The AI revolution has impacted every industry, including education. AI-powered tools are accessible and user-friendly, making them valuable resources for everyone from experienced professionals to high school students applying to college.
As a student, using AI-powered tools can help you in numerous ways. You can upskill yourself, build new skills, produce high-quality school work throughout the year, and, importantly, optimize the college application process for yourself. These tools can assist you with brainstorming essay topics, practicing sample interview questions, and studying for tests.
In this blog, we'll highlight some of the best AI tools for high school students applying to college. Some of these tools are also helpful for education by and large. However, it's important to note that these tools should be used as a starting point or inspiration, rather than a replacement for your own work. Use these tools creatively to add value to your work and save time!
College Application Strategy
AdmitYogi lets you read through the successful college applications of past applicants. They use an AI-powered recommendation algorithm to match you with a similar profile student at your dream school, with the same demographics, stats, and majors. From there, you can read the essays and activities that got them in and get inspired to overcome writer’s block or build your own admission profile.
You can learn more about the tool and how to use it to the fullest here.
An AdmitYogi profile looks something like this -
Pricing: You can try out the tool for free and view one student profile, but to view 5 profiles or more, you may have to opt for plans that start at $10/profile - a price much lower than other profile comparison tools available for high school students.
Interview Prep + General Research
An incredibly versatile tool, ChatGPT can be used to assist you in your college admissions journey in several ways. You can feed as detailed or general prompts as you prefer, and receive answers almost instantly.
Here are a few ways you can make the most out of ChatGPT's Natural Language Processing model for your college admissions -
Generate prompts and outlines for your essays, and provide inspiration for your letters of motivation.
You can ask ChatGPT to pose an interviewer from a certain university, interviewing you for, say, a Business degree. You can practice your responses and ask ChatGPT for feedback.
Note that you should avoid over-rehearsing your answers since it can lead to a dip in authenticity and flow. However, simply preparing yourself with a few pointers for basic questions is a good idea!
Here is an example of the sort of help ChatGPT could give you for writing a diversity essay. You can get ideas on what sort of clubs exist, then ask follow-up questions on each and even request for a good outline.
Note that you should not fully and blindly rely on ChatGPT for your writing/research, as it claims to have limited knowledge of events after 2021, so it's a good idea to keep cross-checking with official websites and stats.
Pricing: Free of cost
Test prep: standardized tests or otherwise
The SAT, IELTS, and TOEFL are just a few test scores that are required for a successful application to many American universities, as well as prestigious universities abroad. Test prep from external organizations and centers can be quite expensive. You can consider using the following tools to help you prepare better (and often, faster) for standardized tests, as well as exams and tests at school.
For visual learners, flashcards are a powerful learning tool, and Quetab provides you with AI-powered flashcards to help you learn concepts faster. You can enter the words, concepts, or prompts that you need to study and memorize and enter it, and Quetab's AI program will create flashcards almost instantly.
Quetab is incredibly beginner-friendly and clutter-free, ensuring you don't run into any ads or other distractions while studying.
Additionally, Quetab also helps you with summarizing a large piece of text, forming questions from given content, as well as generating keywords.
Note: Quetab flashcards can be used to memorize vocabulary for language proficiency tests, formulas for math and quantitative aptitude tests, as well as other subject-specific concepts that you may need to memorize.
Pricing: You can avail of Quetab's services completely free of cost.
Lumos Learning is an AI-powered tool for SAT practice. SAT prep involves learning quantitative as well as logical and language-based skills. Lumos Learning allows you to take mock tests and assess the topics you need to put in a little extra effort towards, and the topics you can refine further for a perfect score.
You can keep track of your scores over time, take a look at the topics you need help with, and access tutorials for the same on Lumos.
Note: Lumos has lots of informational blogs on SAT prep that you can take a look at before diving into your test prep.
Pricing: Lumos Learning has paid plans, which you can check out here.
Mathia is an AI-powered math learning platform for students. Using Mathia to learn tricky concepts in high school and middle school math has led to double growth in students' performance on standardized tests.
The tool uses adaptive learning technology and data from your assessments and tests to identify areas where you are struggling and provides personalized practice to help you improve. You can use Mathia to create a self-paced, personalized tutoring system, along with 1:1 guidance.
