Back when I was in school (decades ago), everything was heavy. In fact, it often seemed my backpack's weight was inversely proportional to my own…especially as I grew. Today's students are so lucky! Practically everything they need can be located easily and for free—right on that smart device they carry with them everywhere. Here are some amazing apps I sure wish I had had back in my school days. Whether you’re a student yourself or just shopping for one, they can help you save in every way!

1. CourseSmart

"No backpack required" couldn't be more accurate with CourseSmart's e-textbooks.

Here are the details:

  • Save an estimated 60% off what you would pay for hard copy textbooks.
  • Access 7,000+ textbooks in the U.S.A. and the U.K.
  • Read anywhere—online or offline.
  • Copy and paste, print pages, search, highlight, make notes—do everything you can do with a hard-copy textbook.
  • Read on smart devices (phones, tablets, e-readers, and more).

2. Marvin

With the free version of Marvin you can view one book at a time. With the $2.99 paid version you can view multiple books at the same time. Either way, this e-reader app is a gem!

Here are the details:

  • Access 100,000+ books for free (including Shakespeare, Dickens, and all the titles on your school reading lists!)
  • Powerhouse tools for comfort adjustment—including lighting, text type, font size, and more.
  • Integration with the dictionary, Wikipedia, Google Maps, and plenty of other study tools.
  • Useful tools like search, highlighting, copy and paste, and formatting.

3. gFlash+ Flashcards & Tests

The free version has ads—if you find them intrusive, you can upgrade to the paid ad-free version for $4.99. This flashcard app takes your flashcards with you wherever you go so you can study in any sudden downtime you may have.

Here are the details:

  • Make and share flashcards—totally free!
  • In addition to flashcards, the app also offers free self-quizzes and tests to help you prepare.
  • No limit on the number of cards created—in a set or overall.
  • The latest version also has a fun Matching Game to make running your flashcards more fun.
  • The app also lets you track your progress via the in-app scoring system.

4. MyHomework

MyHomework is specifically designed to serve as an e-student planner. The app has been available since 2009 and is continually improving (amidst a growing number of awards and kudos).

Here are the details:

  • This app is ad-free—and also totally free to download and use!
  • Homework, test, and assignment tracking—complete with reminder alerts.
  • Syncs across other platforms (including
  • Offers scheduling by time block or class period.
  • Designed to be equally useful for middle school—graduate university students.

5. Dictionary & Thesaurus

I will never forget the strain of lugging around those essential twin dead weights of my scholastic years—the dictionary and the thesaurus. Today's students are so lucky—all they need to get both is a smart device and this app!

Here are the details:

  • Free access to definitions and synonyms/antonyms for 2,000,000+ words.
  • #1 rated app in its class across all platforms.
  • Works both online and offline.
  • Audio pronunciations and word origin/history as well as example sentences for word use.
  • Includes a medical and scientific dictionary feature.

6. Wikipanion

Wikipanion has a free and paid version ($4.99) but the free version is quite sufficient for most student users.

Here are the details:

  • Both versions make research easy and quick.
  • Search and read in multiple languages.
  • "Smart" table of contents-based browser that holds your place for you.
  • Look up terms without leaving the search page.
  • Plenty of browsing and searching options and syncing features.


6 Free Back-to-School Apps that Will Save You a Bundle