Essential Apps for College Freshmen


Well, kids, summer is officially over which means students everywhere are heading back to the school. And for those freshman entering the unknown at their college of choice — or college of "this is the only one I got accepted to" — you undoubtedly have a smartphone and most likely it's an iPhone. You might even have an iPad. Therefore, I've compiled this essential apps for college freshmen list that will keep you somewhat on track, in the books and one step ahead of your non-iPhone toting friends. Of course, you'll still most likely have the freshman 15 by winter break. Enjoy. 

If your freshman year was a blur and you're making new resolutions to start fresh this semester, read on! These apps for college aren't specific to first-year students, anyone who needs a little help balancing their studies with their social life will benefit.

Essential Apps for College

Documents To Go® Free - View & edit Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Documents To Go® Free - View & edit Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Developer: DataViz, Inc
Price: free Download on the App Store

During my first semester of college I found myself writing a lot. Whether it was English papers, my take on the Political State of the Union or outlining the things I needed to ask mom and dad next time I was in town (grocery money, laundry, etc.), Microsoft Office was my best friend. Now, with Microsoft, Apple and a few others offering their versions of document builders, Documents To Go is the ultimate solution since it reads and saves to just about every file extension you can imagine. It also is compatible with DropBox.

WordBook - English Dictionary and Thesaurus (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
WordBook - English Dictionary and Thesaurus
Developer: TranCreative Software
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store

In college, you're supposed to learn and explore and what better way to do so than throw a few new words into your vocabulary from the WordBook English Dictionary and Thesaurus. One new phrase I learned really quick was "lack sufficient money," which sounded a bit more witty than poor. And it always got a few extra bucks from the folks since they thought I was improving.

Texts From Last Night (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Texts From Last Night
Developer: Texts From Last Night
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store

You know you sent it. You wish you hadn't. Now enjoy yours and all of your friends' extra curricular texts from last night that should or should not have been sent. Plus, this app will make a great pick-me-up for that 8 a.m. class you didn't realize was going to be your worst enemy and your least frequented class. Word to the wise, don't book anything before 10 a.m.

Stanza (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Developer: Lexcycle
Price: free Download on the App Store

You will be reading. A lot. Stanza includes a selection of over 50,000 contemporary titles available in various partner stores. It also includes 50,000 free classics and recent originals from Project Gutenberg. Who knows, one of your textbooks or books from your professor's suggested reading list will be on there. Besides, that money could be better spent on a burrito delight.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
Developer: All Recipes
Price: free Download on the App Store

College brings two things into your life, more late nights and worse nutrition. Even though colleges have an entire section of nutritious meals, you will undoubtedly go right past it for the not-so-waist-friendly foods. And with all those late nights combined with the fact that you're not forced into physical education classes, you will become all too familiar with the freshman 10, 15 or sometimes 20. If you're smart, you'll use Dinner Spinner to look up some tasty foods that are not so heavy on the calories.

Mint Personal Finance (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Mint Personal Finance
Price: free Download on the App Store

Besides the freshman 15, you are also guaranteed to gain debt too. Fortunately, you can at least plug all your financial information into Mint's app to at least see it all in a pretty graph. Of course, you don't have to take an Economics or Math class to figure out that it also has a lot of great money saver tips that if used properly could keep you from over spending and coming out of college with a mountain of debt. Plus, it can be used with Quicken as well.

Drinks and Cocktails (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Drinks and Cocktails
Developer: Genetic Mistakes Software Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

Of course, college isn't all studying. Sometimes, it requires a break or two and an adult beverage of your choice. If you're of the 21 years of age group, make sure to check out Drinks and Cocktails for free drink and cocktail recipes at the spin of a dial. Literally, you can now drunk dial without the forgotten conversation.

Are you heading off to college this year? What apps are essential for college students? Leave a comment and let us know what you're taking to class!

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  • Barbara Holbrook

    Great article, Greg. I might also suggest Simply Postcards (

    If you're going to be calling your parents for money and bringing home dirty laundry on the weekends, it's a smart idea to remember Mom and Dad with a postcard and a "thank you" every now and then. Send a picture of you hitting the books to score extra points!

  • Alex Wilson

    Great list! Students might also like a simple TO DO app like Clockonizer to manage their class schedule and homework due dates. The app is available on the App Store

  • Hunter Murchison

    Another app that any social freshman (or any year student really) might like is SynkMonkey - it allows you to make plans and organizce groups of friends over what feels like a text message. The text invitation includes date/time info, location mapping, attendance tracking, and group messaging. Perfect for getting study groups together, meeting someone for coffee, organizing a tailgate, etc.

    Check it out here:

  • Jim Kent

    For new students, the number one challenge is to find people who have the same interests they do. There are loads of apps who claim to offer that but there is only one that really lets you chat first and then decided if you like someone or not. Zapon.

  • Paul

    The picture from Animal house reminds me of the Geico ad with the guys and their smart phones! Nice post though!

  • Greg Dawson

    @Barbara - Thanks and definitely agree... have to keep up the thanks you cards

    @Alex - Great suggestion.

    @Hunter - Interesting idea and makes sense.

    @Jim - You're right, that is one of the primary tasks... well that and finding the cafeteria.

    @Paul - Great pic, right? And thank you.