The Best Free Apps for College Students

Maybe I’m more than a little bit dependent on technology. But, hey, I’m a millennial, I think it’s in my DNA. There are so many apps available free to download that can make life much easier! This guide applies not only to college students, but also to anyone that wants increased productivity on their phones. All these apps are downloadable on Apple devices, I’m not sure about other systems, but I’m sure they’re there as well! Enjoy!

The best free apps for college students

The best free apps for college students

Microsoft Word – This is a great reading and editing app for all of your classwork. I like to write my essays on the go, or at work, and I’ve gotten really good at mastering the tiny iPhone screen. This is the same version of Microsoft available on your PC, and you can save and send documents just as you would on your computer. Microsoft also has versions of all your other favorite school programs (Excel, PowerPoint, etc…) available for your phone. This app is best for proofreading, in my opinion, or viewing notes if you type them out. You can also upload things to your OneDrive (see below).

OneDrive – OneDrive is Microsoft’s free online storage system. All you need is a Microsoft account and you can upload all your files for access on the go. This is especially important in college because you’ll likely switch devices frequently. For example, I work on the library computers as well as my home laptop sometimes, so it’s convenient to have everything stored in one place. Onedrive allows you to view all your files on the go.

Groupon – If you haven’t checked out Groupon, you really must. It offers discounted goods, services, and experiences available for a limited time. This is a good way to do fun activities or eat out at a nice restaurant without breaking the bank. I spent my whole summer doing Groupon activities, it’s the only way I could afford to on a college budget! They also have a ton of great vacation packages.

Accuweather – This is by far my favorite weather app. It’s different than other apps because it gives you an actual count down to rain or other weather forecasts. It’ll say something like “Rain expected in 10 minutes,” and it is surprisingly accurate. Getting caught in a torrential downpour (Florida school problems) before class is the worst. There’s nothing that sucks more than sitting in class freezing and soaked all day! Get this app so you always know when to pack your umbrella and rain boots!

8Tracks – Music is really important, and there’s a lot of different apps promising you they’re the best. 8Tracks is different than other apps like Pandora and Spotify because all their soundtracks are created 100% by users. You can even create your own and follow users with similar music tastes! You can search playlists by really unique tags like “2 am crying” (no joke, this is a great tag) and “Gryffindor vibes.” There’s also less advertisements than most other music streaming websites, so that’s always a plus.

Sworkit Lite – Sworkit offers a variety of paid apps, but their free Lite version is enough for me. These apps are great for fitting in workouts into the limited time you have. I even use this at the gym sometimes because it’s that great. You enter the amount of time you have to workout, the muscles you want to target, and it helps you through a workout complete with videos, breaks, and music. No equipment is necessary, it’s all body resistance training, so you can do this anywhere! There’s also a point system which offers rewards for social media shares and completing workouts.

Sleep Cycle ($0.99) – This is the only paid app I included, but hear me out! Sleep Cycle is an awesome way to wake up feeling more refreshed. It gets to know your sleep cycle and it wakes you up accordingly at the best time for you. You enter the time you want to wake up by, and set your phone near your head on your bed as you sleep. It’ll track your sleep patterns and gently wake you when you’re most likely to be refreshed. It has some great reviews, and anything that promises to make waking up less awful sounds great to me!

Uber – If you live in a city with Uber, you’re in luck! Uber is a safe, inexpensive way to get a ride from point A to point B. I’ve used Uber a number of times, and for the most part have had really great experiences. It’s definitely much cheaper than a cab, and you can see the rating of the driver before they pick you up. All the drivers go through background checks, so you can be sure you’ll be safe. This app is perfect for nights out, as you wont have to worry about a designated driver or sobering up. It’s simple to set your pickup location, and drivers are usually there within ten minutes.

VSCO Cam – This is my favorite image editing app! It comes with really awesome filters, and more editing options than Instagram. It also has it’s own upload stream and profile, but I don’t use that much. There’s a lot of tutorials available on how to edit your pictures to perfection using VSCO cam, check here and here.


What apps do you like to use to stay productive?

All of these opinions are entirely my own. I was not compensated in any way for this post.




Share on
Previous Post Next Post

Also check out

  • I didn’t realize Word had an app. Instead of OneDrive, I used Evernote to save docs. Ever try it?

  • Interesting! Thanks

  • Dropbox and quip are better for getting things done.

  • I love one drive! I use it a lot now. I also love box sync it’s so great for college and for any other job afterwards. We use it at my work a lot.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  • Mai T.

    My So-Called Chaos sent me here. Apps I use to create productivity: Feedly, Paper by Fifty Three, Google Drive, Quip, & Trello.

  • OMG i did not know Microsoft had an app. This will help me out a ton, thanks. Also gonna check out the music app. Write the perfect paper on the go without missing a beat.

  • These apps are really needed. You’ve made a list covering all the areas which is fantastic. 🙂

  • I am definitely going to have to check some of these out. Great list!

  • I enjoyed your post! Always checking out apps for myself, oh and of course I’ll share with my son to make sure he’s aware of each! I’m going to have fun and save this post – thank you 🙂

  • I’ve been looking for a sleep oriented app just because I have migraines that really mess with my sleeping schedule. I’ll definitely be checking out Sleep Cycle. Thanks!

    Carly June |

  • Thanks! I use a lot of these!

  • Such a useful list of apps! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  • I need to check out the groupon app!

  • So many college students don’t know that they usually get free programs through their university’s software distribution like free anti-virus, Microsoft office, etc. I use a lot of these apps that you posted about and they are awesome! 🙂

  • Ana

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this wonderful informative post.

  • Love some of these apps and can’t wait to try others!

  • I knew about sworkit, word and one drive but not the rest. They seem pretty awesome. Especially the music one as I’ve been searching for workout music. Thanks for sharing! Tweeted it 🙂

  • This is a great list for anyone of any age!

  • I use some of these religiously but have never heard of the others.
    Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo, Jenny

  • These are awesome! I’m going to download a few.

  • These are great apps!!!

  • I use google drive a lot even though the app is a little clunky. And was Spotify on this list??? Those are just suggestions though because the list is really great!

  • What a great round up of free apps for college students! Uber has certainly saved my girls and their friends when they’ve been in a bind. Thanks so much for compiling this terrific information.

  • I work with College Students at my church — tweeting this! Great list! Thanks for sharing.

  • I loved this post. I’m a student and found this post to be so useful! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • These sound really useful, I should try 8Tracks and One Drive.

  • I didn’t know that Word had an app. I’ve got to look into that. Thank you for all of this info!

  • Sleepcycle sounds awesome! I’m definitely going to have try that one. The other ones are some of my favorite apps!

  • These all sound really great — I am going to have to check them out!

  • Awesome list! I love my Sleep Cycle app so much. I use it every night! And I tend to use Google Drive a lot as opposed to Microsoft Word. The fact that it’s saved online and syncs to all my devices just makes my life so much easier. Especially when I’m working on the go!

  • This is an awesome post! I wish I had had a smartphone while I was in college!!!

  • Brooke Meitzler

    Curtsy is also a wonderful app for college students! It allows women to rent their dresses from other girls on campus without the awkwardness! Also, I saw where they are having a $500 Revolve giveaway, so be sure to tag your friends on their Instagram and Facebook posts!!!

    Here are their links!