Top 25 Free & Freemium Web Apps for College Students

Published by Erin Johansson on Wed May 12, 2010

What do you need for college? We would guess that you need any tool that is helpful, but that it is even better if it also is free or freemium (free basic service, with payment for options). In the spirit of creating smart people, we offer 25 top free and freemium Web apps — some designed specifically to help college students. All apps listed below are designed to help you stay organized, be creative and to study and write smart.


  1. BackpackBackpack allows anyone to share information with others. Keep your documents, discussions and schedules all in one place in a Web-based, secure environment that is backed up daily.
  2. DropboxDropbox is software that syncs your files online and across computers. While you and other users need to install the software to share files, it is free up to 2 GB and a reliable file-sharing application.
  3. EvernoteEvernote is a popular place to save your ideas, images and other information. Use any computer to gain access to this Web-based application, including a mobile device.
  4. NotelyNotely: Use this Web application to schedule your appointments and classes, to take notes and to plan your homework so you can meet deadlines. This app was designed by a student for other students.
  5. picwingpicwing is an easy way to upload photos and send print versions to your family. While this app is not free, it’s an easy way to stay in touch with the folks who send cash to help you stay alive in college. Upload images from your mobile, Picasso and other sources and you even can send the photo with a personal message printed on the back.
  6. Remember the MilkRemember the Milk is a tool that you may already use, as it is a great way to manage and share tasks on the Web and through email, SMS or IM. This app is available for a number of other tools such as Gears, Twitter and Blackberry.
  7. SoshikuSoshiku is a tool that can help you manage your college assignments. Keep track when these assignments are due and set the tool up for email or SMS notifications — all for free.
  8. ZamzarZamzar offers a free online file conversion tool. Transform your songs, videos, images and documents into different formats to use in class or to share with classmates and friends. Use the Zamzar Web Browser Button to find new files to convert.


  1. is a free and simple Web application that allows users to brainstorm online. Create mind maps, share and work with friends, embed your mind map in your blog or Web site and more.
  2. MindpicnicMindpicnic is a creative site that allows users to find courses and lessons, create lessons, plan and collaborate with other students and form community. Chose a course, learn online and repeat, all for free.
  3. NoteMeshNoteMesh is a free service that allows college students in the same classes to share notes with each other. It works like a wiki, in that users can edit and collaborate. Now, international and non .edu users can register to use the site as well.
  4. WrideaWridea is a Web service where you can organize and improve your ideas by sharing them with friends. They also provide the tools to improve your ideas by yourself.

Writing Aids

  1. bibmeBibme is a fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills your citations. It supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting, and leverages databases provided by Amazon, FindArticles, Yahoo! News, and CiteULike to quickly and accurately AutoFill citation information for you.
  2. Cornell-NotesCornell Method PDF Generator is a “quick and dirty” little form that helps students create custom notetaking sheets for any or all classes. Choose among blank, ruled or graph styles.
  3. EasyBibEasyBib is an automatic bibliography and citation maker that offers users a search tool and more to cite papers. You can download MLA, APA and Chicago PDF reference guides and autocite books and Web sites. Free trial.
  4. FlowchartFlowchart is an online multi-user, real-time collaboration flowchart software that allows you to collaborate with your colleagues in real-time. This tool works with Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, Google Chrome.
  5. Google DocsGoogle Docs is a way to write, organize, plan and prepare all your papers online from any computer. You also can chat while sharing documents and edit in real time with collaborators.
  6. OttoBibOttoBib is a Web-based bibliography tool that is free and easy to use. Go for MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian, BibTex and Wikipedia.It is important to note that OttoBib is not 100 percent precise in its formatting, but you might check any citation tool after you use it to assure yourself that your citations are in top shape.
  7. WriteboardWriteboard is a sharable Web-based text document storehouse that allows users to save every edit, roll back to any version and easily compare changes. Use this tool to write solo or to collaborate with other students.
  8. ZOHOZoho Suite: This site offers all the tools you may need to write, plan, or prepare presentations, and it’s all offered through Web-based operations that you can access from any computer.

Study Aids

  1. The Awesome HighlighterAwesome Highlighter lets you highlight text on Web pages and then gives you a small link to the highlighted page. This app also comes as a FireFox add-on and bookmarklet.
  2. CalcoolateCalcoolate is one of the coolest free calculators online, offering users a way to check calculations by expression. The history of your calculations is stored on your computer using a cookie. No history is sent to this tool’s servers.
  3. FlashCardExchangeFlashcardExchange is a Web-based flashcard program that allows users to create, print and share flashcards on any subject imaginable. It also comes as an iPhone app.
  4. MetacalcMetacalc is a Web-based and client-based tool that does not transmit any data regarding your input, calculations, or personal identity back to the server. Includes all options you might find on an expensive computer for free.
  5. SparknotesSparknotes has guides that are invaluable for summaries and insight, and they offer topics that range from English lit to history, math and biology. Their college bloggers have the inside scoop, too, on how to get into college and how to pay for it once you’re there.

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