Free! College Software Guide

There is one thing college students don’t need when it comes to their software: another expense. With books, tuition and the million other expenses that come with going to college, the last thing you should have to pay for is some decent software.

Thankfully, there are many great free options to load up your computer with. While these might not be everyone’s personal preferences for the best free software for College students, I think that most people will find everything on this list useful, and being that the price is “free”, there is high value in all of this software.

OpenOffice.org

For those of you that can’t afford to pay the premium price in purchasing Microsoft Office, even with a generous student discount, you’ll want to look at OpenOffice.org. It is a free piece of software that works on any operating system, and includes access to software to write documents, create spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

For those of you using NeoOffice or other productivity software on your Apple Mac computers, you’ll now be happy to know that OpenOffice.org runs natively on Mac OS X, meaning that there is no need to load that strange X11 emulation software thus increasing the usability and usefulness of OpenOffice.org.

It also reads and writes Microsoft Office formats, meaning it is perfect for opening documents from school, or sending essays to your professors.

Download at OpenOffice.org.

GIMP

Don’t want to buy or use Photoshop illegally? No problem. GIMP is freely distributed image manipulation software that runs on all major operating systems (though with Macs you’ll need to install X11 emulation). GIMP is great for creating graphics and logos, photo tweaking, creating animated GIFs, etc.

While installing and running GIMP on Windows and Mac OSX are not as straightforward and easy as you may be used to, there are plenty of online tutorials that should make the process painless.

Download at GIMP.

Adium & Pidgin

If you have friends on MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and Google, you’ll want to find one piece of software to easily manage your conversations with all of them, and Adium and Pidgin will allow you to do that.

Both pieces of software allow you to combine your collection of friends and family into one long list, making it easy to communicate. Of course, you’ll be missing certain features that native applications have, like Google Talk’s video chat, but being able to be organized, and using fast and light pieces of software are worth any trade offs.

The choice on which multi-client instant messaging software to use is yours, and it really comes down to personal needs and tastes as well as which operating system you use. Adium is only for Mac OS X, while Pidgin works on nearly all operating systems. If you have a Mac though, both are free so give them both a try and stick with your favorite.

Download Pidgin and/or Adium.

Octave

Think Matlab is way overpriced? So do we. The good news is that there is a solid free replacement called Octave. Almost everything that can be done in Matlab can be done in Octave. Plus, if you used to have to go to a special computer lab to do your Matlab work, now you can do it on your own computer.

Just like Matlab, Octave is an ultra high-level programming language that is used to solve mathematical problems and plot their solutions. The nice thing about Octave is that it is modular and can easily be expanded to perform additional functions.

Download at GNU Octave.

Eclipse

For those of you who are computer science majors or just taking a few computer programming courses (which is becoming more and more common, especially for science majors) the good news is that you don’t have to buy an uber expensive C++ IDE package like Visual Studio. Instead, Eclipse gives you an amazing, fully featured development platform with all the plugins you could possibly want. Plus, Eclipse runs on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.

Download at Eclipse.org.

iTunes

Listen to music? Want to be able to download movies, television shows, podcasts, and your favorite songs? Well, iTunes pretty much corners the market when it comes to legal downloadable media and the software is free.

For students on a budget, the myriad of video and audio podcasts available for free on nearly any topic or interest is a great way to pass the time, and iTunes has a radio section that allows you to listen to an unlimited amount of streaming music on hundreds of different stations.

Download iTunes from Apple.

Firefox

If you are still browsing the web on Internet Explorer, then you need to get with the program. There are many other web browsers out there that are better, faster, more secure and easier to use than Internet Explorer. One of the best is Firefox.

Not only is it faster but it allows for extensions. Extensions allow you to add features to your web browsing experience, from adding the weather and your e-mail count to always display on the browser, to being able to look at the code of a website easily, there are a million different things extensions can do to make Firefox even better than it is “out of the box.”

Download Mozilla Firefox.

VLC

Trying to play video formats, and having issues? Check out VLC. An amazingly lightweight piece of free software that plays nearly any video that you ask it to. It can be used to play DVD movies as well.

It also is available for nearly any operating system, making it a great choice for everyone.

Download VLC.

Skype

If you are away from your family, or don’t want to pay crazy prices for a home phone line, take a look at Skype’s offerings. One of the highest quality voice over the Internet services available Skype has many great advantages over getting a traditional phone line in your dorm or apartment, and is easy to use.

Also, if your family and friends get Skype on their computers, you can have free chat, audio or even video conversations with your family and friends.

You can even purchase phone numbers through Skype so that people that don’t have Skype can call you. And if you buy SkypeOut credits, or service you can call regular phones from your your Skype account. Many people use this as a cheap long distance service, especially for overseas calling.

Download Skype.

