When I was in college, no one I knew even had a computer, let alone a smartphone. We navigated around by using actual paper maps and when we didn’t know something, we went to the library to look it up in a book. No, I wasn’t in class with a T-Rex, but I will admit it WAS a while ago and things have definitely changed a lot since I was a student. Technology has changed everything, and for college students, it’s changed it for the better in many ways. Take, for example, all the different ways apps make it easier for college students to do everything from ordering pizza to getting directions to the
cool new bar study area they just heard about. The problem is, with all that time they spend “studying” they probably don’t waste a lot of time researching apps that can help them with other aspects of their lives which is why I’ve put together this handy list of the best apps for college students.
I’ve broken my app recommendations into categories to make it easy to find apps that fit your needs.
Whether you need a definition, a formula, or a synopsis – there’s an app for that.
Dictionary.com – Need a definition or the correct spelling of a word your autocorrect doesn’t recognize. This app will have your answer. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
EasyBib – College involves a lot of research papers, which means lots of citations. EasyBib makes it easy to format your source according to current APA and MLA guidelines. They guarantee the most accurate bibliography. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
CliffsNotes – If you’re having trouble understanding Shakespeare, a CliffsNotes study guide can help. The app includes cram plans, summaries, quizzes and other features. The app is free on iOS devices, but you’ll have to pay for access to the study guides.
Staying on top of the homework, projects, and research papers due for multiple classes requires significant organization skills. These apps will help you manage your workload and stay on schedule.
MyHomework – Add your class times, homework, tests, and projects and get reminders when assignments are due. Plus, it syncs across all your devices so you can access up-to-date information from your phone, tablet, and laptop. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
iStudiez Pro – Track your class schedule and all of your assignments with this comprehensive and easy-to-use app. There’s a Lite version available for free, but it’s really meant as a way for you to trial the app. If you use it as a planner, you’ll want to shell out the few bucks for the pro version. Currently available for iOS and Windows but an Android version is coming soon.
No matter what your major is, college involves a lot of studying. These apps will help you study smarter.
Quizlet – This app is great for creating flash cards (or you can use ones created by other users), and it also includes a variety of other study tools, including games and quizzes. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
GoConqr – Create mind maps and flash cards. Take quizzes. Find other resources to help you study. When it comes to test prep, this app has it all. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive – These three apps let you save everything to the cloud (documents, pictures, videos, spreadsheets, etc.) and can be accessed from any of your devices. All three also give you the option to easily share your files with others so you can exchange notes or collaborate on a project with a few mouse clicks.
Andie Graph – Why carry a smartphone AND a calculator when your phone can be your calculator? This app goes far beyond the basic calculator features that come standard on most smart phones you’re a math major, you’ll need a more complex calculator than a scientific calculator. Andie Graph provides you with all the capabilities of a TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+, TI-85, and TI-86 calculator. Available for free for Android devices.
Calc Pro – 10 calculators in one app. Whether you’re a finance major or engineering student, this app can double as your calculator for most of your math courses. Available for $7.99 for iOS devices.
Cogi – If you want to make sure you get every word in your history lecture, it helps to record it as you take notes. Cogi lets you record endlessly (well, until your phone runs out of memory or the battery dies). Avaialable for free for Android devices.
Voice Recorder HD – Does the same thing as Cogi, but for iPhones. Available for $1.99.
College is a unique environment where you are surrounded by a majority that is made up of people in a very limited age range. Aside from the rigors of school, you’re relatively free of the stress and responsibility that awaits you in adulthood. Focus on your studies, but enjoy yourself too! These apps will help you make the most of the social side of college.
Circle of 6 – This app was originally developed to prevent rape, but its uses go far beyond. Have a friend save you from a bad date. Get help getting home if you realize you stayed way too long at the library and don’t want to walk home alone. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
GroupMe – Tired of trying to get your friends’ iPhones, Androids, and Windows phones to play nice in group chat? GroupMe makes it easy (and it’s free!). It’s so cool, it even works with older phones and with your friends who don’t have the app.
Skype – Do this for your mom. She misses you and wants to see your face when you talk to her so she can see for herself that you are doing great at college. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Skout – Meet people with common interests near you or in places you want to visit. It’s a great way to meet new friends. For your mom’s sake, and yours, be smart about how much information you share and how you arrange meetings. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
LinkedIn – Yes, this is the networking app your parents use, but college is the perfect time for you to set up your profile. It will make it easier for you to research and connect with potential employers in just a few years (or less!) and will make you an attractive candidate if you’ve established a strong profile and good connections. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
If you’re paying for college yourself, almost all of your income is going there and you have very little to live on. If your parents are helping you out, they’re likely grumbling about how expensive college is, encouraging you to watch your spending. The reality for most college students is – money is tight. Make the most of your limited dollars with these apps that help you get more for less.
OfferUp – Looking for inexpensive furniture for your first apartment? Need pizza money? OfferUp is the easiest way to buy and sell items locally between individuals. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Pocket Points – Get rewarded for NOT using your phone in class. Available on campuses across the US, you can cash in your points at participating businesses on and near campus. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Hooked – Find deals going on RIGHT NOW at restaurants near you. The deals are usually limited time offers (1-3 hours) so it’s ideal for scoring a deal on lunch when you walk out of class starving and want to eat right away. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Mint – Do yourself a favor and learn to manage your money while you don’t have much of it to manage. Mint is easy to use and will help you establish great budgeting habits that you’ll be thankful for later. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
Venmo – Easily pay your roommate for your share of the pizza. Keep track of who owes what for the party you’re throwing next weekend. Venmo lets you send and receive money instantly. Available for free for both Androids and iOS devices.
I did a lot of research and also drilled my college son for suggestions, but I’m sure this list is in no way “complete.” If you have an app that you just LOVE and think is a must-have for college students, please share it in the comments so I can add it to the list.