April 9, 2013

The Application Process: 5 Web Apps That Can Help

These days, college students have access to an incredibly wide range of technologies, gadgets, and apps that can be of great service in a challenging university environment. From smart phones and e-readers, to studying and organization apps, to more advanced technologies like cloud computing, students have the ability to simplify the college experience. However, this ability is not something that is accessible only once you've gotten into college. There are also a number of technological tools that can help you to simplify and organize the process of applying to schools. Here are 5 helpful websites and apps to consider as you go through the application process.

Big Future by College Board
A wonderful tool for the early stages of your college application efforts, Big Future is essentially a detailed search tool designed to help you find the right schools for you. Using your own preferences for various aspects of a college - location, size, areas of study, campus, athletics, etc. - you can use this search to automatically narrow down your options to schools that fit your needs and preferences. Basically, it is a way of expanding your search without even leaving your home!

The Common Application
As you'll quickly find while applying to colleges, assembling applications over and over again is extremely tiresome. While many schools still require independent applications, The Common Application is a service that basically allows you to complete a single application that can be used at any of over 400 schools that have agreed to the format. If some of these schools are on your list, The Common Application can save you a great deal of time.

My College Calendar
A one-stop organizer for your application process, My College Calendar provides help for every stage. From college searches, to application deadlines, to information on financing and preparing to enroll, My College Calendar can significantly simplify your experience.

Application Essay Writing 101
Basically exactly what it sounds like, this web app tool is a 6 step course in acing your college application essay. Often the portion of applications that students struggle with most, the essay doesn't just have to be well-written - it needs to be unique, and it needs to stand out in a pile full of well-written essays. With this tool, you can learn many tips that help you to understand what admissions officers are looking for in these essays.

FAFSA
Sometimes the toughest part of applying to college is figuring out which schools you and your family will be able to afford. While there are no guarantees, FAFSA is a tool that helps you to apply for federal loans and grants that can be of assistance in paying for college tuition. This is certainly a tool worth consulting as you narrow down your list of schools, and as you begin to apply, as it can help you to understand your options from a financial standpoint.

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