Image via Phil Humnicky/Georgetown University

We’re well into August and that means school is just around the corner. While packing bags and preparing for the return to the classroom, most students are going to be just as focused on making sure their smartphones are prepared too, with the apps they’ll need to survive the school year ahead. We picked out six apps any student in the D.C. area would be wise to have handy to make their time at school as great as possible. Sorry, textbooks will still be expensive.


Scholly, – Created by Drexel University student Christopher Gray, Scholly is an an application to help students find college scholarships. The app adapts to users, helping them find scholarships they are qualified for without a lot of extra effort and paperwork. It speeds up the process and helps avoid dead-end applications to scholarships that don’t fit for the user. The startup won the Cupid’s Cup Business Competition this year, so expect to see its presence grow quickly.

DateMySchool – Though dating apps are pretty universal at this point, students hoping to keep their romantic life focused on campus can use DateMySchool, which requires authentication of students and alumni with university emails or other proof before letting people use it. Users can filter their prospects by schools and even departments and other factors for their dating preferences. It’s free although there’s a subscription option for premium service too.


 TipSoft – TipSoft allows individuals on school grounds to submit crime tips anonymously to campus police. It uses location tracking to find the nearest law enforcement and user can send it pictures and video along with the tip. Law enforcement can also engage in real-time chats with the tip provider as needed. TipSoft been adopted already by local schools such as the University of Virginia.


 Tapingo – Tapingo is an app originally designed to help college students get food quickly. The app lets users place orders for pick-up, offering estimates of how long it will be for the pick-up. It uses an integrated payment service for credit cards, but also offers a way to let colleges use their meal plan system on the app as a payment. The app is available at nearly 100 schools, including local universities Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University and George Mason University.

RefME – Built by a dyslexic student who’d been having trouble with his schoolwork, RefME is a citation tool, aimed at making the process as automatic as possible. The app and Web tool has more than 7,000 referencing and citation systems, and lets users look up whatever it is they are citing online or by scanning a the barcode of a source to figure out what it is and how to cite it appropriately. That could save a lot of time when it comes to writing papers for class.

LiveSafe – Based out of Arlington, the LiveSafe app crowdsources information for public safety and targets college campuses in particular for its use. Like TipSoft, LiveSafe lets users send anonymous tips along with related media to law enforcement. The app is used by Georgetown University, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech, among others.