5 Free Apps Every College Student Should Have

As a college student, you probably find yourself juggling a ridiculously busy schedule of classes, work, extracurricular activities and (hopefully) a social life, too. You have likely have no free time and even less money. Luckily, smartphones can make your life a lot easier. There are so many apps available that can help you maximize efficiency and streamline your life.

Best of all, you can utilize these apps without breaking into your Ramen noodle budget. Here are five must-have mobile apps that won’t cost you a penny. They are designed to help you save money and time. Bonus: Most of them should also help you study smarter, regardless of how far from the library you roam.

Chegg – The start-of-the-semester book-buying ritual is emotionally and financially painful. Renting often makes more sense than buying, and Chegg is the place to rent textbooks online. This free app lets you search for the books you need by title, author and ISBN. Also, you can just take your phone to the campus bookstore and scan barcodes. Chegg offers several shipping options and returns are free.

myHomework – Smartphones get a bad rap for distracting us from the task at hand, but this free app helps you get organized. It features an at-a-glance dashboard that lets you see all your classes and the assignments for each class.  Plus, pop-up reminders and the calendar feature can help you plan out your workload for the semester. Track homework, exams, papers and anything else on your to-do list and never miss a deadline again.

Evernote – Whether you learn by reading, writing or listening, Evernote can help you store and recall vital information from your classes and research. It captures text, pictures or audio notes that you can sync with your computer or other devices. You can go back and access the information anytime from anywhere. This handy app even processes the contents of images, turning words in a photo into searchable text that will pop up when you need to revisit the subject but forgot you took the picture.

Graphing Calculator: Why buy a $100+ scientific calculator when you can download a free app that turns your smartphone into one? Since math and science classes are required for students regardless of major, it can be frustrating to spend so much money on a product that you will only need for a few classes.

Mint.com – For most of us, the college years are our first chance to handle our own personal finances. Mint.com is an easy to use tool for budgeting and expense tracking. Forget the old days of ledgers, spreadsheets and shoeboxes of receipts. This app connects you to the website that securely accesses your checking account and categorizes transactions so you can see where you’re spending most of your money. It will also alert you when bills are due or when you are in danger of spending more than you have. Learning how to budget properly will help you make smart financial decisions, this is vital knowledge for post-college life.

In addition, check to see if your college or university offers an app of its own. School apps are a free and easy way to stay on top of campus events, offers and even security bulletins. They may even allow you to access aspects of your account, from meal plans to overdue library books.

By stocking your smartphone with the right apps you can maximize your time and your money. Organization is the first and easiest step to academic success. You probably carry your phone with you everywhere, so the right apps can really help you unleash your potential.

Guest post provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about online degree programs and career topics for US News University Directory. For more information please visit http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com

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