24 Apps to Help Manage College Life

As a college student, you have a lot going on in your life. Keeping up with your classes, maintaining a social life, and sometimes holding down a job, can be overwhelming. There are thousands of apps out there ready to help. Here’s 24 that can make college life more manageable.

Mobile Phone with cloud of application icons flying arround

Team Communication/Project Management

Asana Group projects can easily turn into chaos. Let Asana help you manage your team project from start to finish. It tracks tasks, conversations, due dates and everything else needed to help your team succeed in getting stuff done. The basic version is free for teams.

Slack – Slack brings your team or community together and allows you to collaborate and communicate in one place. It’s powerful and easy to use. Slack is free for teams.



BrainscapeWe all learn differently. Some of us focus only on books, others have study buddies. Remember the old-school flashcards? If those worked for you, Brainscape just might be your ticket to acing the test. It enables you to create your own smart digital flashcards or choose from thousands already in existence. Creating, sharing and studying your own flashcards is free.

Quizlet – Learn anything with the help of Quizlet. Search hundreds of flash card study sets available or make your own, and all for free.

Tophat – This app creates an engaging and interactive experience between professors and students, allowing you to participate in class polls, quizzes, discussions, and more by using your own laptop, smartphone or tablet. Many schools secure campus-wide licenses to make it free for students. In other cases, students may be required to pay a minimal fee for access. Check with your professors.

Blackboard – This online course management system is available at colleges throughout the U.S. It allows you to access learning content from your mobile device. Check with your college on availability. It is free to download the app.

iTunes U This one takes an iPhone, iPad or iPod. Ever have a class where you struggled with the professor or grasping the content? iTunes U offers free college courses from top universities. If you are looking for some extra help for a class, you might find a similar class here where you can better understand the materials. Think of it as hiring a tutor for free.

Students sitting at the table using computers and tablets


Note Taking

EvernoteIf you’re looking for a way to track and keep notes in class, try Evernote. It also allows you to record voice memos and make to-do lists that you’ll have mobile access to wherever you need them. The basic version is free for two devices. Premium plans are currently discounted for college students.

OneNote – If you’re actively using the rest of Microsoft Office, OneNote may be a great choice since your whole system is hooked together. Or, if you’re looking for an app that does more than Evernote, this might be your best choice. It works like a notebook with sections and tabs. Embed tables from Excel, pull clips from email, import images into notes and easily saving links from any browser. It takes some getting used to, but it may be worth it.

Google Keep – This app’s capabilities sit somewhere between OneNote and Evernote. It captures notes, lists, photos, and audio. If you are looking for a middle ground to meet your needs, this is a free one worth checking out.



DuolingoThis fun, science-based language app makes learning any new language easy. And, it’s free. Planning to study in Paris? Get started on learning French today.

Google TranslateIf it looks Greek to you, maybe it is. This website and app will translate from 103 different languages in an instant.

Cite this For MeFormerly called RefMe, this app will automatically create your bibliographies and citations in the correct format using the APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, or Harvard referencing styles.

Grammarly – This must-have proofreading tool checks text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector. The basic version is free.


Cloud Storage/File Sharing

DropBox – Afraid of losing your notes or coursework, upload and store them in the cloud by using DropBox. Your files are accessible any time you need them, if you have an internet connection. Also, if you want to share files with a friend, Dropbox makes that easy too.

Box – Box provides another alternative to securing and sharing your files in the cloud, while also providing a shared workspace where you can collaboratively edit documents.

Google Drive – A third alternative for storing and sharing files is Google Drive. A big plus is that It’s integrated with Google Docs so you can create, share, and edit documents online, and save them directly to your Google Drive folders, instead of sending documents back and forth.



Video chatting/messaging

WhatsApp – This free messenger app for smartphones uses the internet to send messages, images, audio or video. One of its best features is it allows users to keep in touch with people living in other countries without racking up international charges that can happen with typical text messages.

GroupMe – This group messaging app allows you to include all devices, so if you’re not all iPhone lovers, it doesn’t matter, join the chat. GroupMe lets you create chat rooms for anywhere from 3 to 50 people. Consider it for short-term group projects.

Houseparty – There’s always a party. This free mobile app for live, group video chatting allows you to have up to eight people in one “room” at the same time.



Venmo – This free digital wallet app makes paying a friend or sharing a bill easy. Split cab fare, or divide the dinner check in half, all from your phone.

Mint – Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of your bills and your bank balance. Mint makes it easy to stay on top of your bills, your budget and even your credit score.



Snap2PDF- Come across a page in a book you want to reference later or you have something you need to send to a friend, Snap2PDF can help. This app allows you to use your smartphone to turn documents into searchable PDFs. It’s available in both an IOS and Android version for $1.99.

Afterlight – We all need one perfect image editing app for quick and easy editing. This comes with some simple but powerful tools that will help you achieve the perfect look you want in seconds. Available in both Android and IOS for 99¢.


