Top 8 Free Software for College Students

As my resources every college student needs post was such a hit, I couldn’t help but want to give you more of that content. I mean, everyone loves free (or almost) resources, right?

Need some awesome (and free!) resources? Click through to discover some of the best online resources for college students!

The editing team at Laptop Ninja thought so too. This is why they approached me to write a guest post that I think all college students and millennials are going to find super useful! I’ve heard of (and used!) most of the tools they mention in this post and can tell you they are I’m very excited for you to read this post that is full of helpful tools to help ease your college life – and your wallet!

Majority of students live on student loans and support from parents. If you have a business or job on the side, the income is often negligible because studies have to take the lion’s share of your time. As a student, you always have little cash for your survival, entertainment, learning materials like books and school fees combined. Any means to save money is always welcome.

With a lot of free useful software online, there’s a lot you can do with your PC without spending money. From creating presentations to editing videos, handling graphics to creating and editing text – we’ve compiled a list of the eight best software to make your life great on campus.

LibreOffice for Windows, Linux, and Mac

If you have used the regular Microsoft Office suite then you know you can pay through the nose for it. There’s a discounted Microsoft Office version tailored for schoolers, but this isn’t cheap either.

Instead of paying your pocket money for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, you name it; get an equivalent free of charge. Download LibreOffice, a free office suite that’s nearly complete with all these features and allows you to create mathematical equations and draw 3D illustrations.

LibreOffice is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems and is compatible with every Microsoft Office format. You’ll have the option to save your work in any file type that your tutors require. This means you won’t have any trouble sharing your files around.

KeePass Password Safe

This is an open source password manager for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Let’s face it, as a student, there’s enough coursework on your plate to master already. If you have to add the class email address and passcode, your own social media passwords, the PIN to your smartphone, tablet, and laptop; you’ll need an extra head. While a spare head is hard to come by, a safe place to keep your passwords isn’t. And it’s completely free of charge!

As the name suggests, KeePass Password Safe helps you store all your passwords in one place protected by a single master password.


Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux OSs, GIMP is your free equivalent of the Adobe Photoshop CC. All you have to do is download your free copy of GIMP and install it on your PC. Once set, there’s no limit to what you can do with your photos. This app works great! With GIMP on your computer, you can retouch your photos, enhance them and even add photos just like you would in Photoshop.


Have a video project coming up? No problem; you can get creative and inject it with your creative touch without spending a penny! That might sound too good, but it’s true: Lightworks, a top video editor, is free of charge.

Lightworks is a leading software that has been used for film editing for decades. It is great for students as it lets you share edits in actual time, so your group project will be a breeze!

Spotify Student

Books can be draining. Some good entertainment can always help. And when you don’t want to hit the pub and no friend is holding a birthday party in town, Spotify can be a great source of relief.

The premium version of this music, podcast, and video streaming service is available for students at only $4.99 a month. That’s half the price! Yet you get the same ad-free, superior experience with limitless entertainment.

If you want to scale down your budget even further, you can create your basic student account on Spotify for free! Log in through the student section of the Spotify site; provide your name, valid .edu email address, date of birth and name of the college you go to.

Alternatively, you can grab five of your college buddies and subscribe jointly for the Spotify Premium for Family at only $14.99 a month! This premium family plan supports up to six Spotify accounts. That’s about only $2.5 off your pocket monthly – certainly less than the cost of a single breakfast meal!

DreamSpark for Windows OS

For those up-and-coming software developers, Microsoft has got something for you: the DreamSpark program. It’s free and has all the features a developer may need in school. Once you verify that you are a student, you can download the program and use it without paying anything. You’ll get software tools such as Xamarin, Visual Studio Community 2013 and GitHub Education that you can use to design and develop apps for Windows devices as well as for Android and iOS platforms.

Google Nik Collection

Really few people don’t enjoy playing around with graphics in college. Unfortunately, this sometimes means you have to part with your already little cash to buy plugins and programs you need. But Google Nik Collection now lets you get all these at zero cost!

The Nik Collection is a high-end photo editing suite comprising of seven plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture. The service comprises vintage camera filters, HDR effects, black-and-white controls, noise reduction options, color enhancement, and correction, as well as image sharpening.

Whether you have a Mac or Windows computer, you can download the entire collection for free on Google! All seven desktop plug-ins are different but equally powerful, comparable only to top professional-level image editing software.

Prezi desktop app

When it comes to presentations, PowerPoint is not the only way to go. Create a free Prezi account on your Windows or Mac computer and join the world of great presentations! The fun part is, the app has an intuitive, easy to use interface that you can use to create great presentations for your coursework. Whether you want to include brainstorming diagrams or photos, videos or text on your presentation, the choice is yours. Prezi has it all for you!

There are 92 professionally designed templates to choose from. And if you wish to take a unique approach to your presentation, Prezi lets you create it from scratch! Once you’re done creating your thing, you can store it safely in the cloud and access it anywhere anytime you want it.

Prezi is cloud-based, so you can also start creating a presentation, leave it midway and complete it at a later time. All your activity is stored in the cloud. With the option to auto sync all your work across your various devices, no app could be more perfect for a college life.

The bottom line is, there is a free software or app practically for all your digital needs in college. But the question that matters is, do you have a powerful college laptop to support a bunch of software without having its processing speeds affected.

  • Love this! I’ll have to check out Lightworks and Gimp!

    • I’ve never used either of those, but I heard Gimp is amazing!