Changes are Coming for the College-Bound Class of 2017 and Beyond, Part III

FAC_BELL_ALISONBy Alison Potter Bell, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, Director of College Counseling

For the past two weeks, I’ve shared the first two of a three-part series regarding information gleaned at the College Board Forum, a national conference held in Washington, D.C. If you missed the segment on changes to the SAT or financial aid, please visit our blog at

The final change to the college application process is highly controversial. There have been multiple articles written in The Washington Post and The New York Times covering the new “Coalition Application.”  This is put forth as an alternative (read competitor) to the Common Application and includes member colleges from 82 institutions nationally. Many of the more selective colleges, including many of the Ivy League schools, are members of the coalition.

The application is meant to be structured differently than the Common Application (currently used by more than 500 colleges) and to allow students more freedom to express different dimensions of themselves within the application. Of the three changes, this is the one that is the one I am most skeptical about. They are not revealing details about this platform until April of 2016, leaving current juniors little time to understand what new approaches they might use for this type of application before they start completing it in the fall of the senior year.

Many counselors are concerned that this is complicating the application process, and unfortunately, counselors were not included in the development process. There are a lot of unknowns with this one.  Fortunately, most colleges will have a second option (either their own institutional application or the Common Application) as a more traditional application.

Please rest assured that the Holy Trinity College Office will continue to monitor these changes as they develop and will do our best to assist you and your students every step of the way.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. We’ll see you at the next College Counseling Office parent session: “Money Matters:  How to Pay for College” on Jan. 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

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