Last.fm

Want another great way to listen to music, especially if you don’t know exactly which songs to buy or download, check out Last.fm.

Last.fm lets you create “stations” based on your search preferences, from things as simple as “alternative” to listing your favorite bands and having it try to find others that you may enjoy as well.

It is free, and totally worth using for parties and events where you want a wide variety of music.

Download Last.fm.

Vuze

Understand BitTorrent? Then you’ll want to get Vuze, a great way of managing torrent files in an easy to understand way. This will allow you to download movie trailers, open source software, and videos from sites like Revision3.com.

Vuze rounds out my list of the top free College software.

Download Vuze today.

Free! Microsoft Gives Students Professional Developer Tools

Are you one of those college students with a dream? Are you one of those college students with one of those technical dreams that end in some sort of world domination? Well then Microsoft has good news for you!

DreamSpark is simple; it’s all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools
at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology – or just get a head start on your career.

Software tools for you at No Charge! The Microsoft DreamSpark student program allows students to get access to the latest Microsoft developer and designer tools, such as Visual Studio® and Expression® Studio, at no charge. Take advantage of this program today and unlock your creative potential. Start exploring the power of software.

Check it out here.

13 Free Online Sources to Help You Through School

Whether you’re struggling with a particular class or just want to expand what you know, these 13 sites can give you a library’s worth of information right from your laptop.

1. U.C. Berkeley Webcasts

Get podcasts and webcasts of current and archived courses at the University of California, Berkeley, and both live and on-demand webcasts of notable appearances, campus events, and prominent speakers and lectures.

2. MIT Open Courseware

Choose from over 1,700 courses spanning MIT’s entire curriculum, and download free lecture notes, exams, problem sets, labs, video lectures, video demonstrations, and more.

3. Wikipedia

Almost every significant event, person, place and thing has a page on the Wiki. Just remember that Wikipedia is a user-generated and user-monitored site, so what you’re reading may not necessarily have passed a thorough review for accuracy. Wikipedia’s a great place to start when you want to know more about pretty much anything, but you may not want to rely on it as the main reference source for your term paper.

4. Podcast Alley

A directory of over 36,000 podcasts, Podcast Alley lets you search for podcasts by key words or by category. Find hundreds of language-learning choices in the Education section, Mac Attack weekly tips and tricks for your Mac in the Technology section, or The Naked Scientists’ plain-English answers to your science questions in the Science & Medicine section.

5. YouTube

Sure, you can kill time—and brain cells—watching Britney Spears going down in flames at this year’s VMAs, or witness what happens when you mix Diet Coke and Mentos. But you can also find an introduction to calculus functions, Arabic language lessons, and a series on how to create fire effects in Photoshop. Rely on other viewers’ ratings to help you filter out the YouTube junk from the truly useful.

6. Education Index

The Education Index puts a huge database of educational websites at your fingertips. Simply click on a subject like archaeology, political science, or military technologies, and instantly get a list of links to sites both general and specialized that hold a wealth of information.

7. HowStuffWorks

From the light bulb to a rocket engine, HowStuffWorks breaks down how almost anything works with diagrams and easy-to-follow explanations. Don’t have an engineering streak in you? Check out “How the Batmobile Works,” “11 Stupid Legal Warnings,” or “What if everybody in the United States flushed the toilet at the same time?” No matter what you’re wondering, HowStuffWorks probably has an answer.

8. The History Channel

Surf through video galleries, timelines, maps, celebrated speeches, significant moments, and “This Day in History.” Enter in your birthday, and learn what’s happened throughout the years on the month and day you were born.

9. Dr. Math’s Math Forum

The Dr. Math forum answers thousands of common math questions, from elementary school to college level problems. Users submit their questions to the forum, and Dr. Math will post a response. If you’re having trouble in math class or with a problem set, it can help to read through old posts on the subject—chances are someone else has had the exact same problem you’re having.

10. Science

Not just for science geeks, the online version of the popular Science magazine offers thought-provoking and easy-to-read articles on everything from advances in neuroscience and astronomy to the latest in HIV research to “did you know” conversation starters, like why it makes evolutionary sense for certain animals to eat their young or why broccoli rubbed on your skin can help prevent sunburn damage.

11. Google News

Why pick and choose between news websites when you can harness the power and variety of all of them? Google News is a news aggregator that pulls all the top stories from thousands of news sites. You can use the power of Google search to find specific news items, browse standard categories like Health, Entertainment, and Top Stories, or personalize your Google News homepage and add custom categories of your own based on key words you choose.

12. www.chemistry.about.com

Articles, diagrams, walkthroughs and Q&As at About.com cover both the chemistry basics for new students and more specialized questions for more advanced students.

