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Tech-Friendly Websites and Services for your Students

In 1975, a group of 15 universities came together with a common goal of breaking down a barrier to entering their institutions by creating the Common Application that could be used for admissions at any of the universities. Back then, it was a paper application. Forty-three years later, the Common App is all done online – and there’s more than 800 colleges and universities for a student to choose from when they’re filling out this universal college application. That 50-fold increase in colleges in the Common Application program is a great example of the power of technology to break down traditional barriers to entering college and foster a college-going culture. And it’s rapidly changing. Students who have grown up with electronic devices in their hands can now not only apply for college with their smartphone, they can apply for financial aid too.

Here are some of the tech-friendly websites and services we recommend you share with your students to help them navigate the college-going process:

  • Common App has a mobile app! The smartphone app keeps track of each college application a student submits, keeps tabs on the progress at the college admissions level and sends push notifications that remind the student when there’s a deadline approaching.

  • The 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form now can be filled out on a mobile-friendly website or using the myStudentAid app, which is available for download in the Apple App Store (iOS) or in Google Play for Android devices.

  • Khan Academy is more than an online tutoring portal for personalized learning. The non-for-profit organization has an excellent set of videos that walk students through the process of applying for college, writing strong essays, soliciting letters of recommendation and how transfer students can overcome barriers to four-year universities. Students can watch these YouTube videos on their smartphones.

  • Khan Academy even has a video tutorial for filling out the Common Application.

  • Get Schooled Detroit is a one-stop digital platform to help Detroit high school students pursue a post-secondary education. Get Schooled, in partnership with the Detroit College Access Network and funded by General Motors Co., has a text message service for students to get tips on preparing, applying and paying for college – and then succeeding when they get there. The website can be accessed through your smartphone.

  • Get Schooled also offers this super handy one-page guide to building a college application game plan. It’s something you can print off for your students or have them bookmark in their smartphones.

We hope you find these websites and mobile apps helpful. If you have another online resource you’d like to share with other educators in this field, please email Ashley Johnson at

Ashley Johnson, Executive Director

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