17 Best Apps for College Applicants and College Students

Phones are not just for phone calls any more. They can be computers, maps, tour guides, game centers, cameras, search engines, and many more things. With the right apps, they can even become a tool for college.

We researched many of the education apps out there and chose the 17 most useful apps to the average college applicant and student. These 17 apps can help you with the college search, with college prep, with your college applications, with academics once you are in college, and with the college lifestyle in general.

Pretty useful, right?

While these 17 apps should not be your sole providers of information, they are certainly a convenient and fun way to take on a small part of the college admissions process.

So browse away, and happy downloading!

1. Peterson’s College Guide

  • What it does – allows you to search for information on thousands of institutions, including such statistics as selectivity, financial aid, and majors offered.
  • Best used for – quick research or browsing to get ideas about different schools. For extensive research, rely on information from the school’s admissions office and website. Also very handy for campus tours.
  • Favorite Feature – “Shake for a College Suggestion” feature. Simply shake your phone and explore the random colleges that come up.

2. College Confidential Mobile App

  • What it does – provides college admissions articles and allows participants to discuss various parts of the admissions process. You can participate in discussions on the go, check college application blogs, and interact with other users.
  • Best used for – Background research and gauging what other college applicants are talking about.
  • Favorite Feature – “Campus Vibe” section, which allows iPhone users to browse through hundreds of reports from students who have gone on college visits at a specific school.

3. futureU SAT

  • What it does – allows you to play SAT prep games on the go. Games are based on a Kaplan curriculum and accompanied by test taking tips.
  • Best used for – supplemental test prep.
  • Favorite feature – portable nature of app allows you to study anytime or anywhere, which is great for consistent test preparation.

4. SAT Vocab Challenge Vol. 1 by The Princeton Review

  • What it does – quizzes you on 250 vocabulary words often encountered on the SAT exam. You can test yourself on definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and positive and negative connotations.
  • Best used for – on the go vocab studying.
  • Favorite feature – some challenges are timed to simulate the actual SAT test-taking environment.

5. SAT Connect

  • What it does – provides on-the-go SAT studying with 800 test questions, 7 diagnostic tests, study guides, and vocabulary flashcards. Provides feedback on your scores and times and keeps track of your progress.
  • Best used for – diagnosing SAT problems areas for yourself and focusing on practice questions within those areas.
  • Favorite feature -gives you detailed explanations of the answers to any questions that you miss, which helps you to avoid making the same mistake twice.

6. Common App Mobile

  • What it does – allows you to fill out your applicant through your mobile phone but this not recommended.
  • Best used for – checking the status of your application and making sure that various stages of your application have been processed.
  • Favorite feature – the ability to check your application status on the go- you no longer have to hover nervously in front of a computer.

7. Dropbox

  • What it does – keeps documents in one easily accessible location, which is great for the variety of essays and other documents that you accumulate during the college application process. Allows you to sync files from various locations.
  • Best used for – storing essay drafts, recommendations, and resumes in a secure location.
  • Favorite feature – app uses an online storage mechanism, which means that your documents are safe from any ill-timed computer crashes.

8. iStudiez Pro

  • What it does – tracks homework and deadlines for all of your classes. You can also color code and label various extracurricular activities and place them alongside your class calendar.
  • Best used for – keeping track of the many obligations that come with being a college student. Having all of your schedule information in one place will make it easy to plan out your obligations and work schedule.
  • Favorite Feature – the “Today” view reflects all of your academic and extracurricular obligations for a particular day.

9. myHomework

  • What it does – provides a digital calendar for your homework assignments. You can sort your homework into different class lists or view it as a calendar.
  • Best used for – planning out your semester when you receive the syllabi for your classes. Knowing when all of your homework is due will help you to plan your workload and to avoid procrastination.
  • Favorite feature – you can set reminder alarms to give you fair warning about upcoming due dates.

10. Stanza

  • What it does – lets you download thousands of texts to your phone so that they are available to you in a more portable format. You can choose from a variety of free works or purchase other works from the app’s partner stores.
  • Best used for – smaller readings for your classes. For most classes it is best to own the actual book. However, for shorter readings, Stanza can save you from a very heavy backpack.
  • Favorite feature – you can transfer books from your e-reader or computer simply by dragging them over to the Stanza icon.

11. Mental Case

  • What it does – allows you to create flashcards using text, images or audio, or to download existing online flashcards. After you create the flashcards, you can quiz yourself directly from your phone.
  • Best used for – cuts down on the time you put into writing out flashcards and gives you more time to quiz yourself.
  • Favorite Feature – being able to make flashcards with high quality images is especially helpful for classes where you need to know diagrams and graphs.

12. Instapaper

  • What it does – saves webpages so that you can access them later, even when you do not have Internet access. Saves most webpages as text only files, making them easy to read even on your phone.
  • Best used for – bookmarking articles or pages that you need for class, or that you are just interested in. Being able to access these even without wireless coverage gives you more freedom to read and study wherever you like.
  • Favorite Feature – if you are looking for something new to read, you can check out what other friends are reading or choose from the Editor’s Pick list.

13. Evernote

  • What it does – allows you to make random text, audio, or visual notes about pretty much anything. You can record notes, ideas, or snapshots in a searchable database for easy access later on.
  • Best used for – remembering all of the random facts and ideas that you will absorb both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Favorite Feature – it converts text from any snapshot images into text that is readable and searchable on your phone.

14. Bump

  • What it does – allows you to exchange phone numbers and other contact information when you “bump” your phone with your friend’s.
  • Best used for – frenzy of introductions that you will encounter during your first weeks of college. You will meet so many people, and Bump provides an easy and fast way to get their contact information.
  • Favorite feature – it almost goes without saying that being able to exchange phone numbers simply by touching phones is pretty cool…

15. PocketMoney

  • What it does – keeps track of your finances with data from any checking, savings, or credit card accounts that you input.
  • Best used for – making sure that you do not overstep your financial boundaries in college. It is so easy to forget how much money is in your checking account, but this app makes that information readily available even when you are on the go.
  • Favorite Feature – charts and other analytics help you see where you are overspending and how to cut back

16. Wi-Fi Finder

  • What it does – shows you the various wi-fi hotspots in your geographic area and how to get there.
  • Best used for – finding places to study in your local community. The app is also helpful if you are studying abroad, where it can sometimes be difficult to simply stumble upon a wi-fi hotspot.
  • Favorite feature – clear directions to the nearest wi-fi location

17. Urbanspoon

  • What it does – helps you find nearby restaurants and view ratings and reviews for each establishment.
  • Best used for – finding a restaurant in your new college town. College is all about exploring new things, so challenge yourself to discover the unique local restaurants that your area has to offer.
  • Favorite feature – “Slot Machine” gives you a randomized restaurant choice when you shake your phone. It’s great for when you are feeling particularly spontaneous.

University-specific applications

Most universities offer smartphone apps featuring calendars, upcoming events, university news, and important logistical information, such as dining hall menus or bus schedules.

Once you have decided which school you might attend, you should check their website or iTunes for any available apps.

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