Enjoy College

Schedules, assignments and life in general are a lot to manage while you’re in college. The apps featured above are just a sampling of what’s out there. We encourage you to take advantage of any tools that help you be more productive and accelerate in the classroom, while leaving time for a social life.

Saving for Spring Break is tough – 10 gigs to help make it happen

It’s tough to hold down a part-time job with set hours while carrying a full course load. Yet, you need the money. Cancun is calling, and you don’t want to be left behind. It’s time to think about getting yourself a gig where you have flexibility over your schedule and the kinds of work you do.

Today’s economy offers hundreds of opportunities. Here’s 10 worth considering today:

  1. Sell your freelance services –Are you getting your degree in graphic design, web design, communications or journalism? Here’s an opportunity to gain some experience by offering your services. There are numerous sites for freelancers, like Fiverr, UpWork and 99Designs. You set your rates within some parameters.Gig Word Green Button Job Task Freelance Contract


  1. Become a textbook rep on campus – If you have an iphone or android smart phone, this might be the job for you. Textbook Valet will pay you to help other students sell back their textbooks, and it only takes an app. This work can easily fit around your school schedule, and happen wherever and whenever, with most of it taking place at the beginning and end of the semester. Apply today and earn up to $30 an hour.


  1. Deliver stuff – We live in a world where we want what we want when we want it whether it’s prepared food, groceries, household items, or dry cleaning. It takes a lot of people to cover all the delivery gigs out there. Check out Instacart, Amazon Flex, GrubHub, and numerous others. If you have transportation, they need you. Pay may range between $10-$28 an hour, depending on the company.


  1. Represent Apple on your campus – Apple hires campus reps at colleges across the country. If you understand Apple technology and you can lead, plan events, inspire others, work fast, and get things done, this might be the perfect job for you. This job not only allows you to contribute to Apple’s work in transforming education, but it also serves as a solid resume builder. Reps make between $10-$15 an hour.


  1. Capitalize on your web search or social media skills – Is tech your world? If so, there are numerous flexible opportunities out there. Pull in a paycheck if you’re a daily social media user by becoming a social media evaluator for Appen. If interested in evaluating web search, Appen hires those too, along with sites like Leapforce and Lionbridge. Pay ranges between $10-$14 per hour.


  1. Become a pet sitter – People love their pets and they are willing to pay someone to watch them while they’re away. It could be for a long weekend or a few weeks. A little watching, feeding and sometimes even housesitting along with it could make for a sweet gig, especially if you love pets. Sites like Rover.com can match you up, or check with local veterinarians and pet stores. Pay is dependent on how many dogs and how often you sit. If you take two or three dogs a couple of weeks a month you can earn around $1,000 a month.


  1. Make money off your smarts or talent – Turn your love of science, mastery of math, or gift of music into extra money. Teachers and tutors for education and the arts are needed at all levels, elementary through college. Work part-time and when it fits your schedule. Sometimes word-of-mouth lands you a job. There are several sites like Chegg Tutors, TakeLessons, StudySoup, SkillShare, and Tutor.com that can also help you find the right gig for you. Tutors typically make between $15-$20 an hour.


  1. Hang out with kids – There is always a high demand for babysitting or nannying. The hours are often flexible and the pay can be decent. If you enjoy children, consider signing up on Care.com, a heavily-trafficked website parents use to find babysitters. Or just ask around campus. Professors are prime candidates for needing babysitting help. The hourly rate for babysitting is around $13-$16 per hour.


  1. Become a campus tour guide – Every campus is in need of college students who are interested in proudly serving as ambassadors for their school and sharing that enthusiasm as a tour guide. Hone your public speaking skills, put some steps on your fitness tracker, and proudly promote your campus to prospective students while getting paid. Check with your admissions office for open opportunities. Pay rates vary between $8 – $15 an hour depending on the college.


  1. Make money off your love of literature – If you’re a voracious reader and have a knack for summarizing what you’ve written, consider writing book reviews. There are a handful of companies who are willing to pay you to write succinct summaries, including TheUSReview, AnySubject and Kirkus. Most pay per review, based on the length of the book. Check individual company guidelines for pay rates.

We’ve done your homework for you. Now, it’s your turn. Whether it’s delivering, touring, transporting, transacting, pet or kid sitting, reading, writing, reviewing or whatever your passion, go out and find the right fit for you, and make some cash in the process. What are you waiting for?


Textbook Valet and Memory Science

Textbook Valet has partnered with Memory Science to bring all of our customers free premium access to the Memory Science study platform when buying/renting your books. This access will be available starting Fall 2015 semester.

Memory Science is a patented learning retention platform that helps students identify, and most importantly, remember, key concepts. Textbook Valet customers will be able to utilize Memory Science study tools throughout the semester for free. This access will be renewed with each semester books are purchased/rented.