13. Education Arcade

Home to educational video and trivia games suited for middle school to college students, Education Arcade is entertainment that works your brain. In one of their augmented reality games, you can use GPS-enabled handheld computers to interview virtual characters and conduct large-scale environmental analysis to try to uncover the source of a simulated toxic spill.

4 Cheap Brand-Name Laptops!

A new laptop for college doesn’t need to cost you $1,500. Don’t let the flashy ads and giant headlines fool you: You don’t need 4GB of RAM or a 2.4GHz dual-core processor to handle everything you need to do for class, even if you want to be able to download a video or blast your master playlist at the same time.

Save your money for food and rent; you can get all the college capability you need and all the digital entertainment center you want without the steep price tag.

Here’s a list of six relatively inexpensive yet powerful laptops from all the big-name manufacturers. Keep in mind that these come straight from the manufacturer’s website and can be found even cheaper elsewhere!

1) Dell Inspiron 15

Starting Price: $399*

click image for specific specs

This modest laptop packs all the processing power and entertainment capability most students will need all in an awesome outer shell! With an Intel® Celeron® 900 (1MB cache/2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB)processor,  2 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive,  Windows Vista pre-installed, a 15-inch display, and a CD burner. With its integrated wireless network card, the Inspiron comes ready to jump on your school’s wireless network. Best of all, you can make this laptop yours for monthly payments as low as $15.

Avg Customer Rating 	4.3 of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.3 of 5

2) Compaq Presario CQ60

Starting Price: $399.99*

Click image for more info

Click image for more info

Think of this bargain laptop as “the little computer that could.” It isn’t quite as powerful as its HP Pavilion cousin, but with a 2.1GHz Intel Pentium dual-core mobile processor, a healthy 3072MBMB RAM plus 250GB hard drive with built-in protection, and built-in wireless card and mic/webcam, this Presario is more than enough for the average student’s needs. And $15 a month is all you’ll need to take it home.

Avg Customer Rating 4 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4 out of 5

3) HP G60t

Starting Price: $499.99*

click image for more info

click image for more info

I am a proud owner of a HP laptop and I ooze nothing but praise for this brand, as I have put my laptop through the worst (coffee spills, drops, random coaster usage) and yet it has never failed me…not once! For a slightly higher price tag than the Presario, this laptop from HP offers an even better educational bang for your buck. With an Intel Pentium dual-core mobile processor cruising at a speed of 1.6GHz (with the option of upgrading up to a blazing 2.50GHz), a full 1GB RAM, a 15.4-inch display, built-in wireless, and a FireWire port plus 3 USB ports, built-in 5 digital media card reader, the Pavilion puts power and speed at your fingertips for about $20 a month.

Avg Customer Rating 4.6 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.6 out of 5

4) Toshiba Satellite Pro A210-EZ2202X

Price: $670*

click image for more info

click image for more info

With the AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile processor on this Toshiba laptop, you’ll plow through your assignments at 1.9GHz. Your barrage of PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, 20-page term papers, embedded videos, and multi-tab Internet research won’t stand a chance against the Satellite’s arsenal of 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive, DVD burner, 4 USB ports, 15.4-inch display, and built-in wireless — all yours for about $24 a month.

Avg Customer Rating 4.5 out of 5

Avg Customer Rating 4.5 out of 5

* Manufacturer prices as of October 14, 2009

Free! Google Book Downloader

Thanks to Google’s drive to add more and more books to the Google Books project, including thousands of public domain volumes, you’ll find quite a nice selection to choose from. Google Book Downloader helps you download them to PDF.

Let’s get one thing out of the way from the start. Google Book Downloader will not let you pirate books. It will however let you download books that are flagged as full-access such as books in the public domain and books with limited-preview—although you’ll only get the preview parts, not the entire book.

While using the application isn’t as simple as say right clicking on a file and saving it, the difficulty level isn’t high. Once you’ve installed the application, fire it up, and feed it some books you want to download. Although the instructions for the Add dialogue box indicate you can use ISBN numbers, we didn’t have much luck with that. Since you’re already searching Google Books to find the books you want, you might as well cut and paste the URL for the book at Google Books—that method never failed.

Once you’ve added your books they’ll appear in the download queue. From there start the downloads and let it go. Occasionally as the application pulls down data you’ll need to enter a captcha to keep the pipeline open, but other than that it’s an unattended process. Check out the tutorial available here to get a more in-depth overview of the process and make sure you get off to the right start.

Google Book Downloader is freeware, Windows only and requires .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 or above.

GoogleBookDownloader [via HackADay]
Courtesy LH.

Chegg.com Textbook Rental Service

Does it bother you when you spend hundreds of dollars at your local college bookstore on books for your current semester? Does it bother you even more to find out that you get pennies back during the buyback period for what you paid so much for? Well if you are like many other college students who buy books and get frustrated when they find out that the book they paid $150 for is only worth $20 at buyback, then maybe renting textbooks would be an option for you.