Pricing: Mathia offers pricing plans per unit per year, more details of which you can check here.
Essays and Writing Assignments
Grammarly is an effective AI-powered typing assistant that helps you strengthen grammar, tone, and writing style, as well as grammatical and syntax errors. You can use Grammarly to grammar-check and correct emails, SOPs, and personal essays, as well as help, phrase your interview answers during prep better.
Grammarly also offers plagiarism-checking services that you can consider using for your research before and after joining college.
However, it's important to use Grammarly selectively and not become overly dependent on it. While it can be a helpful resource, you won't have it for tests, so it's essential to develop your writing skills as well. With that said, Grammarly can be an excellent tool to help you improve your writing and avoid common mistakes.
Pricing: While the Premium version is priced a bit higher, the free version is a highly intuitive and robust tool that serves as an AI editor for all your content on the go.
Here’s an example of Grammarly’s editing process -
Starting with a blank page can be a frustrating process, especially if you're working with a tight deadline and word cap. That’s where Quillbot comes in. This AI-powered paraphrasing tool assists you with basic spell check, paraphrasing, as well as tone and voice edits. If you're looking to edit your essays, you can feed your content into Quillbot, and check its suggestions to rewrite and edit for better clarity.
Additionally, you can use Quillbot to summarize academic articles, blogs, and papers. This is a particularly useful tool if you're looking to study for competitive tests, cite research for your papers/essays, or understand more about a particular topic.
Here’s an example of the QuillBot Summarizer -
Pricing: Quillbot offers both free and paid plans, which you can opt for according to your needs and budget.
College applications require lots of long-form content, ranging from essays, and cover letters, as well as letters of motivation. This can be a daunting task. MoonBeam is an AI tool that you can use for personalized feedback and data-driven writing assistance for long-form content.
You can use MoonBeam to generate an essay outline from a short prompt, create presentation outlines and content from your notes, or feed in a detailed prompt and generate a rough draft of your statement of purpose.
MoonBeam is a highly versatile writing tool and has been praised for its intuitive and unique content, so we recommend you give it a go for your next college application.
Pricing: MoonBeam offers free plans with a word limit and limited features, but as a student, the free plan is budget-friendly and efficient.
Designing high-quality documents, organizing information, and gathering resources
If you're applying to universities for a major that requires a portfolio/resume as part of your application, ensure that your material is visually rich and engaging. A seasoned admissions officer will take no more than a couple of minutes to review your entire application, and ensuring that your material stands out is of utmost importance.
Canva is a popular design tool that can be used to design your portfolios, research proposals and papers, essays, book reviews/blogs, as well as your student resumes. Additionally, you can also use Canva as a multipurpose design and editing tool for your school presentations or design-based submissions.
Canva recently dropped an update that now enables it to edit/create designs based on the prompt given, thanks to a deep AI integration.
Here’s a template that you can use for your student resume -
Note: Canva is also a great tool for group presentations and projects!
Pricing: Canva has a pretty huge library of templates and elements that you can use for free as a student, so we recommend you start from there and consider buying a Premium plan if necessary at later stages of your academic journey.
If you're attending study groups, important presentations at school, as well as meetings with your academic counselor/mentor, having a transcribing tool is a lot more efficient than manually typing out all that was said at these meetings.
Otter.ai can be used as an extension on your browser, and captures slides displayed in meetings, quick meeting summaries, as well as live notes.
As an example, you can use Otter.ai to record any important tips and information from your meeting with your academic counselor and have it ready for review while applying to your dream schools. It also helps you be more mentally present during your meetings (because you are not the one making the notes).
Here’s what Otter.ai would do in a minute when instructed to take notes and screenshots of the content shared in the meeting -
Note: Here’s a blog by the Otter team about the various ways you can use Otter.ai to the fullest as a student.
Pricing: Otter.ai has a free plan for students and beginners, as well as paid plans that start at $8.33/month.
Using AI tools in the right way can be a game changer for you. These tools can enhance your academic and extracurricular performance, elevate the quality of your research or schoolwork, and streamline the college admission process. You can save time and effort, allowing you to explore new opportunities and embrace fresh challenges.
If you are interested in doing university-level research in a subject of your choice, then you could consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.
Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.