(Orientation) Five must-have apps for the school year

Ben VanHoose

Every college student comes equipped with an arsenal of electronic devices, but it’s what is stocked on those smartphones, tablets and laptops that really separate the novice students from the pros. Here’s a list of the best free apps to download immediately to ensure a beneficial life at Kent State. (We left off the KentWired app because we figured you already had it.)


KSU Mobile

No Kent State student should consider going without this university-official app. Not only can you check dining plan balances, but you can view your class schedule, calculate your GPA and monitor available parking—all in one convenient place. Plus, the KSU Fight Song lyrics are included so you won’t have to pretend to know what you’re chanting at sporting events.


Blackboard Learn

While the Blackboard app will not replace the desktop version, it is nice to have in order to check class announcements, upcoming assignments and updated grades—provided that your professor keeps up with posting them. The majority of your classes (especially online ones) are done through Blackboard Learn, so get used to it pronto.



It’s OK to dread group projects. Just know that you still will have to face them sooner or later. GroupMe works great for those assigned groups where you know none of your team members. The app allows you to set up a group chat without revealing phone numbers. That way, once you turn in the assignment, your private information isn’t still floating out there.


Pocket Points

College students are all about deals and discounts; if you aren’t yet, just wait. Pocket Points lets you earn points by not using your smartphone in class. Those points can then be used to get discounts and free items at select businesses downtown, including Pita Pit and Insomnia Cookies.



Not all learning experiences in college come from inside the classroom. Learn how to manage your finances using Mint. Keep track of your spending habits, create budgets and and monitor up-to-date account balances with this helpful tool.