I recently had the chance to try textbook rentals out for myself. Of course, since I was so use to purchasing textbooks, I was hesitant to try out rentals, but I gave it a shot anyway. I used Chegg Textbook Rentals for my books last semester. Overall, my personal experience with Chegg was positive. There were only a few things that bothered me about them, however it was not bad enough to make me stop doing business with them.

How Chegg Works

So how do textbook rentals work? With Chegg, you go onto their site and enter your ISBN number for the book that you need. They will display the book information if they have it in their inventory for rental. Keep in mind that they do not have every single book available for rent, however so far I have not had an issue with lack of inventory. Once the book information is displayed, you have the option to rent the book for a semester, quarter or summer session. You can even alter the dates to match the class dates for your school. Once you have the book you want, you do the traditional checkout by entering your credit card information for payment of the rental. You will receive your book within seven to ten days. You will also be given the return date when you are due to send your book back to Chegg. There are no shipping charges for returning books back; you just log on to Chegg, print out a label and return the book(s) via UPS.

Money Saved

When I first checked out Chegg’s rental prices, I was a little skeptical. The prices were so cheap that I thought it couldn’t possibly be right. I just did not understand how a brand new textbook at my college bookstore cost $160 but Chegg was going to rent it to me for a semester for $55. However I ordered the books anyway and my total rental for four classes was $232. I rented books for four classes. The cost of the books for me to purchase brand new from my college bookstore would have been $562.

Customer Service

Chegg’s customer service department is excellent. I had an issue where I did not receive a specific book that I ordered. I sent an email to Chegg through their ‘contact us’ link on their website. Within twenty-four hours, I received a phone call from one of their customer service representatives offering to help resolve my issue ASAP.

Going Green

Chegg has jumped on the going green bandwagon and for every book that you rent, they plant a tree to try to preserve the environment. It is true that we are destroying our planet and Chegg is trying to do their part to save it.

Other Important Notes

  • Chegg has a buyback program. If you have college textbooks, you can see if Chegg will purchase them. You will receive cash or a Chegg credit.
  • The books that Chegg rents are in excellent condition. The ones I had even looked brand new and there was no writing or highlighting in any of the books I used.
  • Chegg has a purchase option. You are able to convert your rental to a purchase by paying additional charges.
  • There is a thirty-day refund guarantee, just in case you drop a class or your class is canceled for some reason.
  • Chegg does charge late fees for late returns so keep that in mind when renting your book. However in my experience, the return date for my book was three weeks after the last day of the semester so there was no reason for my book to be late getting back to Chegg.

My only complaint with Chegg was that they send some of their books via third party shippers. So you may order five books and receive two from Chegg, one from another company, and the other two from another company. They do advise that you may receive multiple shipments, however they try their hardest to be sure you have tracking information for each of the shipments.

Overall, Chegg is a great alternative for students on a budget. It is perfect for students who do not keep their textbooks for reference and for students who do not write in their books. Before you buy, check out Chegg for rentals. You may save yourself a chunk of change simply by doing what people have been doing throughout time: borrowing.

iMake Money: Surveys (CashCrate)

Rating:rank6_gold

Well, here it is, Cash Crate-this was actually my first survey “program” I guess you could call it, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how it worked for myself. In case you’re wondering, CashCrate is a simple, easy way for broke college students to make some extra cash while putting off studying and homework, in fact I try and take a few surveys on my phone while waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, or waiting in general.

Before you move on, please read this as it is sort of an introductory lesson and it lays out a list of things you should do first so that you can take less time and effort into completing the surveys.

General Review

I signed up with CashCrate about three months ago, and since then I’ve earned a nice chunk of change to put into my loan fund. Like many others, I discovered CashCrate by coming across a glowing review about it on someone’s blog. They talk about how easy it is and how it’s their favorite way to make money online. I’m usually pretty skeptical about these things, but curiosity got the best of me this time. I decided that the only way really find out was to sign up and try it out myself. Could it really live up to all the rosy pictures people paint about it?

The Good

It’s not a scam. You really do get paid to do things. In this case, you complete offers. Some of them are free, and some of them aren’t. For some offers, you just have to complete a form with your contact info. For others you have to sign up for a free trial and remember to cancel it before it’s over, so you don’t get charged. With a $10 minimum monthly payout, it doesn’t take much effort to get there. If you have a credit card, completing two of the free trial offers is enough to put you over $10.

The Bad

It’s boring and tedious. Unless your lifelong dream is to become a professional offer completer, you’ll probably get really bored with completing these offers. There are ways to automate some of the repetitive tasks like filling in your contact info, but you’re still filling out form after form. For most people, this gets old really fast. Also, keep in mind that you have to be responsible enough to cancel the trial offers before they are over. Otherwise, you’ll get charged a fee which will most likely end up costing you a lot more money than you’ve earned.

