applying to the nation’s top schools.

We'll help you make sense of these writing prompts, so you can make the right impression on admissions officers. 

Essay Prompts:

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

Tip: A great question for students with unconventional backgrounds, this question will help you stand out if you’ve had to deal with some challenging situations in your life. Focus on truly inspiring stories that go above and beyond the...

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Your Guide to This Year's Common Application Essay Prompts

With over 750 participating universities, the Common Application is one of the most widely-used college application platforms in the world. It helps students like you streamline the application process by sharing the same information with multiple universities with the click of a button.

You can then customize your applications based on the unique requirements of each school.

One of the most important aspects of the Common Application is the essay prompts. You’ll need to show off your writing abilities by answering one of the questions. This year’s essay prompts are the same as last year’s. Take a look at the prompts below: 

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Tip: This is a good place to talk about any unique abilities or experiences you might have. Try to be surprising and unique when...

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Everyone Applying to Top Colleges Should Use ZeeMee: Here's Why

ZeeMee is a new social media app that’s designed to give prospective students a chance to express themselves beyond test scores and formal application essays. The mobile app lets users upload videos and post about their lives in a way that feels entirely authentic. It can be a great tool for both high school students looking to apply to top colleges and admission officers trying to choose between different candidates. Learn why every student with their eye on a top school should be using ZeeMee. 

Helping Applicants Express Themselves 

If you are starting to think about applying to college, ZeeMee is one of the best ways for you to express yourself. So many applicants are chosen based on their personality and ideas, but expressing these ideas can be difficult when you’re limited to a traditional college essay, your GPA/test scores, and your activity list. 

If you love to use social media to express yourself and to share important events with friends and...

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This will be the year of "Performing" to get accepted (and I'm not talking about your GPA)

As important as your GPA can seem when applying to college, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of making personal connections. We live in a world where we place a high value on our friendships and relationships with others. And that is also true of college admissions officers. Instead of weighing an applicant based on their test scores and academic abilities (although those both play a major role), an admissions officer is going to look for an applicant that they can relate to.  

Despite what you may like to believe, personal bias can affect the admissions process. Learn how to maximize the potential of your application by making the right connections and becoming a familiar face at your university of choice.

Getting Involved with Your University of Choice  

As of 2017, the college acceptance rate dropped to a low of 4.65%, the lowest point in academic history, thanks to Stanford University. That means the competition is stiff and you need to do everything...

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The Essay Is NOT the Most Important Element of Your Application

If you think that the essay is the most important part of a college application, you’re wrong. College admission officers place more value on items that actually reflect how you or your college-bound child will fair at their university.

Writing a snappy, heartfelt essay about your trip through South America may give you some points for individuality, but this piece of material does not give admissions officers an accurate portrait of your future performance as a student. Take a look at the top five factors college admissions officers look at most when it comes to evaluating the candidacy of a student. 

Every year the State of College Admission Report collects data on what admissions officers are looking for when evaluating applicants. And the results might surprise you. Based on last year’s report, the following five categories hold the most weight when it comes to a yay or nay vote and swaying the minds of admission officers.

  1. Grades in College Prep Courses
  2. ...
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How to Build Relationships with Admissions Officers

Greetings!

I'm writing to invite you to join me for my next free training webinar How To Build Relationships with Admissions Officers.

I'm hosting this webinar because most college applicants are too fearful and tentative to approach admissions officers and college personnel. But if you don't approach these people, you will miss a critical opportunity to stand out to your top college. 

Think about it, and pretend that you're an admissions officer. You have two applicants with relatively similar profiles of GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars. You can only admit one of these two students; there's simply not room for both.

Who do you think you would be more likely to admit? The student who you know personally and like, or the student who has no obvious connection to the university beyond what's written in the essays? 

You guessed it: As the admissions officer, when you know someone outside of the...

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Why Simone Biles Chose An Online College Over UCLA

“I know what it means to rise out of challenging circumstances and be given an opportunity,” says Simone Biles on being a student at University of the People (UoPeople).

For my latest Forbes article, I had a chance to speak with Biles and other education leaders about online education and when it's the right choice. Simone Biles chose University of the People because the flexible format enabled her to continue with her gynmastics schedule. In addition, Simone Biles is very much a believer in the open access (free) education that University of the People provides. 

I also covered the Smartly MBA Program, which was founded by former Rosetta Stone CEO Tom Adams. Smartly emphasizes a user-driven, concise and fun learning experience.

Students of Smartly’s free MBA include Forbes Under 30 winners Kaitlyn Yang and Mary Iafelice, both of whom are entrepreneurs. Founder of Alpha Studios, an LA-based post production company, Yang chose Smartly to advance her...

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Why Your Identity and Values Are Your Business (And Your College Application!)

On Leonard Kim's show, I talked about why your identity and values are at the core of what should be driving your decisions--on college admissions, in life, and in business. Take a listen!

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BuzzFeed - My Top 5 Tips to Excel as a Journalist

Thank you to BuzzFeed for featuring me in their post on women journalists. Here's my excerpt in the article:

Dr. Legatt's beat in Forbes centers on higher education issues affecting millennials. In October 2017, her piece on online degree programs was chosen as a Forbes Editor's Pick. Through Forbes, she's had a chance to interview esteemed education leaders including Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford Professor and past education advisor to Barack Obama, Anant Argarwal, Founder of EdX and MIT Professor, and Katlyn Grasso, Seventeen Power Girl and Founder of GenHERation.

Dr. Legatt's is purpose-driven from her personal experience contracting stress-induced pneumonia in high school due to her own challenges with the college application process.

Dr. Legatt's expertise is regularly cited in major outlets including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Business Insider, Poets & Quants, Forbes, Reader's Digest and many more.

As a Penn professor, Dr. Legatt teaches about issues...

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How To Prioritize Your Extracurricular Activities to Maximize Impact

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Join me for my next webinar: How To Prioritize Your Extracurricular Activities to Maximize Impact.

I'm hosting this webinar because I want to combat the most common problems that plague my students:

1) They don't realize that only certain extracurricular activities will impress an admissions committee.

2) They have faulty assumptions when making decisions on how to spend their precious time after school.

In this training, I'll share trends from the committee regarding boring and "bored" activities that clearly wasted the student's time.

Boring because the involvement was shallow. Bored because it seemed that the student was going through the motions and wasn't truly engaged in the activity.

I'll also share which activities were a "hit" with the admissions committee and why.

If you or your child have been frustrated about having too many club meetings to attend without anything to show for it, guess what? I’m going to show you how to be more efficient with your time as well.

If...

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