Imagine this: graduating from college in four years, debt-free, with an impressive résumé demonstrating involvement, experience and good grades to top it all off. It’s possible to do it on your own, but here are some “college life hacks” to help out with studying, productivity and saving money:


DIY strategies for studying and learning are fine, but let the technology professionals help out too.

  • Selfcontrol

This Apple app locks users out of time-wasting websites like Twitter or Facebook while they complete homework assignments. “It really helps me stay focused,” junior psychology major Tori Foster said.

  • iProcrastinate

This app allows students to load assignments from the syllabus to a handy timetable: a 21st-century academic planner. “It’s especially helpful for online classes,” Foster said.

  • Easybib

Correctly cite sources for an important paper by using the app version of the website Easybib. The app allows students to scan a book’s barcode or type in the title of a book they need to cite. It generates the citation in whatever style the student needs: MLA, APA or Chicago.


Businesses help college students out too. It might require a student ID, but the following companies give out discounts to students:

  • Apple

The company gives students a $100 Apple gift card with the purchase of a Mac computer and a $50 Apple gift card for an iPhone or iPad.

  • Academic Superstore

This website offers up to an 85 percent discount on a variety of school-related products. In order to purchase any of the discounted items from the website, students must fax a copy of their student ID to Academic Superstore.

  • AMC Theatres

AMC offers discounted movie tickets to students with a valid Student ID every Thursday.

  • Restaurants

Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald's, Arby's, Burger King, Subway and Waffle House all give students a 10 percent discount when they present their student ID.

  • Clothing stores

Mall staples like H&M give students with a valid student ID a discount on their total purchase. Some stores, like Charlotte Russe, only offer a student discount during specified periods of time.

  • Amazon

Amazon offers free two-day shipping for students when they join Amazon Student. Students also receive a discount on Amazon Prime. Both of these deals require a valid university e-mail.

  • Allstate, Geico, Esurance and State Farm

These insurance companies offer a discount on insurance to students. However, some have certain grade requirements and the discounts vary between companies. Check their websites or call for specifications.

  • Chevrolet and General Motors

These companies offer preferred pricing to college students and recent graduates. Specifications including evidence of enrollment are required. For more information on this offer, go to


Where apps and businesses fail, students can find their own creative ways to stretch a dollar or ace a test.

  • Coke tabs can be used to connect hangers and make more closet space without having to buy extra storage.
  • Instead of purchasing air fresheners, students can tape dryer sheets to a fan or air vent to spread the scent throughout the room.
  • Students can stay motivated during a study session by rewarding themselves with candy during milestones like reading through two or three paragraphs.
  • Freshman English education major Emily Mack sets a timer for 30 to 45 minutes during homework or projects. When it rings, she does something that isn’t homework for the same amount of time.