The Ugly

Spam. You’re giving out your contact info to companies, so obviously, they’re going to be contacting you to try to sell stuff. As if we’re not already bombarded by enough solicitors, completing these offers will inevitably result in even more. Be prepared for it by using a separate email account to complete the offers.

These are just my impressions of CashCrate so far. I feel that they’re a lot more honest than the reviews I’ve found on other sites. The offers are easy to complete, but it’s tedious. Some people may be able to handle this, but others may not. I think the only way to find out is to try it out for yourself.

The Practical

Ok, so are you ready? If so, disregard the review above…well not totally but I’ll tell you why later.

Remember the stuff we did with Firefox in the last post? Well here’s where it comes in handy.

  1. Sign up with CashCrate using the above banner, remember to use real credentials as this is how you will get paid.
  2. Once you do that, you’ll be directed to a page where you complete offers:offers
  3. For example purposes, I’ll select the exxon mobile survey (I generally shy away from surveys that require my credit card.)

exxon mobile surveysxipper1

sxipper 2

-Remember the Web of Trust Addon? Well it’ll be triggered here, just ignore it (as a general rule for CashCrate, you can go ahead and ignore WOT warnings since you don’t add personal info)

-Remember the Sxipper addon? Well here’s where it comes into play. In the second image you see the blue squares throughout the form, that shows that Sxipper has info for that field (if it’s gray then it does not). As shown in the third image, select the appropriate persona and double check the information and you’ll be clear to hit submit.

-Once you submit, do not go any further! You do not need to do anything else to get credit for the survey (not always the case though).

-Head back to cashcrate and take a look at your pending earnings

pending earnings

In general, you’ll receive an email within the hour confirming your survey and the money will no longer be pending…this is not always the case and if it stays pending, your best bet will be to try another survey.

exxon mobile survey confirmed

That’s basically it. However, in order to really rake in some good money, you’ll need to work the referral system a bit, which is not too hard. For each person you refer to CashCrate, you’ll receive 20% of your referrals’ earnings, and a $3.00 bonus for each referral who earns at least $10.

if you have any concerns, questions, or comments, feel free to leave them below

iMake Money: Surveys

For the second post in the series, I”m going straight into one of the ways to make legitimate money online…surveys. These can be a bit time consuming, and your earnings won’t be “ballin!” but you could make enough to buy those new Jordans you’ve been eyeing.

Before we delve deeper into this highly volatile opportunity, there’s a few things I need to communicate with you.

  1. I will only post sites that I have personally used and reviewed.
  2. I will post my referral link in an effort to support TFP and so as to be able to relay member emails easier.
  3. I crosscheck my reviews and opinions with several scam buster sites as well as built-in Firefox Web of Trust.
  4. If there’s any site you want reviewed and I did not cover, please, PLEASE send me an email : thefrugalpupil@gmail.com.

Before we move on, I highly recommend that you get a few things

  1. Get Firefox.
  2. Once you get Firefox, it is highly important that you also get these add-ons here.

Just about all the add-ons don’t need any input from you once you install and restart firefox, they protect your privacy. The one addon you need to customize is Sxipper, which manages your personal information. Once in Firefox, go to Tools>Addons>Sxipper>Options and create a new profile/persona  called “Surveys.” Once done, fill in the information (it would be best not to put your real information, and definitely don’t fill out very personal info such as SS or bank info)-fyi you’d want to put a real address with matching area and zip codes because most surveys check for such consistencies. Play around with it and once you’re pleased we can move on.

Once you have all these things set, just sit back and wait patiently for the next post in the “iMake Money” Series (it will be later today for all you eager beavers) as I have some last minute references to work out.

next in the series: CashCrate.

Saving Money: 50 Tips for College Students

Being a college student usually means living and surviving on a cheap budget. Some of you may be pretty good at pinching your pennies and getting by, while others take out student loans and get themselves further into debt. Either way, all of us could use some additional advice and ideas on stretching our dollar just a bit further.

Check out these 50 ideas on ways to save money:

    FOOD & DRINK

  1. Learn how to cook your own meals, it’s healthier and you’ll save money.
  2. Don’t get a meal plan, the cafeteria food isn’t usually that great anyways.
  3. Bring your own snacks/water to class instead of buying them on campus. Stay away from vending machines.
  4. Bring your own lunch to school. If you do it right, you can usually make it a healthier lunch than what is offered in the cafeteria.
  5. If you have a meal plan, actually use it.
  6. Eat Ramen Noodles.
  7. Don’t get soda when you go out to eat.
  8. Don’t go to Starbucks.
  9. Buy food in bulk. Get a Costco card with your roommates and get bulk discounts.
  10. Find events on campus that offer free food for attending. Follow those “Free Pizza” signs!
  11. HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES

  12. Have a roommate (so you can split expenses).
  13. Shop at Walmart, Dollar Stores, and thift stores.
  14. Shop at garage sales on the weekends for any household items you may need.
  15. Put on more layers of clothing instead of turning up the heat.
  16. Buy generic brand items.
  17. TEXTBOOKS

  18. Buy used textbooks.
  19. Buy textbooks online. Maybe even consider buying the e-book version of the textbook.
  20. Check the library for your required books, you may get lucky!
  21. Sell back your textbooks.
  22. TRANSPORTATION

  23. Use public transportation. Being a college student, you can usually ride for free or at a reduced rate.
  24. Don’t get a car. They are a huge expense and cost a lot in insurance and gas.
  25. Ride your bike. Except for commuter students, no one needs a car on campus for daily use.
  26. Live close to campus and use the campus shuttles to save on gas.
  27. ENTERTAINMENT

  28. Instead of hitting the clubs, try and find house parties.
  29. Keep an eye out for free activities on campus. Most college campuses have free entertainment almost every night. For example: some colleges have a weekly movie night that is free to all students.
  30. Borrow movies from the library. The library has a large collection of movies for students to check out.
  31. COLLEGE EXPENSES

  32. Fill out the FAFSA every year.
  33. Take a look at your college bill. Certain fees are optional. If you won’t be using your college’s fitness center, remove the fee.
  34. Depending on dorm prices, it may be cheaper just to get an apartment. (See: Most Expensive College Dorms)
  35. Don’t buy anything from the school’s bookstore. Some of the prices they charge are outrageous.
  36. Go to a community college and get your core classes completed, then transfer to a 4-year college for required classes for your degree. Make sure all your credits will transfer.
  37. Do not use student loans for anything that is not school related. It’s tempting to rack up your credit and loans, knowing you’ll eventually pay it back. However, you have no idea how the economy will look when you graduate and you don’t want to be in massive debt while job searching.
  38. Test out of classes. For a small fee you can usually take a test to fulfill certain class requirements. Think of the cost you’ll save on tuition.
  39. Finish in three years if you can.
  40. Apply for financial aid early.
  41. Get good grades so you qualify for certain (typically merit-based) grants and scholarships.
  42. Work as a Resident Advisor and get free room and board.
  43. Take as many credits as allowed every term.
  44. Research your school for scholarships. That means taking a look at the website, contacting the admissions office, scholarship office, and faculty to see what’s available. Use every resource you have to get the big scholarships while keeping your eyes open for smaller, but still substantial ones. Look for scholarships in the area of your major. Most professional organizations will have scholarships to encourage students to stay in that field.
  45. Take advantage of student services. There are plenty of free programs that assist you while going to school. From health care to transportation, there are many different ways to save money.
  46. Take advantage of things that are already paid for, such as on-campus meals and library services.
  47. Get a job first and have your employer pay for your schooling.
  48. Don’t go to these colleges.
  49. MONEY TIPS

  50. Only buy what you need. Don’t buy on impulse.
  51. Don’t get a credit card. It’s not necessary and you’ll end up paying a high interest rate.
  52. If you do decide to keep a credit card on hand, pay for things with cash as much as you can. Don’t run up credit card bills for trivial things.
  53. Open up a savings account that earns interest.
  54. Keep track of everything you spend. It really helps to know what you have coming in and going out.
  55. Take advantage of student discounts.
  56. Not only should you try to save money, but you should also try to make money! Get a campus job. There are several jobs that have very little responsibility, believe it or not, and many times you can do your homework during this time. There are typically many jobs available on campus and most are pretty flexible with your class schedule.

Free! 100 Best iPhone Apps for Students

“College students today are swamped with social calendars, budgeting nightmares, job searching, party planning, sports, study abroad, food shopping, and of course, studying. On top of everything, students need to stay extremely organized if they want to keep up with classes and maintain a little sanity. Our list of 100 best free iPhone apps for college students can help you do it all, including reviewing for tests, storing your notes, sharing grocery lists with roommates, staying healthy, mixing drinks, getting a date and graduating on time.

Study Help

These language tutors, flash card packs, and art history resources will help you with last minute cramming and consistent vocabulary practice wherever you go.

