4 Free Apps to Take on Your College Visits
by Story2 Guest Author, on Jun 18, 2015 1:28:00 PM
Summer is the perfect time for families to plan college visits with their high school students who are on summer break. But college visits can become stressful when there is information overload, too much time spent on the road, or when your student feels overwhelmed by the potentially life-altering choice that lies ahead. Thankfully, there are easy ways to dial back the stress. One is to finish your common app over the summer, and another is to download free mobile apps to help you navigate and organize your college visits.
Here are 4 free apps you can take with you on your college visits this summer to make the college admissions process go more smoothly.
Summer may be the perfect time for your college road trip, but it is also the perfect time for construction projects and other people’s vacations—and that means there will inevitably be traffic backups. There is nothing more stress inducing in the college admissions process ( or the parent-child relationship) than being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic that is making you late for your college information session, tour, or interview.
Waze is GPS app that makes use of real-time, crowdsourced traffic data to steer you around problem areas. If there is a traffic incident, construction issues, or slow-moving traffic for any reason, Waze users report it and the app updates your map. It can even give you voice directions to route you around problems and get you back on your way.
Just keep in mind that many states restrict cell phone use while driving. If you do not have hands-free capabilities, let your passengers do the navigating!
2. Super Notes
Super Notes will allow you to create a folder for each of the colleges you visit, then fill that folder with notes, photos, and even voice recordings. You can either type in your notes or handwrite them with your finger or a stylus, and you can record and write at the same time. So attending information sessions and meeting with college advisors should be a breeze.
Be sure to note the names of people you speak to at each school so you can mention them in your college applications when you’re asked why you want to attend a particular college. If you can say ‘John Smith’ really made me feel welcome, or something along those lines, it gives your application a personal touch that will help it stand out.
If you’ve been putting off searching for college scholarships, take the ScholarshipAdvisor mobile app on the road with you! It will give you access to a database of thousands of scholarships while you travel. You can search for scholarships by keyword, by state, or by featured lists. Apply while you are killing time on the road or bookmark scholarship deadlines for later so you won’t forget to apply when you get home.
If you’re going to be traveling to colleges alone, or staying overnight to get the feel of a school, then downloading a personal safety app is a good idea. bSafe is one that allows you to alert friends or family when you’ve arrived at your destination, send out GPS information to designated guardians, and set up phony phone calls to get you out of uncomfortable spots. When you need emergency help, bSafe can be used to set off an audible alarm and video record everything that is happening to collect information for the police. It is not a substitute for dialing 911, however, so don’t be afraid to call for help if you need it.
Set yourself up for success this summer. Organizing your college visits with these free apps will help you later when you need to narrow down your choices and start sending out applications. Good luck!
Diane Thomas is the editor of StudentAdvisor.com, ScholarshipAdvisor.com, and LearningAdvisor.com, a group of websites offering education resources to students of all ages. She has also sent five children to college. Follow StudentAdvisor on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.