Must-have free apps for high school students
Published: September 29, 2022
By: Tanni Haas, Ph.D.
There’s nothing easy about applying to and preparing for college. Thankfully, there are many great apps that can make the process a little more manageable. Here are nine top picks. They’re all free on Apple Appstore and Google Play, so encourage your high schoolers to download any or all of them when they’re ready to start the journey.
1) SAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards. For most high schoolers, the college admissions process starts when they take the SAT, the most widely used admissions test in the U.S. There are many SAT apps available; one of the best is SAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards. The app includes full-length practice tests, lots of questions from the different subject areas, and an extensive database of flashcards as study aids. Students can track their progress over time and get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.
2) ACT Online Prep. Many high schoolers choose to take the ACT instead. ACT test takers can use a calculator for all the math questions (you can’t do that for the SAT) but, unlike the SAT, the ACT also includes a science section. ACT Online Prep is a great resource for preparing for the test. The app includes a practice test that automatically generates personalized study suggestions, lots of practice questions and detailed explanations
3) College Search Guide. The next step in the process is to find colleges that suit your kids’ interests and preferences. Many helpful apps exist; the most comprehensive one is the College Search Guide which lets them search almost all of the 7,000 colleges in the U.S. They can search by type of college, degrees offered, campus environment, cost, acceptance rates and distance from home, among other things. The app also has a list of the top 100 colleges across different categories.
4) YouVisit Colleges. Once they’ve narrowed down the search, it’s great to visit the colleges they’re most excited about to get a sense of what these colleges have to offer. When that’s not possible, or if they just want to get an idea of what a certain college looks like, download YouVisit Colleges. This app lets them virtually tour more than 500 colleges across the U.S.
5) Scholarships.com. For most parents the biggest concern isn’t which college to send their kids to but how to find the money for it. After all, college tuition is getting higher and higher every year. The largest and most widely used scholarship app is Scholarships.com. It has a database of more than 3.7 million scholarships and is continuously expanded and updated. Your kids list their academic interests and accomplishments and are then matched with scholarships for which they’re eligible to apply.
6) Khan Academy. College work isn’t high school work; it’s much, much harder. As your kids are getting ready for college, they should stay up-to-date on their academic knowledge. If they’re a little rusty in one or more subjects, encourage them to download the Khan Academy app. It has 10,000 video tutorials on all the major academic subjects as well as in-depth articles and interactive exercises.
7) My Study Life. Once your kids arrive at college, they should stay organized and on top of everything. First task: download My Study Life. This easy-to-use app lets them keep track of all their homework assignments and exams which will help them organize their time efficiently. They can also use the app to set reminders so that they get alerts before any particular task is due.
8) Flashcards with Cram. When your kids sit down to study, one of the most useful study tools is flashcards. Flashcards with Cram lets them access more than eight million flashcards on all the major academic subjects. They can also create their own flashcards, using text and images, and share them with study partners. They can go through entire sets of flashcards when they study or hide flashcards they already know for more effective studying.
9) Mint: Personal Finance & Money. For many kids, college is the first time in their lives they get to experience real independence, and that includes budgeting their money. If you don’t want them to call you every time they run out of money, encourage them to download Mint: Personal Finance & Money. This money-management app lets them track their expenses, see the balances on their checking and savings accounts, and create realistic budgets.
Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.