  1. Sparky: Sparky lets you browse SparkNotes easily on your iPhone.
  2. Mathemagics Lite: Use this tool to figure out squares, complicated multiplication problems and more.
  3. Free Spanish Tutor: This tutor features native speaker audio, puzzle games, multiple choice quizzes, and more.
  4. USA Presidents: Review names, numbers, dates, political parties and other facts about the U.S. presidents when you have these virtual flash cards.
  5. History: Maps of the World: Find detailed maps of Africa, Europe, Asia, the U.S., the Middle East and more.
  6. Word of the Day Lite: Expand your vocabulary with this app.
  7. Art Lite: Study the histories, works and significance of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, van Gogh, Cezanne and more.
  8. Brain Tutor 3D: Anatomy and pre-med students can study the brain terms and more with this app.
  9. planetFacts: Find out mass, diameter, orbiting speed and other information for the planets.
  10. Free French Word of the Day: Practice your French with this app.
  11. StudySets – Psychology Lite: Psych students will appreciate this bundle of psychology learning resources.
  12. Vocabolistic: Look up words or hide the definition to quiz yourself with Vocabolistic.
  13. Answers: powered by Yahoo! Answers: This app opens your iPhone to the Yahoo! Answers portal so that you can ask questions about anything.
  14. Pocket Lawyer Lite: Law and political science students can use this real-life law reference as a study tool, too.
  15. gFlash + Flashcards and Tests: Create your own flashcards and share them with study partners.

Staying Current

Keep up with the news stories that affect your time at school and relate to your classes.

  1. NYTimes: Get your news from the New York Times online for free.
  2. BBC Reader: Keep up with the top stories in Europe and globally with this app.
  3. HuffingtonPost.com: Access the authoritative, but sometimes snarky, stories from the Huffington Post.
  4. NPR Addict: Do your homework before class or talking with professors by getting your news from NPR.
  5. Variety: Stay current on entertainment news with Variety’s app.

Classifieds

Look up apartments and more with these tools.

  1. Apartments by ForRent.com: Look up apartments to rent in your college town here.
  2. CraigSearch v1.0: Search Craigslist from your iPhone. Includes standard search options.
  3. Apartments: Apartment guide’s app will help you locate properties in your area.

Shopping Deals

Save money when you find coupons and deals on books.

  1. Yowza: This app uses GPS to find coupons for stores in your area.
  2. Dial Zero: Get connected to customer service lines for credit cards, health insurance companies and more.
  3. Book Bargain: Find deals on books from Amazon and other online stores.
  4. Flashlight: Turn your iPhone into a flashlight that shines white, red, green or blue light.
  5. Relax Alarm Clock Lite: Wake up on time to soothing guitar music, the sound of birds, bamboo flute music, and other options. This app also lulls you to sleep for a quick nap.
  6. iHourglass Free: Time practices tests, study breaks and more with this tool.
  7. TouchCloset: Keep your closet organized on your phone by cataloging photos and shopping lists and picking out your party clothes ahead of time even when you’re away from home.

Local Guides

Learn more about your college city or the town you’re visiting with these tools.

  1. Pizza!: Find the closest, cheapest pizza near you.
  2. Free Wi-Fi finder: Use this tool to find places you can bring your laptop to study.
  3. FastFood – Top Restaurant Finder: This fast food directory will connect you to cheap, satisfying food quickly.
  4. Have2P: Find nearby restrooms and flag businesses that do not have open restrooms.
  5. Fandango: Find local movies and tickets here.
  6. iRecycle: Find local recycling stations here.
  7. WhosAround: Use WhosAround to find friends who are in the same area as you. Supports messaging, profile photos and more.
  8. Local Concerts: Find out when and where your favorite bands are going to play with this free app.
  9. Local Picks by TripAdvisor: USe this app when traveling or if you live in a popular vacation destination. You can look up restaurants, bars, and other spots that are favorites for the locals.
  10. Slifter Local Shopping: Use this app to look up stores that carry whatever it is that you’re searching for.

Partying and Social

This list of free apps has everything you need to be the life of the party at college.

  1. Drunk-Dial: Spin the dial on your app to get free drink recipes.
  2. Who Called?: If a phone number doesn’t pop up when someone calls you, do a reverse lookup and find out what the caller wanted with you.
  3. Love Poem Generator: Prove to your date that college guys can be romantic when you use this tool.
  4. Birthday Notification: Rely on this tool to keep track of all of your college friends’ birthdays.
  5. Drinking Games Free: Look up drinking games to play at your next party.
  6. Spin the Coke: This version of Spin the Bottle involves a Coca-Cola bottle.
  7. a.k.a. Your Favorite Name Generator: Come up with fake names for theme parties and more.
  8. 5800+ Drink and Cocktail Recipes Free: Never get bored with mixing drinks when you have this directory of cocktail recipes.
  9. Beer Brands: Catalog your favorite beer brands and keep up with microbreweries and emerging brands.
  10. Hello Vino – Wine Pairing Guide: Impress your guests by making appropriate wine and food pairings.
  11. Perfect Date: This guide to the perfect date helps you with conversation and more.

Reference

Keep these reference tools close so that you’re prepared to discuss constellations, the periodic table, or world facts.

