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Top iPad Apps for College Students

Apple’s innovative iPad takes the best of the mobile and laptop worlds and fuses them into a sleek, easy to use, and affordable tablet. It’s no wonder that the iPad sold over a half million units immediately after its release, especially with its appeal to students and working professionals.

For students, a huge number of apps will help manage all the difficulties that school can bring into your life. Whether you’re just registering for a local community college or are finalizing your enrollment in a world famous graduate school, these iPad apps for college students will help you get a handle on all the things you’ve got to do.

iPad Apps on a College Budget (i.e. Completely Free)

The iPad Web Browser

While many people don’t think of this application when going through their checklist, the reality is that the built-in browser will give you amazing access to a number of valuable educational websites, including news pages, Wikipedia articles, and much more.

The app will give you access to over a million words, so you can decipher everything that you hear from your instructors or read in textbooks.

Rate My Professor

The popular website “Rate My Professor” offers a free to use application that will give you access to all the resources of the RMP database. This information will allow you to choose the professor who’s perfect for you. It’s a handy tool to have prior to taking the dive into the cold waters of registration.


This free application will give you access to a massive eBook library that includes classic literature, contemporary fiction, and more. Many of your required reading materials are included in this library, and the network is quickly expanding into textbooks.

iPad Apps Worth Your Money

iStudiez Pro

This is a $3 application that will allow you to manage your busy college schedule. It’s easy to use and browse, simple to set up on the go, and will help you keep on top of classes, tasks, and social events.

Pages and Numbers

At $10 a pop, these are the core word processor and spreadsheet programs for the iPad. If you want to take notes, format papers via your iPad, or create complex spreadsheet documents, these apps are the way to go. In addition, Pages allows you to import and export documents from Mac and Microsoft Word, and export documents as PDF, ensuring that your formatting doesn’t get skewed.


Your social life is an important part of your college experience, too. The Netflix application is a great way to bolster that social life. Even beyond streaming movies for your fraternity or sorority, simply having a way to unwind after you’re done with homework can be invaluable. Of course, you have to have a Netflix account- but it’s super cheap.

Various Specialized Applications

There are a number of high quality applications that will help you with your specific major. Ranging from APA or MLA formatting guides to 3D visualizations of the entire periodic table of elements, there are a huge number of apps designed for your area of study.

This list may be short, but I assure you that as more developers hop on the iPad train, more college friendly apps will become available. Who knows… it may even substitute your text books and notebooks completely one day. What are your favorite iPad apps for college?

Selena Narayanasamy is highly involved in technology, social media, writing/blogging, and in love with entrepreneurship and productivity. You can find her writing on Search Engine Journal and her own blog, Esvienne.  Follow her professional twitter- @selenavidya or personal twitter- @esvienne

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  • morphoyle

    You know what is best for college kids? Don’t take an ipad or net/notebook to class. It’s nothing more than a distraction. Use a pen and paper to take notes. I guarantee you will retain more information this way. I’ve also found that rate my professor is generally crap. Too many students rate professors poorly for arbitrary reasons instead of actually judging the professor on what they learn or what they get out of the course.

    • Nigel

      I completely disagree. Students K through college will no longer be able to garner success without the use of technology. Devices such as the iPad have made it unbelievably easier for students to excel IF they are responsible and take their education seriously.

      Like with anything nowadays, responsibility is up to the individual and success is achievable if you’re willing to get your head out of your rear.

      • jimmer

        I agree with Nigel. I actually don’t have much motivation to take notes with pen and paper. It cramps my hand and so i i don’t have motivation to take notes. I have much more motivation to use my ipad or laptop for notes because it is more enjoyable to use. If you have self discipline to not go on Facebook or surf the web, then it will be a huge benefite. I learn just as much with typing as i do with writing on paper, if not more. But that’s just me personally.

  • Selena.Narayanasamy

    I completely disagree with the idea of taking a pen and paper to class. Some students DO have self discipline (I did) and it’s very beneficial to have programs that can record audio while you take notes, and be able to click the notes in any given spot and have the audio sync so you can hear it as if you were in class.

    Depending on the extensive notes that need to be taken for classes, some people simply like to have neat notes and can’t handle writing fast (and cramping their hand) and getting sloppy notes out of it.

  • Katlin

    Personally I looked for this just so I could see what was best with my new toy. I understand the first poster’s reasoning with the pen and paper, but to be honest, you can get distracted with ANYTHING. Believe me, I know, I’m ADD and it’s a struggle for me every day, and like the second poster, I consider myself disciplined.

    With that aside, I appreciate the list. I was trying to decide the best word processor and it looks like Pages is it. I like knowing there’s a cheaper organizer as well. Thanks!

  • Matt

    Advising students to not take their technology to class is poor advice. It’s the absolute perfect time to learn discipline and productivity amongst and with technology, which is a valuable skill to carry into the workforce.

    Generally speaking, if you’re goi to college, you’re probably going to end up at a Jon that utilizes a computer and the Internet. So would you advise your employees to do their work on pen and paper? Or do you expect them to be able to focus and do their jobs appropriately?

    A student that can take full advantge of all the resources provided to him is going to be a more productive student and ultimately a better prepared and more productive employee.

  • Marissa

    @morphoyle:disqus are you actually a college student? Because if you actually went to a large university like I do it’s very important to have a light weight machine to be able to scan notes quickly look up pictures to integrate with notes and have your text book with you if you need to look something up. Just because some kids are goofing off doesn’t mean the rest can’t restrain themselves and focus. Also rate my professor is useful. It helps you anticipate what the professor is like even if its an arbitrary reason, at least you can understand the professors personality and teaching style.

  • Jackson

    Another great app that is use all the time is Circus Ponies Notebook, at  Its just like using a paper notebook except on my iPad.  Before class I grab today’s lecture notes PDF from my profs website and Notebook lets me add the PDF to my notebook as separate pages.  You can add text notes and scribble right on top of the pages, and swipe back and forth to switch pages.  When I don’t have the prof’s notes I just add a new page to my notebook and start typing notes (it has an outliner built in).  It even records the lecture so that I can go back later and listen to it again if I ever miss anything.  Its great!

  • dew

    I am a college student too, but I only use one app. The Ghostwriter Notes app, which is a note-taking app, fits all what I need everyday in school. I easily take down notes with this app and I can synchronize it with Dropbox without any problem.

    • Luis

      I also suggest utility applications like or calculator web apps, you never know when you’ll need it.

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