15 Student Apps to Help You Hack College

For college students, academic lives can be exhausting, expensive, and demanding. Today there are few assurances that they can even get a job once surviving this gauntlet. Bottom line: getting through college can be tough.  We want to help by suggesting some of the best apps on the market to get you through the experience with ease.

Dr. Chester Goad is a university administrator and former K-12 principal and US Congressional staffer. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association on Higher Education And Disability and knows a thing or two about smartphone apps.

“Students should first check out the apps developed by and made available at their school or college. Colleges especially have created apps that help students not only navigate their campuses and courses, but also the community. Many of the apps developed by the colleges themselves offer great tips, hotspots to meet people, and even local retail and food discounts.”

Dr. Chester Goad

The following isn’t just a list of the top web apps, but a collection curated to make specific aspects of student’s lives easier. I started with over 40 of the most widely used tools and narrowed it down to the best of the best in productivity, money saving / money making, creativity, and student life apps.


Productivity Apps

These apps are designed to streamline your academic tasks so that you are always optimized for maximum efficiency. These apps will help you keep going when the going gets tough!


1. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

The alarmy app is one of many to help college students' lives easy.


College Hacks: Never sleep through an alarm again. Ever.

Price: Free / Paid

Platform: Apple / Android

This effective alarm clock will absolutely force you out of bed! It requires you to take a picture of something in your house or room to use as a key and the only way for you to turn off the alarm is for you to get up and photograph that object. Genius! For those of us who fall victim to the snooze button, this app will definitely make sure we don’t miss any appointments.


2. Any.Do

The anydo app will help any college student through stressful school life.


College Hacks: Break a huge task down into smaller parts to get it done even quicker.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

The simplicity and attention to design immediately come across when you meet Any.Do; it’s designed from the ground up to help you manage the big things, the little things, and all the medium-sized things in between. Build personalized lists, break them down into small parts, share them with friends, and access them from any web-connected device. Schedule repeating lists to help you keep on top of the tasks you have each week.


3. Google Tools

Google's suite of tools are ideal for keeping track of your scholastic life.


College Hacks: Work on your assignments from literally anywhere you are connected to the internet.

Price: Free / Paid

Platform: Apple / Android

In another post, I covered how Google is changing the classroom and how many educators are turning to its suite of apps to manage their classes. Of course we can’t leave out this juggernaut with its armada of productivity tools – Google is probably one of the most widely used student apps today. Choose from free tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, and host of other apps to help you collaborate with other students and succeed in your classes!


4. Rescue Time




College Hacks: Learn productivity insights about your day you would have never known otherwise.

Price: Free / Paid

Platform: Apple / Android

Have you ever wondered how much time you actually spend on your social media apps? Does anyone really want to know? Maybe. Maybe not. But if you are looking to get a few more hours out of every day, Rescue Time is for you! I reached out to Nathaniel Eliason, a biohacker,  marketer, and a writer. He is an expert on maintaining productivity  “It’s extremely useful to see where your biggest time sucks are coming from, to help you figure out what you need to work on. If you’re reaching the end of your week and wondering where all of your time went, RescueTime is for you.”


5. Wolfram Alpha

Check out Wolfram and this list of 15 other student apps.


College Hacks: Quickly and accurately get the answers Google can’t give to specific and complex inquiries.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

If Google had a super nerdy little cousin his name would be Wolfram Alpha. This interesting suite of apps is tailored to a selection of complex academic subjects. You wouldn’t think that you could receive help with your calculus via an app, but Wolfram’s simple, easy to use tools provide step-by-step instruction on some of the most difficult subjects encountered in college classrooms. Everyone needs a little bit of help sometimes; the hard part is knowing who to ask. With Wolfram Alpha, all the answers are there!


Money Making / Money Saving

Everyone loves having a little extra cash in the pocket. Here are some apps that will definitely help with that.


6. Chegg



College Hacks: Save up to 90% on your textbooks.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

Buying textbooks is the bane of every college student’s existence. If you are one of the lucky few whose parents are paying for everything, they can tell you those things aren’t cheap. If you are personally footing the bill, you know those textbooks really hit where it hurts. The worst part is if you don’t even end up using it for the class it was required for. The whole system can be maddening!

Chegg is the solution. It helps you find and sell textbooks faster and cheaper and even offers study guides. Tap into your local student community to avoid paying those ridiculous bookstore prices! The all-in-one buying and selling app is designed to make your life easier.


7. Fiverr


College Hacks: Make money doing the stuff you are already learning.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

The world of student jobs is pretty amazing. There are tons of people looking for talented students to perform specialized tasks. Fiverr is the way all those buyers can connect with students looking to sell their services online and get real world experience while they are developing their skills in school. Ashley Hill is a Scholarship Search Strategist and CEO of College Prep Ready, a website dedicated to teaching merit scholarship search strategies to assist families with college-bound students. She said, “The best money making app for students is www.fiverr.com. I still hire people (mostly students) from Fiverr to help me with my business. It is very easy to use and students with a variety of skills can find work through this website.”


