The Best Apps to Organize Your College Planning
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Nowadays, there are two very common characteristics of high school teenagers: they’re busy, and they have smartphones. The first is due to the mounting extracurricular and community service involvement that colleges have come to expect, and the second you can thank Apple Inc. for.
Despite your tight schedules, college applications have not been made any easier or less time consuming. Finding the time to research colleges and organize all the applications you want to fill out while maintaining your grades is harder than ever!
That is why various colleges and businesses have developed apps for your phone or tablet that make college planning a portable process. Some of the best apps also have organizational components that can help you keep track of your busy high school schedule and make it seem more manageable. Now, while you’re waiting in line or on the bus, eyes glued to your phone in order to pass the time, you can be productive and work towards your organizational and college goals! You’d be amazed at how those small time investments can add up.
Which apps should I check out?
- Daily Practice For the New SAT: While not specifically for college applications, this app eliminates any excuse to not study for the SAT. The app gives you one SAT question a day to work through and answer, along with hints and in-depth answer explanations to help you improve and see how CollegeBoard thinks. In addition, you can getinstant scoring and answer explanations on an SAT/PSAT practice test by scanning your completed answer sheet with your phone. Essentially, this app gives you all the SAT practice questions you could ever want for a cheaper rate than those huge SAT prep books. For more tips on the SAT, checkout our extensive guide.
- CollegeGo: This free CollegeBoard app is targeted towards first generation college students but is useful to anybody looking to organize their college planning. Through interactive games and videos, the app lets you explore colleges that may be right for you, discover what major or careers you might be interested in, find scholarships and financial aid applications you are eligible for, and more! This app was developed by CollegeBoard experts on college admissions, so it is a great place to start if you are unsure of anything about the college application process.
- Khan Academy App: Known for its video resources for a wide variety of academic subjects, Khan Academy has compiled all of its tutorial videos into its free mobile app, allowing students to log in and learn a wide variety of subjects on-the-go, from basic history to complicated Astronomy. The app also includes practice problems for each video to ensure you have mastered the material. In addition, Khan Academy has linked with CollegeBoard to also provide SAT prep resources in its app. However, the focus is still on a more general education.
- Naviance Student App: If your school uses the Naviance system, this is a great resource for not just college-planning but general success-planning. The Naviance mobile app gives you portable access to college research tools along with an easy way to manage your tasks and schoolwork. You and your teachers can add assignments and appointments into the Naviance app and set a due date for them. Then, the app will remind you when the task/assignment is almost due or overdue. The Naviance Student App also allows you to stay connected with your guidance counselors at all times for any urgent college or school-related needs. If your school uses Naviance, see your guidance counselor for more information on how you can access this free resource.
- LinkedIn mobile app: LinkedIn profiles are commonly used to create professional profiles and network with colleagues and potential employers online. The LinkedIn website has been transferred to app form, where you can connect with people and professional opportunities no matter where you are. For high school students, the LinkedIn mobile app is especially useful for creating and building a resume that will look professional and impressive on your college application.
- Evernote: Evernote is your personal all-purpose digital file cabinet. The app allows you to create just about any organizational tool you can imagine-notes, task lists, random ideas, archiving old research, etc. All of your saved information is stored in the Cloud so that you can access it via Evernote at any time. Evernote is also a cross-platform app, meaning that the notes and information you store with the app can be accessed from your phone, laptop, tablet, and more. For all the soon-to-be college students, Evernote is a great way to take notes for school and organize your college planning into to-do lists. It could also be a helpful resource for you when you enter college, so learning how to use the app now could benefit you in the future.
- Zeemee: This mobile app gives you access to a social network specifically for colleges. By getting the app and creating an account, you gain access to all participating colleges’ profiles, the potential to connect with universities and admissions counselors, connection to other students who are applying to and have been accepted to the same colleges as yourself, and a roommate search once you’ve accepted an admissions offer! In summary, Zeemee is for those students looking to connect and show interest in colleges as well as get to know your future classmates.
These apps are all great resources and a good place to start your college research and success management, but they are by no means the only apps available. Feel free to explore other organizational and college research apps and select the one which seems most intuitive and best fits your needs.
Also keep in mind that third party apps are not the only way to get information on colleges. Many colleges have created their own apps with all of the information you need for admissions and college planning already there. Some are paid, but most are available for download for free. Check out each university’s admissions website for more details.
Lastly, there are also general apps and websites that can be just as informative about colleges. Most colleges nowadays have some form of social media presence, whether it be through Facebook, Instagram, or any other social networking site. University profiles on these social media websites can have extensive information about a university along with the ability to connect with the university online. Be sure to follow or like a university’s social media profile in order to show your interest in the university and stay up-to-date with their activity. Such information can come in handy on your college applications!
Things to Keep in Mind
- Use the internet safely!
Many of the aforementioned apps require you to create accounts or profiles, essentially giving up your personal information in exchange for access to content. Be careful which apps you use and who you are sharing your personal information with. You could be subject to hacking, seizure, or a data breach if you trust your information with the wrong source. The best way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to read reviews and make sure an app is legitimate before engaging with it.
- Nothing you post on the internet is temporary
Whether through an app or through a web browser, anything you post can be seen by your classmates, peers, and college admissions officers. Unfortunately, even if you delete a post or a comment, there are still ways to access it via the internet and other software. Thus, be careful what you post online, especially as the time to apply to college approaches. There have been numerous reports recently about how student’s social media profiles affected their admissions decisions, often not for the better. The easiest way to avoid that is to be mindful of what you post.
The digital age has brought about a lot of great mobile resources to help make your high school and college planning/organization much easier. So long as you use these apps responsibly, you can be well on your way to submitting an informed and competitive application to your dream colleges.
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