Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Coalition Application and Pizza

For those of you who don't know (or who have not read many of my blog posts), I am a great believer in analogies. I find that most times, the easiest way to explain the sometimes complicated world of admissions is to make it relatable to their own lives. As such, I am going to somehow tie together the new Coalition Application with Pizza. Yes, pizza, that wonderful meal/snack/superfood we all know and love.

Most all of us love pizza, both because of the great taste but also because we generally know what to expect no matter who makes it. Most every pizza is going to have a crust, a layer of sauce and cheese. This is the base of almost all pizzas, and you can be sure that everyone from Papa Johns to your local hometown pizza joint starts with this. In the same way, there are a set of standard questions that most all admissions applications use as a base. Everyone asks for your name, your birth date, your high school, etc. Generally, these questions make up about 75-80% of the questions on the Coalition application.

On the other hand, the thing that makes each pizza unique are the toppings. Everybody has their own favorites, with mine being pepperoni and bacon (don't judge, bacon is great on everything). Yours could be banana peppers, olives and pineapple for all I know, as everyone has their own unique taste. Similarly, each college has unique questions that they need, many times due to their institutional needs or state requirements. Public colleges need data on your state residency, while private schools have less of a need for this information. Some colleges will not ask for essays, others will use the Coalition essay questions, while some (like UGA) will have their own short essay questions. Different universities also have different majors, different admission decision plans, etc. Each college, just like each pizza-loving person, has different tastes. These are the questions which will be displayed on each institutions college-specific pages in the Coalition application.

UGA will continue to use both our own application and the Coalition application, and we have no preference on which you should use. The only issue we will have is if you submit both applications, which will cause problems (like Ghostbusters "don't cross the streams" problems). In other words, submit one or the other application, but not both! I suggest you look at the other colleges using the Coalition application to see if there is any overlap, and then make a decision from there. The Coalition application will allow you to enter a little less data, but if you have already been interacting with our office (you sent test scores, visited campus, etc.), a large amount of this data will pre-populate when using the UGA based application. As stated in a previous blog post, all freshman applicants must write 2 short essays, with one being mandatory and the second giving you the option of selecting one out of four topics (with one coming from the Coalition list of essay topics).

For either application, we will not open up the Fall 2018 option until September 1. We generally wait until early September to give both you and your school counselors time to get back into the swing of things before the transcript/recommendation requests start. As well, all applicants will use the UGA admission status page to check on receipt of test scores, admission materials and admission decisions. If you do submit the Coalition application, you will then receive an email which will direct you on how to set up your admission status page.Prior to Sept. 1, you can get ready to apply by looking at my earlier post of Are You Ready so that when the application opens up, you will be prepared to start the process. FYI: UGA will not be using the Coalition Locker or Collaboration Space, as we will just be using the application.

So go out, eat some pizza and start planning out your application. I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!