Back to school deals on software, apps, and textbooks

Alas, all good things must eventually come to an end. As summer comes to a close it’s time to start preparing for the return to school in a few short weeks.

Gone are the days when back to school shopping meant picking binders, stacks of lined paper, pens, and pencils. Today’s students need digital tools for a digital campus.

Here’s a quick look at some great must-have apps and services that will make the return to school easier and more affordable than ever.

Cloud-based software

If you’re doing any kind of graphic design or video work in the fall, you can avoid paying through the nose for costly software like Photoshop and InDesign with a single all-in-one student discount on Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription. For $20US per month, you get access to Adobe’s library of creative apps, both desktop and mobile.

Free alternatives to essential software

Microsoft offers its own student discounts on essential software like Office, Word, and Excel, and the discount is pretty good. In fact, if you have a valid school or student email address, you can snag Microsoft Office 365 for free. If for whatever reason you’re not eligible, there are other free options available, including LibreOffice and Ableword, both of which are compatible with Word formatting and documents.


Ask any college student, past or present, what the most demoralizing aspect of paying for school is and they’ll say textbooks. Textbooks are expensive. Super expensive. But if you’re a savvy online shopper and take the time to look for digital versions of your assigned reading materials, you can often find them on eBook subscription services for far cheaper than if you were to buy them individually. Some options include Chegg, VitalSource, and Scribd


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