by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

There’s nothing easy about applying to and preparing for college. Thankfully, there are many smartphone and tablet apps to make the process easier. Below are six of the best free apps on the market. Download them and encourage your kids use them as they start their journey from high school to college.

app satSAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards
Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
The college admissions process starts when they take the SAT—the most widely used admissions test across the U.S. There are many SAT apps available; one of the best is the award-winning SAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards. The app includes full-length practice tests, lots of individual questions from the different subject areas and an extensive database of flashcards to aid in studying. Your kids can track their progress over time and get analyses of their strengths and weaknesses.

app collegesearchCollege Search Guide
Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
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 aptly named 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, distance from home and a long list of other variables. The app also has a list of the top 100 colleges across many categories.

app youvisitYouVisit Colleges
Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
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 a basic 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. These include some of the most prestigious universities in the country and many less competitive colleges.

Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
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 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. They can also search for scholarships on their own based on a long list of criteria.

app my study lifeMy Study Life
Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
Once your kids arrive at college, it’s important that they stay organized and on top of everything they need to do. First task: download My Study Life. This easy-to-use app lets them keep track of all their homework assignments and exams for their classes, which will help them use their time as effectively as possible. They can also use the app to set reminders so they get alerts before any particular task is due.

app mintMint: Personal Finance & Money
Available at: Apple Appstore; Google Play
Finally, it’s worth remembering that for many kids college is the first time in their lives they really get to experience what it’s like to care of themselves, 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 popular money-management app lets them track their expenses, see the balances in their checking and savings accounts and create realistic budgets. They can also use the app to pay and track bills and to receive reminders.