Applying to College? There’s an App for That

There are thousands of apps for smartphones and computers available, and while many colleges have general apps (with information such as calendars and campus news), some, such as St. Lawrence University are starting to create apps specifically for prospective students to use during the admissions process. The 2011-2012 Common Application will also be accessible via smartphone.

In addition to school-specific apps, there are also less obvious apps available to help you during the college admissions process. Although they may not be able to write or edit your application essay or schedule your college visits, they can be useful in a lot of other ways. Here are some of our favorite free apps that might be useful as you start your applications:

CardMunch: If you are anything like me, you put papers into your backpack or tote without really knowing if you will see them again. This is particularly true with business cards, which often end up crushed at the bottom of my purse or stuck in seldom-used compartments in my wallet. Luckily, CardMunch gives you an easy (and free, with a LinkedIn account) way to organize your contacts. After you open the app, you snap a picture of the business card. The app sends a photograph to someone who transcribes the information and sends it back to you. This is a great solution for keeping up with admissions counselors you meet during campus tours or college fairs.

Dropbox: Between essay and short answer drafts and resumes, you might be juggling a lot of paperwork during the application process. Dropbox, an application you can download to your phone and computer and access online, makes it easy to keep all of your college-related documents in one place and easily accessible regardless of what computer you are using. As an added bonus, your application essay is securely stored online, which keeps it safe from any computer mishaps or hard drive crashes.

Evernote: Think of Evernote as a “to-do” app with a lot more functionality. After you sign up for an account (there is a free option and a paid option), you can install the Evernote app on your smartphone, desktop, and internet browser. With this app, you can make lists, create notes, save important emails, and clip selections from the web (either a highlighted section or an entire page) into your Evernote account. With the desktop version, you also have the option to protect certain info with a password. If you have to keep up with numerous application usernames and passwords, this is a great way to store all of this vital information in a secure and centralized place.

Wunderlist: When it comes to applying to college, it is never a good idea to wait until the last minute. Wunderlist (or really any “to-do” app) will help keep you organized and on top of your deadlines. The great thing about Wunderlist (besides the fact that it is free) is that you can use it online, on your smartphone, or on your Mac or PC. Your account will sync your to-do lists, so you will always know what task should be completed next.

Yelp: For many seniors, summer and fall breaks mean college visits. Yelp provides reviews and tips on restaurants, hotels, stores, and service providers in a variety of cities, so you can check out the local hot spots and know the places you should pass when visiting the city.

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