Fifteen Fun, Fabulous, Cheap Date Ideas Smart Money Advice for New High School & College Grads

10 Software Freebies Every College Student Should Know About

June 19th, 2008 admin

Oh, I just love free things, don’t you? So why waste time jabbering… on to the list of fantastic free software!

Free Operating System: Ubuntu (

Tired of messing around trying to get your copy of Vista to work right? If you’re ready for a change, you might want to try the free operating system, Ubuntu-it has several editions, frequent updates, and free tech support. It also has its own web browser, word processor, instant messenger, and other free software.

Free Office Software: OpenOffice (

Need a word processor, spreadsheet software, or a way to build databases–without handing over the hard-earned cash from your last paycheck? OpenOffice is your new (FREE!) best friend. With familiar formatting to other (pricier!) office productivity software, it can usually read any files you may have created/saved in that other office suite. Did I mention it’s free?

Free Sound/Music Editor: Audacity (

Audacity lets you record and edit music or other sound, and supports Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV, and AIFF sound files. You can cut, copy, splice, mix, change speed, add effects, and much more, and… yep, it’s free.

Free Multi-Platform Chat Software: Trillian (download here)

Need any easy way to be able to talk to friends using AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, MSN and IRC all in one place? Trillian–a free, skinnable software that supports all of the above–may be the perfect solution to your problem.

Free YouTube Downloader: YouTube Downloader (download here)

A basic interface that lets you download YouTube files and convert them to other files that you can play on your computer, iPod, phone, etc., so you can take them anywhere. (Just keep it legal.)

Free Spyware/Adware Remover: Ad-Aware (

One of’s top downloads, Ad-Aware is a great addition to your computer-safety campaign. The free home edition (here) helps keep your computer free of ads and spyware.

Free Photo-Editing/Organizing Software: Picasa (

Google’s done it again–for free of course–with this handy photo editor & organizer. Even the most disorganized student should be able to find photos now: Picasa combs your computer for image files & helps you decide where they belong, plus offers the capability to edit and add effects to photos or share them online.

Free PDF-Maker: PrimoPDF (

Super-easy free software that creates PDFs out of hundreds of file types from images to web pages to office software documents.

Free HTML Editor: HTML-Kit (

Whether you dabble in web design or are learning HTML for a course, HTML-Kit is a great free tool–bunches of helpful features, hundreds of free plugins, and even tech support if you need it. I’ve been using it for years and am a big fan (plus it sure beats Notepad!).

Free Budgeting Software: (

Still trying to figure out how to budget? Mint has been a big hit with financial bloggers and magazines alike: it helps track your spending, shows detailed graphs of where the money goes, and helps you learn how you can save. It can even remind you when bills are due!

What are your favorite software freebies?!?

photo: Free Running by nookiez

Add to RSS Feed Add to Technorati Favorites Stumble It! Digg It!

Entry Filed under: computers & tech,discounts deals & freebies

Subscribe Subscribe in a reader
 Subscribe by Email

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. youtube downloader  |  June 19th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    TubeTilla is another Free YouTube downloader and Converter. You can download YouTube videos and convert them to MP3, MP4 and WMV.

  • 2. Benjamin Michael Goering  |  June 26th, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    You spelled Ubuntu wrong twice as uNbuntu. Goofball.

  • 3. Jamie  |  June 26th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    …Oops. That’s embarrassing. Thanks for catching me… I think its fixed now? …at least the links worked. :\

  • 4. Jake  |  July 2nd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I’ve read (and have tried) a great reference organizer called Zotero. It’s great for organization of online references, and it is also free (though it requires the user to use Firefox. It is worth a look though, it could be very helpful for students in college.

    NoteScribe: Premier Note Software

  • 5. Jill  |  July 7th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Oh, wow, thanks!! I’ve been looking for a free PDF maker for a while. *thumbs up*
    And I’ve used Open Office for a couple years now. Definitely my fav writing program.

  • 6. Matt D.  |  July 24th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I love OpenOffice. Why more people don’t know about it is beyond me. Ad-Aware is great, but I usually keep Spybot – Search & Destroy on my computer also. It catches some things Ad-Aware does not (and vice-versa). I can’t wait to try the YouTube downloader. I hadn’t heard of that one before. Great List!!!