This partnership allows Textbook Valet to better serve our customers and give them more value – along with our convenient textbook deliveries, buybacks, and online book search platform. More details on this partnership and new Textbook Valet services will be released in the coming months!

Memory Science platform

Memory Science platform

Spring 2015 Textbook Buybacks

Now that finals are underway, Textbook Valet will be open for textbook buybacks at the following schools:

SMU – Southern Methodist University

TCU – Texas Christian University

University of Alabama Tuscaloosa

Villanova University

University of Texas Dallas

La Salle University

University of Pennsylvania

St. Joseph’s University

We have campus buyback events at many of our locations where you can swing by without an appointment to sell books. Otherwise, you can setup an appointment to have a student rep come to you (free of charge) to buyback your books. We pay cash for books and have great buyback prices! All of our reps are students at the schools listed. Click here to begin setting up an appointment

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Why Chegg’s move is bad for students

Chegg, once dominant in the textbook rental market, has announced that it will be selling off its textbook inventory and allowing Ingram to handle distribution- paying Chegg a commission. In short, this will end up hurting the consumer because Ingram does not have as much of an incentive to price-beat as Chegg did. Chegg gained a large share of its revenue from digital content sales which could subsidize low book rental prices. Ingram on the other hand, has to pay Chegg a 20% commission on every sale and has no add-on’s to subsidize the low prices that Chegg once offered.

There are not as many actual textbook distribution companies as you may think. The textbook industry is dominated by “middle-men”, such as price comparison websites and marketplaces. Price comparison websites don’t own any books, they refer their viewers to other sites (who may not own the books either) but pay them a referral fee if a purchase is made. For instance: say you visit a price comparison site which directs you to Amazon and you end up purchasing the book on Amazon. In that transaction you just made, the price comparison site made up to 8.5% of the sale for sending you to Amazon and Amazon made 15%+ of the sale. The actual owner of the books bears the burden of these fees which end up being passed on to the consumer who purchased the book. Amazon sellers know that they will be charge 15%+ on every sale so they take that into consideration when setting a price- Amazon knows that they will have to pay the price comparison site up to 8.5% of the sale so they take that into consideration when setting their fees. It ends up being better for all parties if the customer buys directly from the source instead of through middle men such as price comparison sites, all things being equal.

Enter companies like Chegg. Chegg owns all of it’s inventory and does not have to pay a 15% fee to a marketplace (although they do have an affiliate program like Amazon). Therefore, a book sold on Chegg can sell for a lower price and reap the same profit as a book sold on Amazon.

When it comes down to it, companies that own the textbooks are the ones that add value to the market. Price comparison sites and marketplaces are great but they have no skin in the game and can only exist with an abundance of sellers. These websites charge fees for being a middle-man which ends up being passed onto consumers- although marketplaces such as Amazon are arguably very efficient and good for consumers.

Chegg, a company that did $200 million in textbook sales last year, is likely to become less price competitive because of its new arrangement. Only time will tell how big of an effect this will have on the overall textbook market.

Selling Textbooks the Right Way

It’s the end of the semester. You are cramming for finals, writing term papers, pulling all-nighters, and occasionally making time to eat a decent meal. The last thing on your mind is planning ahead when you have so much to do right now…

While there are a few ways to sell your old textbooks, most are either inconvenient, pay nothing for your books, or take too much time. These ways force you to make trade-offs such as settling for less money to save time- vice versa. Textbook Valet was created to provide the best aspects of the campus bookstore and on-line websites saving you valuable time AND money.

The Textbook Valet buyback program was created to solve 3 issues

First, selling textbooks shouldn’t be a tedious responsibility. When a student is done with finals the last thing that they want is more work! We make sure Textbook Valet is the easiest way to sell your books. Visit us at a buyback event or setup a personal appointment ahead of time for us to buyback your books from your door. All of our buybacks are handled by student reps who attend YOUR school.

Other options: You can sell your textbooks online but that can be a huge hassle: figuring out how to list the book, setting a price, shipping it if/when it sells (good luck bringing the books back home with you to ship them on time!). Selling textbooks to the bookstore is more straightforward: you bring them the books and they pay you cash… sometimes. The problem with selling books to the bookstore is that if it is not being used next semester then they will either not purchase it or offer you pennies on the dollar- even if it’s brand new- which leaves you stuck with a 5 pound weight.

Second, you should receive cash for your textbooks. We pay cash for you books on the spot, plain and simple.

Other options: For the students who list their books online hoping to earn more cash- remember Amazon takes 15% comission and won’t deposit the money into your bank account for up to a month- if it sells that is… On the other hand, bookstores pay notoriously low buyback prices but most students just settle because it’s easy and they give cash on the spot.

Third, you should receive a FAIR amount of cash for your textbooks. We pay based on the overall market price of your book, not whether it is being used at school next semester. If your book is not purchasable, we offer a complimentary donation program where we donate it to a local organization such as the public library helping out the local community!