9 best websites for college students

There’s so much information out there to help you with college life, dorm life and social life on your college campus. How do you know where to start? Although I always start with Facebook and Twitter, there are many websites and resources to help college students muddle through.

Which websites are your favorites to browse? (Credit: Pinterest)

Which websites are your favorites to browse? (Credit: Pinterest)

Here are some tips about a few of the best websites that are useful in surviving college.

1. Your own college’s website—That’s right, start with your own school’s website. There are policies, instructions, catalogues, financial aid information, study tips, classes, professors, events, maps, scholarships, job boards and a host of very essential information you’ll need during your school year.

2. RateMyProfessors.com—Here, you can rate your teacher, find a school and find a professor at your college. This app is the bane of teachers everywhere, but fun (and possibly helpful) for students. I sometimes think the commentary is more entertaining than actually useful, but I’ve found some really thoughtful reviews from students there as well. When you’re reviewing, strive for accurate and constructive criticism of teachers; don’t vent or hold vendettas. Professors do indeed read their own ratings. For a laugh, check out videos of teachers reading their own reviews from the site.

3. StudentRate.com—This site locates businesses (books, fashion, electronics, travel and dorm accessories among others) that offer a student discount. According to Julia Hughes in “20 Websites College Students Need to Know,” posted on Society19.com June 12, 2015, “StudentRate is the ultimate for discounts. Rather than checking if individual vendors offer student discounts, StudentRate compiles a list of student deals and discounts for you.”

4. Dropbox.com—This file hosting service offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud and client software. “Dropbox keeps all your files synced, updated, and backed up across all your computers. Recently, their browser interface has gotten much better—you can now preview most file types right in the browser without having to download them,” said Thomas Frank in “20 Useful Websites Every Student Should Know About” on CollegeInfoGeek.com posted August 10, 2015.

5. EdX.org, Coursera.org, Udacity.com, AcademicEarth.org—All these offer free, open online courses on a variety of subjects: business, math, electronics, computer programming, English composition, sociology, history and lots more. They partner with many accredited colleges and universities, and offer a certificate to show your completion of the course.

6. BibMe.org, Questia.com—These tools are invaluable for students who write a lot of academic research papers. BibMe uses auto-fill to automatically generate bibliographies and source citations in a variety of academic styles, such as APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style and specific journal requirements. Questia offers a Writing Center to help you: find a topic, craft a thesis statement, write an outline, research credible books and articles and keep it all organized.

7. Mint.com—By the makers of TurboTax, this is a free budget and spending app to help you keep track of what you spend during the day. You can create a budget, get a credit report, find tips for saving money and receive alerts when suspicious activity occurs on your account. “During college, it’s especially important to know where you’re spending your cash, and Mint helps you do that for free and get supremely organized financially,” said Robert Morris in “25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive” on Lifehack.org.

8. Sleepyti.me—This bedtime calculator helps you get up in the morning after the proper amount of sleep time. I know I never feel like I get enough sleep, so this is a great site for college students who need help setting an adequate sleep schedule. Simply set the time you have to wake up and the app calculates when you should go to bed. It bases restful sleep on REM cycles that people need to feel refreshed when they wake up.

9. Groupon.com—What college student isn’t on a budget? Groupon offers daily deals, discounts, and coupons for everyday needs like restaurants, electronics, health and beauty, automotive and local events. And every once in a while, I manage to score a great deal on gift cards from businesses I frequent. Starbucks, anyone?

What are your suggestions for websites you can’t do without?

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