Guest Post by Tim Handorf

Preparing to go to college can be an arduous task. From filling out countless applications to choosing a school to making sure you do well on exams — it can all be pretty stressful. While there’s no one method to fully eliminate the trials and tribulations that come along with getting into the best colleges, there are some ways that new technology can help make the process a little more streamlined, organized, and convenient.

If you’ve got an iPad, or access to one, try out a few of these great applications perfect for college prep. They can help make things like figuring out financial aid, choosing a school, or improving your SAT scores a little bit easier, freeing up more time to spend enjoying your final years of high school.

College Search

Find a college that meets your needs with these iPad-based college guides.

  1. The Fiske Interactive College Guide: Students and their parents can now access one of the best-selling college guides right through their iPads. With over 300 schools and a wealth of interactive features, choosing a school has never been so much fun.
  2. Peterson’s College Guide: Input your personal preferences for a college, shake, and get matched with colleges across the U.S. that meet your needs and desires. Of course, students can simple browse through the more than 4,000 schools listed by the application as well.
  3. College Search Guide: Use this application to search for colleges in a geographic area, learn more about schools, find out what majors they offer, and what is required for admission.
  4. College Search App: Still can’t figure out which college would be a good match for you? Use this application to search through over 3,000 different options nationwide.
  5. College Score Matcher: Were your SAT results not what you expected? Not to worry, this application makes it simple to find a college where your test scores will be high enough to get you in.
  6. World University Rankings: If you don’t want to just look at colleges in the United States (or even if you do), check out this app to get information about some of the most amazing schools in the world.
  7. College Plan: When choosing a college, emotion often rules over logic. While connecting with a school is important, this application will help you to make a more objective decision.
  8. NextStepU Magazine: Getting digital magazines on your iPad can be a lot of fun, and this college prep periodical is no exception. It’s also free! Download it to learn more about the issues most important to new or prospective college students.
  9. iStudiez Pro: Staying organized with so much going on can be tough for high school students, but iStudiez can make it a little easier. Users will be able to keep track of test days, admissions applications, homework, extracurriculars, and anything else they’d like.

Test Prep

One of the biggest and most daunting aspects of college prep is taking the ACT or SAT. Your iPad can be a valuable tool, however, letting you take your studies with you no matter where you go.

  1. ACT Prep 36: With this application, students preparing for their ACT can bring practice questions in math and English with them without lugging around a heavy book. Even better, the app offers stats about your performance so you’ll know where to concentrate on studying.
  2. SAT Flashcard Review: There are a lot of words in the English language, and there’s no telling which might end up on your SAT. This flashcard app gives you an amazing assortment of words to practice, with tools to let you focus on your problem words.
  3. High School Writing: Good writing is a skill that many a college bemoans that high school students just don’t have. This application will help you improve both for test-taking and your admissions essay.
  4. BenchPrep: BrenchPrep, formerly Watermelon Express, gives students access to dozens of different kinds of test prep materials – including study guides for AP exams, the SAT, and the ACT.
  5. Easel: Designed with the iPad in mind, Easel is a relatively new addition to the online learning market. Through the application, students can study for their SAT, with helpful tests, space to write out solutions, and help from online teachers ready to answer troublesome questions.
  6. To Go: Whether you need help with your high school classes or preparing for a big test, this tutoring service could be just what you need. Students simply sign in, choose a subject, and work online with a tutor. It’s really that simple.
  7. Prep Munch Complete SAT: A great addition to any SAT prep regimen, this application offers helpful videos, hand graded essays, practice questions and answers, and a whole lot more.
  8. ACT Practice for Dummies: You don’t have to be a dummy to benefit from using this application. Its features help with studying for any part of the ACT as well as some useful test day tips.
  9. ACT Vocabulary: If you’re having a tough time mastering the vocab you need to breeze through the ACT, then give this application from McGraw-Hill a try.
  10. 500 AP U.S. History Questions: Worried you might not get college credit for your AP history course? Then pick up this application that offers up 500 questions to help you study.
  11. Kaplan SAT Flashcubes: Like a flashcard, but better, these flashcubes let you create your own study lists and quizzes.
  12. iScroll: With iScroll, students can bring just about any book or audio recording to their iPad. Check out the application for study guides that will meet all kinds of test preparation needs.
  13. FutureU: Who says studying for the SAT has to be a drag? This innovative new application for the iPad or iPhone turns your studies into a game you’ll actually want to play.

Financial Aid

With tuition through the roof these days, paying for college is harder than ever. These applications can help you get started with finding financial aid that can make your college dream a reality.

  1. i-FinAid: Using i-FinAid, students can figure out their Expected Family Contribution, offer insights into financial aid basics, and let you know if you’re eligible for a Pell Grant.
  2. YOUniversal: While only really useful to students in Arkansas, we’ve included this app because it’s a model of what other states may soon be doing to share financial aid opportunities with students.
  3. StuFund Financial Aid Manager: Learn the basics of how financial aid works and how much you may be expected to pay out-of-pocket for school using this handy application.



Tim Handorf

[email protected]

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