Best Student Software in 2021
Heading back to school this fall poses an interesting experience to many high school and college students. Perhaps you’re returning to campus or continuing distance learning. Regardless, you’ll undoubtedly have a lot on your plate as you advance in your coursework. Thankfully, there are plenty of free student software programs to help make your life a little bit easier – without breaking the bank. With the programs listed below, you can handle research papers, presentations, digital media projects, and even your schedule. Every program listed below is entirely free, and most work across all Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Keep reading for the best student software of 2021.
1. Google Drive
You already know about the Google search engine and Gmail – but don’t discount the other features and programs available with Google Drive. Uploading documents and assignments to your Drive is a great way to help manage your coursework. You can even access the same drive from multiple devices.
For example, if your laptop dies while your working on a document in Google Drive (and you forgot your charger), you can jump on a friend’s laptop or school computer and keep typing away.
Google Drive comes with Docs, Sheets, and Slides, so you’re able to complete all kinds of projects with this free software. As an added bonus, it’s easy to collaborate on files – group projects have never been easier, but you’ll still have to convince the other group members to pull their weight.
Managing your class schedule and homework is challenging, to say the least. This is one of the most popular reasons to download Evernote, which can be accessed from a computer or mobile device. Evernote has a lot of different purposes, but it’s especially good for managing complicated schedules.
You can also use it to manage other parts of your life. Jot down a to-do list, make a brain map for complicated projects in the drawing pad, or create tables and calendars for meal prep. Evernote can help you keep track of whatever you have on your plate.
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Microsoft Office Suite is the standard program for almost all academic use. Purchasing MS Office gives you access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. However, it can put a pretty hefty dent in your budget, especially when you have to buy a new subscription for new devices. Instead, you can opt to download LibreOffice.
This software program is 100% free, and it’s fully compatible with Microsoft Office documents and files. You can open or compose your own essays and spreadsheets in a system that’s quite similar to Microsoft. And, unlike similar programs, there are no ads to distract you from your homework.
Students who study digital art or marketing are hard-pressed to find great image editing software that doesn’t gouge their budget. Gimp is a great option whether you’re a novice or expert at graphic design. All the available features are similar to what you’d find in Adobe Photoshop.
If you want extra features and design tools, you can easily find plugins by doing a quick search online. It’s an open-source software, meaning that anyone can add to, or change, the code and make it fully customizable. (Tip: Search for Gimp Image Editor when you’re looking for the software. Simply searching for Gimp will not provide the results you’re looking for.)
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Video editing tools can be extremely pricey, but Lightworks is free. It’s considered the most powerful free software program available for video editing, so you should definitely consider downloading it. You’ll find almost every feature you could possibly want.
It’s been used to edit full-length films like The Wolf of Wall Street and Pulp Fiction. Of course, it can also help clean up your YouTube videos or trim down files for a presentation. Whatever you plan on doing at school, Lightworks can handle your projects.
No list of student software would be complete without offering an anti-virus program. There are plenty of programs out there, including free options, that make protecting your computer a pain. Norton and MacAfee aren’t reliable, and many virus protection programs are filled with ads.
Avast is a great option for a free program that’s easy to use and ad-free. Its comprehensive software can weed out spyware, malware, viruses, and most common threats to your information. You can even use their program to monitor your internet and email activity and receive alerts for possible scams.
Save Money Where You Can
College, and even high school, can rack up costs faster than you ever imagine. You shouldn’t be limited in opportunities just because you don’t have the budget to buy high-end software programs. It’s smart to save your cash and look around for free software. The programs on this list can absolutely make your life a little easier when you head back to school this fall.
This piece on free student software for 2021 was written by Eve Maygar. Eve is an expert in higher education. She works as a writer and blogger for PapersOwl. In addition to contributing on this platform, Eve has been published in multiple academic journals. She enjoys providing useful tips and tricks to students who need to stick to a budget.
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