8 Great Apps to Send College Students to the Head of the Class

Woman student in library, looking at cellphone
Photo by arek_malang / Shutterstock.com

Today’s college students have an extra advantage when they head off to school — a tiny computer that fits in their pockets. Smartphones live up to their name these days. In addition to web-browsing, Facebook-liking, emoji-texting and making the occasional actual phone call, there’s a whole world of useful apps out there that no student should be without. Some are even as valuable as the phone number of that one pizza place that has free delivery and throws in extra garlic bread.

Here’s a look at eight apps that will help collegians survive and thrive on campus. (Note: Not all apps are available for all smartphone varieties, but this should give you an idea of what’s out there.)

1. EasyBib

Books
adistock / Shutterstock.com

Writing college papers is tough enough — composing the bibliography shouldn’t make things even harder. With EasyBib, just gather the books you used for your paper, then either scan the bar codes or type in the title, and the app will offer up the information. The free version of the app uses MLA style, but subscribe to the Pro edition ($9.99 a month, two-day free trial) for APA and other styles, as well as parenthetical and in-text citations and footnotes. Use the time you save by not fussing with the bibliography to give that paper one more careful edit.

2. Dictionary.com

PHENPHAYOM / Shutterstock.com

You may be familiar with dictionary.com’s website, which allows you to search over 2 million words for definitions, synonyms, word origins, pronunciation and more. Download the free app for all that, plus enjoy the fun Word of the Day definition and handy offline access. Word up!

3. Dragon Dictation

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

You can probably think of a million ways to use Dragon Dictation, which listens to the words spoken into it and types them out (not perfectly, but not half-bad, either). Maybe you want to read your class notes into it so you’ll have a neat typed version from which you can copy and paste. Or compose your thoughts for a report or project while keeping your hands free (maybe while jogging on the treadmill). Diary entries, emails or letters to mom, the first chapter of the great American novel — if you can think of it, you can dictate it.

4. Alarmy

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Few subjects are tougher for college students to master than getting up in the morning. Alarm-clock apps are great, but you can hit that snooze button and sail back to dreamland, sleeping right through that bio exam. Not so with Alarmy. Before you go to sleep, when you’re still bright-eyed and determined to get up at the crack of dawn, you take a photo of a location far away from your bed — your front door, the upstairs bathroom, the inside of the fridge, whatever. Then once the alarm goes off in the morning, it won’t stop until you get your tired self over to that location and take a photo of the matching location. Brilliant, and also absolutely fiendish. Sleep tight!

5. Mint

Aaron Amat / Shutterstock.com

Surely there are college students somewhere for whom money is not a problem, but for the rest of us, there’s Mint. This free financial-planning app isn’t just for students, but it’s never too early to start managing your money. Create a budget, track and pay bills, sync your bank accounts and even get warnings when your balance is low. Not that, uh, that would ever happen.

6. Brainscape

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

You may have learned back in grade school that flashcards are one of the best ways to learn, whether you’re studying multiplication tables, SAT vocabulary or state capitals. Brainscape takes the simple and successful flash-card concept online. You can create your own flashcards and access a couple of ready-made flash-card sets for free, or upgrade to a paid account to access cards created by others on subjects ranging from Spanish to statistics.

7. Evernote

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

Every college student takes notes, so every college student could get some help from Evernote. The acclaimed app brags that it’ll become “your second brain,” and that’s really not far off. You can compose notes, organize them, sync them across numerous devices, add in audio and video, and much more. You’ll find plenty of online guides and tutorials, but the best way to learn how to best use Evernote is just to jump in, then fit it to your studies. A-plus!

8. Unplugged

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Last but not least, here’s the app for when other apps (and websites, and games, and friends) have dragged you away from your homework just too often. With Unplugged, choose an amount of time to stay phone-free, and the app will scold you if you try to get on your phone before that time is up. You can also set goals and try to beat your personal best, because sometimes being unplugged is the best way to plug in.

What study tools did you employ — before or after the smartphone revolution? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021
This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021

The rate of return is just one of several reasons this account stands out.

9 Ways to Get Affordable Vet Care
9 Ways to Get Affordable Vet Care

Medical care for your furry friends can be expensive. Here are some tips to get affordable vet care.

The 14 Most Deadly Car Models
The 14 Most Deadly Car Models

These vehicles are involved in fatal accidents at least twice as often as the average car.

7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet
7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet

For some, the golden years are a time to increase the gold — but their reasons for delaying retirement vary widely.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target

No store can specialize in everything. For some purchases, it’s smart to shop elsewhere.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores
8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Retirees can dial back the intensity of work while continuing to bring in a paycheck.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report
8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report

Federal law lets these entities peek at your credit — regardless of whether you’re borrowing money.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.