8. Close5



College Hacks: Know who you are meeting before you buy or sell from them.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

Many students are familiar with Craigslist and through their experience with the site, new phrases have emerged to describe transactions that appear very suspicious. You might have heard someone say, “It was a sketchy Craigslist deal” or something along the lines of, “I wanted to sell it for $100, but when I got there they only brought $25 and hassled me. What a waste!”

With Close5, you tap into the local buyers and seller market through a safe, sleek, and easy to use app that links you with other users in the area. Review buyer and seller profile data to get a picture of who you are meeting before you get there. You can even message them privately using the app so your identify is always protected.


9. RelayRides



College Hacks: Get paid for having a car without even being in it.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

I was lucky to speak with Samantha Erickson, the PR & Event Coordinator for RelayRides. “Think Airbnb for cars where vehicle owners rent their idle cars to travelers. Unlike Airbnb, students are much more likely to own a vehicle than a home.” List your car with RelayRides and someone can rent it out while you’re not using it. Earn income with your car without ever having to drive anyone around or worrying about clocking in and out. RelayRides insures each car up to $1,000,000 so you know your baby is safe while you earn up to $425 a month! Oh, and if your car needs any maintenance while RelayRides is using it, they’ve got you covered for that, too.


Student Life

We all need something to help us keep track of our social life and various activities throughout the year while we’re getting your studies handled. These apps should come in handy.


10. Koofers



College Hacks: Find a professor you can be besties with.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

Most people’s introduction to teacher rating websites was the infamous RateMyProfessors.com; I remember going on there in the early days to read whatever snarky reviews were being posted by pissed off students. Koofers removes the negative aspect and focuses solely on making sure students get matched up with the right professor. Educators are reviewed according to real metrics like homework, test, and project frequency. Not whether they are “hot or not.” There are over 600,000+ professor ratings, as well as study flash cards, and even information on jobs and internships.


11. MyEDU



College Hacks: Create a backup class schedule in case you don’t get the classes you want.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

MyEdu is your key to success in college. Plan your classes, generate an alternate schedule for registration, and quickly calculate your possible GPA. Whatever you need, there is a suite of incredible tools for you to take control of your university experience. Get help finding internships and keep on top of your degree timeline to better track your progress through school. The host of helpful apps is available via mobile so that busy students can always stay up to date with what’s coming up next.


12. Sworkit



College Hacks: Beat the Freshman Fifteen.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

Short for Simply Work It, this app is designed to remind you to not forget about your physical fitness! No one likes to be pestered, especially when the person doing the pestering is your super fit friend who seems to be working out 24/7. You have a busy life; it’s tough to balance school, work, a social life, and family. Sworkit allows for you to work out on your own time with customized fitness plans and unobtrusive reminders to get your sweat on. Connect with friends and train together to keep in shape!



Sometimes keeping track of all your distractions is a task in and of itself. With these helpful tools, you’ll spend a lot less time sifting through the creative things that keep you sane and can shift that time over to making the grade.





College Hacks: Save your Instagram photos to your Dropbox.

Price: Free

Platform: Apple / Android

Talk about creativity – this is one of my favorite apps ever. IFTTT works on the If-This-Then-That logic. You can create “recipes” to trigger specific actions across your web-connected devices. The breadth and scope of these recipes are only limited by your imagination and current coding standards. You can make recipes with Google apps like Gmail, Docs, and Sheets or include social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Head over to IFTTT for a list of recipes; I love the one that saves the videos you like on Instagram to your Google Drive.


14. Scribd


College Hacks: Read like you own every book in the world.

Price: Paid

Platform: Apple / Android

A book may not seem like much, but to someone carrying four of them already plus a laptop, class supplies, and maybe lunch, one more book may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. What about that feeling of losing one before you get to the end? If you can’t replace it, the idea of never knowing the conclusion can drive you crazy. With Scribd, you have access to unlimited books, audio books, comics, and more. Heralded as a book reader’s paradise, it couples astute algorithms that generate the best reading suggestions for you with a beautiful content library containing some of the very best in literature.


Honorable Mention

This isn’t an app PER SE, but it definitely warrants mentioning, as it is a super helpful way to stretch your skills and maybe earn a little cash along the way.


15. AdmitSee



College Hacks: Make money off of your awesome essays.

Price: Paid

Platform: Apple / Android

I had to include this website in this app roundup because it struck me as truly unique. AdmitSee Co-Founder Stephanie Shyu reached out to me with this awesome concept: current students helping future students by posting examples of successful, compelling, and engaging college admissions essays. “It’s an easy way for them to earn passive income and monetize their high school accomplishments. There are over 20,000 students who use AdmitSee.com to earn money and share their personal stories.” Here is the best part, the essays with the most views and recognition are rewarded and the writers are paid via PayPal, an Amazon Gift Card, or a check. That’s right, you could be monetarily rewarded for your amazing college admission essay; some students have made $1000 in one admissions season!


Link Roundup


Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)


Google Apps

Rescue Time

Wolfram Alpha