16 Great Smartphone Apps for College Students

By Zach Loubert, Intern.

As a modern college student, you’re always on the run. Between balancing classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life, it is important to be in control of your schedule. We’ve compiled a list of our picks for the best smartphone apps that can help you save time, stay organized, and have fun all while being a productive college student.

For Academics


Discover the essential steps to apply to and choose the right college for you. This app is a great guide for first-generation college students to help plan for college and stay organized throughout the process.

Pear Note

Have you ever looked over old notes from a lecture and don’t remember what they mean? Pear Note helps alleviate this problem by recording lectures while you write. Your notes are integrated with the audio, so by simply tapping on a section of your notes, you are brought back to that time of the lecture. Oh, technology!


Generate accurate MLA, Chicago, or APA citations by scanning a book’s barcode or searching the title with the EasyBib app. Once you have collected all of the citations for your research paper, you can easily export them to your email. Writing a bibliography has never felt so easy!

Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus

Develop your vocabulary by learning new words from the dictionary, and improve your writing with the thesaurus feature. An added bonus is that you do not need Wi-Fi or data service for this app. You can use it wherever you go!

Google Translate

This can be very useful when studying abroad, working on language homework, or even eating out at an ethnic restaurant. You never know when you will need a translator, and this app will help you communicate with anyone.

For Organization


Organize your email inbox and prioritize information. With this app, you can easily go through your never-ending list of emails by reading, deleting, or postponing for another time.


Schedule your life with this helpful calendar app. Not only is it aesthetically appealing with clear graphics and text, but it offers other perks like confirmation emails for meetings, navigation assistance, and one-click access to call an Uber.


Manage your important files across all devices with Dropbox. You can store documents, photos, and videos in one place – making it easier to access both at home and on the go.


Build your professional network and connect with colleagues. A LinkedIn account can be invaluable for students kick starting their career.


Protect your privacy on mobile devices and laptops. This app lets you track and locate lost or stolen phones while letting you remotely control the devices. You can also use the camera to take photos or screenshots and even trigger a loud alarm.

Grad Guru

For students who attend a community college, this app will act as a virtual counselor. It will send you push notifications for important deadlines, general college tips, and guidance to help you finish college faster. These reminders are great for keeping students on track and preparing them to graduate.


For Finances


Organize your finances by consolidating all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and bills into one place. Rather than looking at multiple statements and doing complex math, Mint will show you how much money you really have after expenses. You can also set financial goals and budgets. (It’s okay, we know you cringed when we mentioned … budgets. But they really do work!)


Avoid the stress of trying to split restaurant bills, rent, or drinks with your friends. With Venmo, you can transfer money between bank accounts for free with only the click of a few buttons.


For Fun


Use Uber for a great alternative to taking a taxi. In seconds, you can schedule a car to pick you up and take you to your next destination. It is quick, reliable, and reasonably priced.

Nike + (exercise)

Stay healthy and find time to exercise. With this exciting app, you can map your runs, track calories, and record progress. It will motivate you to keep running with cheers, power songs, and encouragement from some of Nike’s top athletes.


Select your activity or mood and Songza will generate a playlist that reflects your feelings. This free service gives you access to hundreds of thousands of songs and all you have to do is relax and enjoy the music.