There’s no doubt that smart phone mobile apps have become a way of life – especially for younger Americans.
According to Comscore, mobile apps represent two-thirds of all the time spent on smartphones among the 18-to-24 demographic.
The data also shows that social media apps are far and away the most widely-used mobile phone apps by younger Americans, leaving an opportunity lost for college students who don’t take advantage of the growing array of finance-based smartphone apps.
From preparing a college savings budget to taking leftover change and steering it to college loan payments, mobile apps have much to offer college students.
Five Free Apps to Save College Students Cash
Which smart phone apps grade out best for college students? These five apps are at the top of the list:
ChangEd. College graduates can use this mobile app to help pay down burdensome student loan debt. The app does so by applying the loose change you get back when you make a purchase on your phone and steering it straight to your student loan payment.
That extra money may not seem like much, but ChangEd says that the average user can save up to $50 per month using the app, or $600 a year.
Apply that cash to your student loan debt diligently and you’ll not only see your loan balance paid down faster it will cut the overall student loan timetable by as much as six years. ChangEd claims the app can save students up to $14,000 off their student loans,
ChangEd says it works with most major student loan servicers, including FedLoan and Navient.
Price: Free to download and $1 per month to use.
My Student Aid. This app from the U.S. Department of Education wants to be a one-stop collegiate experience tool for college students, where they can see colleges and universities, track their student loan balance and make tuition payments.
A recent addition to the app is a feature that enables students and their families to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) right on their smartphones. Users can even electronically transfer income and tax information from their federal income tax returns right into the FAFSA form, saving families time and hassle.
Price: Free to download and use.
Fastweb College Scholarship. This mobile app makes searching and tracking scholarships a snap. Built by the most popular free scholarship matching service, the Fastweb app lets students access their scholarship matches. Swipe right to identify scholarships of interest. Submit scholarship applications directly from your smartphone.
Price: Free to download and use.
PayPal Mobile. College students seem to be forever owing each other money – for coffee, pizza, or for the odd shared Uber ride. That’s where PayPal Mobile comes in. The app allows any two Pay Pal users to easily transfer money, and also enables users to use the app to pay for meals, drinks or movie tickets as long as the transaction is made online.
Better yet, there are no transaction fees on PayPal Mobile, as long as you’re sending money to friends and family inside the U.S., using your Pay Pal account or your primary bank account. Similar free apps include Zelle, Google Wallet, Square Cash and Facebook Messenger.
Chegg Books. This mobile app lets college students rent or purchase textbooks at deep discounts. Users can download the Chegg Books app to locate textbooks by title or ISBN. The app also makes it easy to track the status of a textbook order so the user will know exactly when the textbook is expected to arrive. Amazon has a similar app that lets you scan the ISBN of a book or product and buy it on your smartphone.
Price: Free to download but you have to pay money for the textbooks.
These apps aren’t the only college-friendly mobile apps, but they are among the best.
Give them a test drive and see if they don’t improve your on-campus experience.