  1. USA Factbook Free: This reference packet is great for anyone in a civics, history or political science course that covers the U.S. Access key documents, lists of the flags, state capitals and other stats.
  2. Stars: Anatomy students can use this tool as a resource when studying constellations.
  3. The Chemical Tough: Lite Edition: View the periodic table when you download this free app.
  4. Formulas Free: This app brings you free calculus formulas.
  5. iQuotations: Look up quotes to use in papers or just as general inspiration.
  6. Math Ref Free: Get free reference packs for geometry, algebra, trig, derivatives and more.
  7. AllTheCountries: Get facts about literacy rate, economy, population, area and more for every country.
  8. Your Rights: Use this app for political science courses or just as backup when you get into trouble at school.
  9. iTranslator: Study abroad students and panicked foreign language students can use this tool to connect to Google Translator, Babel Fish or Free Translation.
  10. Quickpedia Lite: This app makes it easier and faster to use Wikipedia.

Games and Quizzes

Prepare for the GMAT or your next Xbox championship tournament here.

  1. GMAT Practice Quiz: Use your iPhone to study for the GMAT when you use this tool.
  2. Xbox Achievement Guide: Become the ultimate Xbox champion on your hall when you have this tool.

GPS

Find your way around town with these valuable GPS apps.

  1. GasBag: Find the cheapest gas nearest your location.
  2. Take Me Home, I’m Lost!: If you’re too new in town or just too confused, use this app to find your way back home.

Health and Fitness

In college, it’s easy to forget about your health. These free apps will help you eat right and find the time to exercise.

  1. Restaurant Nutrition: Make healthier decisions even when your friends want to eat out.
  2. Stress Reducer: Listen to the ocean through a virtual shell to relieve stress.
  3. Am I Pregnant Quiz: This pregnancy quiz is currently free and could save your sanity.
  4. Natural Cures: Try these natural cures if you’re too broke to go to the doctor.
  5. iMapMyRun: Track your runs, including pace, location, speed and overall progress.
  6. Sleep Diary: This app helps you get back on a normal, healthy sleep schedule.

Organization

Stay organize with these tools, which help you manage task lists, homework, shopping, errands and more.

  1. myHomework: View your homework lists, project task sheet, test schedule and more with this organizer.
  2. Blackboard Learn<: Access your school’s Blackboard system from your iPhone with this app.
  3. Evernote: Take picture, text and audio notes that are searchable with Evernote.
  4. AppGmail: Quickly access your Gmail account and view it as a wider display with this app.
  5. ShopShop: Keep a running shopping list that tracks your purchases and marks them off.
  6. Smart ToDo: Manage a to-do list with notes and due dates with this app.
  7. To Do’s: This app lets you customize your to-do list according to priority level, ordering and more.
  8. A Personal Assistant: This free organizes your accounts, including online shopping, banking, Netflix and more. It also tracks cell phone minutes, frequent flyer miles, travel itineraries and more.
  9. Organizer Lite: View several organizers in a single, streamlined display with this app. You can manage a calendar, birthdays, appointments, contacts and more.
  10. mySticky Lite: This iPhone version of Mac’s sticky notes let you tack reminders and lists over a virtual bulletin board.

Search

Let your iPhone guide you in general searches, job hunts and more.

  1. Inquisitor: This super fast search tool also makes suggestions for your searches.
  2. Last.fm: Search music, artists and more with Last.fm for the iPhone.
  3. Repairpal: This app will help you find auto repair shop and support.
  4. Job Search: Indeed.com’s search application lets you find jobs by location and job description.

Miscellaneous

This list of free iPhone apps includes laundry guides, an ebook library, recipe guides and plenty more tools to make your life at college more exciting and organized.

  1. MyGPA Calculator: Calculate your GPA per semester and cumulatively.
  2. BookShelfLT: Check out ebooks for your iPhone.
  3. Salsa: Practice for your ballroom dance class or for a night out.
  4. Laundry Pro Free: Look up North American and European laundry symbols and figure out how to care for your different garments.
  5. wikiHow: How to and DIY Survival Kit: Survive anything, including a hotel fire, long fall and nuclear attack, when you download this pack.
  6. Guitar Tuner: Use Guitar Tuner to tweak your guitar and get ready for gigs on campus.
  7. Intelliremote: Control your home theater that runs Windows with your iPhone.
  8. Free Driver’s Ed: Students practicing for the driving test can review topics and questions here.
  9. F-MyLife: This popular tool lets you commiserate with others who’ve had a bad day on F-MyLife.
  10. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner: Get ideas for cheap, healthy and/or comfort food meals.
  11. Hairstyle Lite: Instead of paying for an expensive visit to the salon, try out a new hairstyle by using this free app.
  12. iWrecked – Auto Accident Assistant: Log details from your car accident, call for help, take photos of the accident, and more.
  13. College Football Live!: Keep up with all the stats, scores and more for college football.”

-courtesy Best Universities