Top Mobile Apps for College Students — I was never a particularly well-organized college student. Everywhere I went, it seemed I had forgotten something important — keys, textbook, term paper, you name it. But the one thing I always had on hand was my cell phone. Unfortunately, it was not equipped with all the amazing mobile apps available for students today.

It’s astonishing how much you can accomplish now with nothing more than a smartphone or tablet. I’ve compiled nine of my favorite mobile apps for students below. Most of them are free, and all of them are fabulously functional.

1. Amazon Student

Amazon StudentAmazon Student is a must for cash-strapped students. It lets you search for the best deals on textbooks, then resell them in the Amazon Marketplace when the semester ends. Sure, you could do that straight from, but what makes this app special is the barcode scanner feature. Using your smartphone camera, you can capture a barcode while browsing the campus bookstore. Amazon will then show you all the prices for that title and let you order it straight from the app — so you know you’re getting the best deal available.

Oh, and did I mention the trade-in feature? Amazon lets you scan barcodes to search for a range of products — books, DVDs, electronics — then pays you to sell them back to Amazon for a set price. Payment for trade-ins comes in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Amazon Student is free and available for Android and iOS. Students get free two-day shipping for six months when they join.

2. Paper

Did you know that drawing can supercharge your learning abilities? In a recent interview, designer Von Glitschka told me about how drawing can improve your creativity and focus by tapping into certain kinds of learning. But you don’t need a pen and paper to access this cognitive superpower. Mobile drawing apps work just as well.

Paper is one of my favorite apps for creating and sharing sketches. It’s a gorgeous, free app for iPad and iPhone that comes with basic features like pen and pencil tools. For $1.99 to $6.99 you can purchase other in-app utilities, such as Color Mixer. Here’s a screenshot of one of my journal pages:


Paper is currently an Apple iOS-only app, but Android users can choose from a range of other options. Our Ant Pruitt gave high marks to Sketchbook for Android. Click here to read his recent review.




3. DropBox

A fantastic tool for students and professionals alike. From the DropBox app for Android or iOS, you can upload files — including photos and video — to the cloud, edit them from your mobile device, and share them with others. Best of all, DropBox is now integrated with Blackboard applications, as well.

4. Blackboard

More and more colleges are using Blackboard as their primary learning utility. The mobile app is a great way to stay on top of due dates, communicate with professors and peers, and submit assignments on the go. Download it for free in Android or iOS formats.

5. Feedly

The popular Feedly app isn’t just for bloggers and techies — it’s a great research and study tool for college students, as well. Use it to gather and store recent articles in your favorite categories, then share them with others or email them to yourself for safekeeping. Here’s a screenshot of Feedly’s beautiful, magazine-like interface:


You can get the free Feedly app for Android or iOS.





6. Tip Me

Dining out is a college group sport. Take the confusion out of paying the bill with Tip Me, a mobile app for Android devices that lets you split the bill between any number of people and calculate individual tip amounts.

7. Mint

Managing finances can be a struggle for college students. I, for one, would have benefitted immensely from Mint for Android and iOS phones and tablets. Here’s a screenshot of the set-up screen, where you can link your bank or credit card accounts and “let Mint do the rest”:


Once you’ve linked all your information, this fantastic money manager will show you how much you’re spending in several categories, and send you alerts when you go over budget. Mint will even display your spending habits in helpful charts and graphs. If you choose only one app to use during college, this should be it.

8. is a simple but invaluable bit of freeware that every college student should have on their mobile device. It’s a responsive and functional mobile app that gives you definitions — obviously — as well as synonyms, antonyms, and context sentences. You can even listen to an audio recording of the word in-use, so you won’t make the mistake of mispronouncing that impressive new word you just learned. Here’s a screenshot of’s entry for the word ‘spurious’: is available on Google Play or iTunes.

What are your favorite student-related apps? Leave me a comment and let me know!



Image credits: Madison Andrews

Madison Andrews is a writer, editor, and designer living in Austin, Texas. She is founder and editor of Email her at [email protected], find her on tumblr, or follow her @madskillsvocab.

Jeremy Lesniak
Based in Vermont, Jeremy Lesniak is managing editor at and founder of Vermont Computing, Inc. and Email him [email protected]
Jeremy Lesniak
Jeremy Lesniak
Tags: Education,Mobile Apps
  • satyenhacks

    Thanks for such amazing apps. I have only dictionary and amazon apps out of these but will check out the rest.