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Option one, two or three: Which application is right for me?

Casey Padgett, regional admissions representative

Have you ever experienced decision fatigue? I know I have, especially when I’m ordering at restaurants. For example, what type of dip do I want with my chips: queso, guacamole or salsa? Luckily, at my favorite restaurant in Columbia, I can get all three with the Tres Hombres appetizer. However, that’s not usually how the real world works. Once you finally choose which colleges you want to apply to, you have even more choices to make – starting with which application to use.

This year, the University of South Carolina will have three application options for students to choose from – Common Application, Coalition Application, and our own application. Although it doesn’t matter how you apply, you may be wondering which application is best for you. Here's a breakdown of each.

Common Application

The common application is a good choice for students looking to apply to multiple schools. This is because you only have to fill out your basic info and activities section once, then you can easily send it to any of the 900 institutions who offer the Common App. Not a high school senior yet? You can use the College Road Map feature starting as early as middle school to gain helpful insight on what you should be doing during each year of high school.

Coalition Application

Coalition’s focus on access, affordability and success can be summed up in its motto, “making college a reality for all students.” There are 147 colleges and universities who are a part of the Coalition application, and you only have to fill out your basic info and essay prompts once before sending to multiple schools. Students also have access to the cloud-based “Locker,” where they can upload important documents such as papers, photos and videos starting in the ninth grade.

University of South Carolina Application

The final option is the UofSC Application, which you can find on our admissions website. This is the same application you would find on the other platforms, just being sent directly to us! Many schools offer an individual application like this, but show no preference one way or the other. This keeps the application process consistent for every applicant no matter the method they choose to apply. 

 Still unsure about which application to use? I recommend creating a spreadsheet to compare the application types and deadlines of all the schools you want to apply to. From there, you can make an educated decision on where to begin your college application journey. And again, we do not have a preference for which application is used. If you’re still unsure which to choose, contact your local admissions representative for questions on how to navigate the college process. Now, go ahead and treat yourself to some chips and dip. After all, it’s one of the only times you can have all three choices at the same time.

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