  • 7. Jamie  |  July 24th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    @ Matt D: Great point–I also love the Spybot/Ad-aware combo. They each seem to catch what the other misses. Plus a lot of times they seem more thorough than the scanning software you have to pay for.

  • 8. Christina  |  August 20th, 2008 at 6:40 am

    I would definitely use other free IM services rather than Trillian.

    Pidgin is a smaller program that gives you the same results as Trillian without the program to slow your computer. It also offers more IM services like GoogleTalk and ICQ (whoever uses that anymore -_-). It almost runs in the background, and you can click on it when necessary.

    If you like the toots and whistles of AIM, but AIM is too slow, Digsby actually has a MySpace, Facebook, and e-mail checker on it’s IM service, in case you need to know about everything at once without actually going to the website. Also a small program, but larger than Pidgin.

    I’d rather not use Trillian. It likes to crash a lot for no reason.

    Also, if you’re tech-savvy, ClamWin is a great virus scanner. After the scan, it gives you where the files are so you can delete them yourself. After running against popular virus scanners like Norton and McAfee, it came out as catching 100% of the viruses in the test computer. I personally love it.

    Also, not really a virus cleaner, but this will clean out your computer of lots of unnecessary files, free up space, and speed your computer up tremendously! CCleaner (formly known as CrapCleaner) gets old installation files, file extensions you don’t use anymore, cookies, internet temp files, etc. out of your computer with one click. You can also delete all unnecessary startup programs on your computer to have it startup a whole lot faster.

    As a techie who cleans college students’ computers the most, I found the above help me keep computers running fast – and they’re all FREE!

  • 9. Jamie  |  August 20th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    @ Christina: Wow! Thank you for the awesome resources!

  • 10. DragoneMoby  |  August 20th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    May I add ?

    1. FileZilla to upload files to your server via ftp

    2. ScreenHunter 5 to capture pictures on your computer screen

  • 11. Michelle  |  August 22nd, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    A good free anti-virus software is AVG Free!

  • 12. Adrianne  |  October 10th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    the site I posted in the URL bar is called OpenCanvas 1.1
    Again, site is

    It’s a free download for a painting program. Better than MS paint by millions and you can create some AMAZING things with it. ^__^ I’m in love with this program and it will work for anyone who wants a computer program to sketch, color, draw with but don’t have money for Photoshop or Illustrator!!!

    check out stuff I made at

    Enjoy this program!!!!


  • 13. Jamuko  |  June 7th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Um.. I checked out that Mint one because I’d never heard of it and I knew the others on this page (and love them). I got a bit wary when it asked for my bank login, so I held off. Unfortunately, by the time I got to that point I had made an account with my email, and now I’m getting spam. :/

    Extremely sketchy..

  • 14. Jamie  |  June 10th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    @Jamuko: Thanks for the spam tip. That is pretty lame. I have only had it recommended to me and was unaware. Thanks for sharing with other readers.

  • 15. Read This Link » 10&hellip  |  January 9th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    […] 10 Software Freebies Every College Student Should Know About […]

  • 16. John  |  January 17th, 2010 at 12:19 am


    There has to be a mistake. Mint is now what used to be Quicken Online. If I were to guess I’d say it’s the top 5 most popular budget software people use, besides it’s free. No way it’s a scam/spyware/etc.

  • 17. Maria  |  July 14th, 2010 at 8:25 pm allows you to create your own ribgtones out of song you can upload yourself- or use the ones already there. It has many formats including mp3 and m4a for iphones.

Leave a Comment


Required, hidden

Surviving College Life is a drama-free zone and reserves the right to remove any inappropriate, spammy, or malicious comments. If you want to critique a post or it's content, we ask that you do so in a helpful way. Also, comments are held for moderation, so they may not appear on the site right away.

Some HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


FREE College Tips E-Newsletter!

Receive a FREE E-Newsletter from Fox College Funding®, with powerful tips on how to avoid paying the full price for college in each issue.

Get FREE Help with the FAFSA!

Share Your Thoughts About SCL

Suggestion Box
Your Post Topic Wishlist



Popular Posts

College Blogs

Recent Posts