So, it’s time to start the college search, and you want to avoid becoming overwhelmed while simultaneously narrowing down your choice of schools, navigating the financial aid process, and preparing for the SAT or ACT. Fortunately, there’s a number of apps available to help you prepare for college with the least amount of stress possible.
The College Search
When you’re beginning your search, a comprehensive clearinghouse for information is The College Fair app. This free app allows you to research over 3,000 schools as well as search by location, major, or career. There is also a mobile mentor option to have your questions answered by college coaches.
CollegeHunch is a research app packed full of features. Easily compile and compare data for multiple schools using the spreadsheet function. You can generate a spreadsheet with data for the schools you select in minutes rather than hours; view in app, export or print for easy reference. Streamline your research with advanced filtering, sorting, quick links and fast facts. Find stats on student demographics, test scores, admission requirements, tuition costs, and more. The app also has interactive guides for over 1,000 colleges and a calendar feature.
A college advice app, CollegeGo helps with the college-planning process. The app is particularly useful if you are just getting started and want to learn the basics. The game, video, and search features let you explore colleges and find scholarship and financial-aid data. You can use the app to help identify career opportunities or majors as well. If you have a College Board account, you can access your information from the app or online.
YouVisit offers visitors 360-degree and virtual-reality tours of over 600 colleges. Save time and resources by visiting college campuses from the convenience of your computer, phone or tablet. Not only can you see a campus from the outside, you can view the inside of advising offices, campus libraries, residential living areas, athletic complexes, and more.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, The Common Application allows you to complete one application online which can then be submitted to multiple schools. Over 700 colleges from Adelphi University to Zaytuna College accept this common app. As an added feature, your account dashboard allows you to manage all your applications and alerts you to upcoming deadlines. There is also a virtual counselor function and a separate set of materials for Spanish speakers. You can download the Common Application at iTunes and Google Play.
Choosing a college is one hurdle, but figuring out how to pay for it is equally important. Helping match students to college scholarships for nearly two decades, Scholarships.com is a free source of wide-ranging information for more than 3.7 million local, state, and national college scholarships and grants. By answering questions relating to academics, skills, interests, and abilities, you’ll be matched with a variety of funding opportunities. You can access all this through their website.
Another, newer resource is the YesU app. This app walks you through the financial aid process step by step: how to complete the FAFSA, decipher financial-aid terms and jargon, and receive notifications of approaching deadlines via push, SMS, and email. Plus, YesU offers secure document storage and access to advisors that can answer the inevitable questions which come up along the way.
Need to improve your reading comprehension? The free Vocabulary for SAT app on Google Play includes definitions and examples of 4,000 SAT-specific words, flashcards, and multiple tests for 800 high-frequency words. It also covers synonyms, antonyms, idioms, and idiomatic phrases.
To fine tune your math skills, check out the highly rated Math Brain Booster app on Google Play. Work through a timed sequence of math problems, access different “boost modes,” and track your progress through a personalized training option. Plus, you can preschedule sessions to keep on track with your progress.
The college search, admissions, and financial-aid processes can be daunting, even under the best of circumstances. However, if you do your research, stay ahead of the curve time-wise, and utilize the best available tools to cover all the necessary bases, you’ll give yourself the best chance possible to get into (and pay for) the college of your choice. And once you are in college, consider the College Planner app to help manage the rigors of day-to-day college life, everything from class schedules to group projects, and exams.