FinTech Apps for College Students

FinTech Apps for College Students (Part 1)

Michigan FinTech has recently launched at the University of Michigan. But why exactly should college students care about FinTech?

We wanted to make it tangible for our members.

We had mentioned in our initial posts that FinTech is enabling consumer products that are superiorly designed, remarkably efficient, and wonderfully personalized. In this series, we’ll run through some of the top FinTech apps that we believe College Students should have on their radar. From Personal Financial Management (PFMs), to Automated Wealth Management, Trading and Cryptocurrencies, we give you Part 1 of our series.

  1. RobinHood (Wealth Management)

Robinhood is a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell stocks with no commission. Yes, you can now buy and sell stocks for free. With over 2 million users and a 1.3B valuation, Robinhood’s mission is to democratize access to financial systems. You can download the app on iOS or Android, and start trading within a few minutes. You can also opt to receive updates on key events and gain insights into market. For a small flat rate fee, you can also upgrade to Robinhood Gold, giving you access to premium features.

For a student interested in learning more about stocks, Robinhood is the perfect solution. It’s convenient, elegantly designed (Apple Design of the Year), simple to use, and takes away unnecessary commissions tacked onto traditional transactions on the market.

Definitely try out Robinhood if you’re interested in learning about the financial markets. New to Robinhood and want free stock? Use this referral link to sign up and get a free share of stock like Apple, Ford or Sprint when you join!

2. Coinbase (Cryptocurrency)

If you’ve been following recent news, you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin, the recent rise-and-fall (and rise and…) of cryptocurrencies, or maybe even China’s recent ban on ICO’s. There’s been an extreme influx of interest in cryptocurrencies recently, which this company has definitely benefitted from. Coinbase is the world’s largest digital currency exchange platform allowing users to instantly and securely buy and sell digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Some stats showing coinbase’s reach and volume traded

With this platform, the barriers to buy and sell digital currencies are lowered, making it easy for people like you and me to be a part of Finance 2.0. It works on mobile and web, offers secure storage of all funds, and gives your the power to exchange instantly between fiat currency (USD) and cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH and LTC). With over 20B in digital currency exchanged, 32 countries supported and 10.5M customers served, why wouldn’t you want to try this out?

Coinbase and the team from our event this past weekend!

3. MoneyLion (Personal Finance Management & Personal Loans)

Ever have the feeling you’re spending too much money lately? I have, especially after going to Pizza House for the 3rd time in 2 weeks. Ushering in the golden age of consumer finance, MoneyLion can help you monitor your spending, check your credit score, and give personalized suggestions on how to save more money. Their mission is to deliver the power of artificial intelligence to the masses through actionable and holistic financial insights. In an effort to make money more approachable, MoneyLion also launched a new AR (augmented reality) feature called “Grow Your Stack” (iOS 11), allowing users to tangibly visualize their savings and project it onto a real-time environment.

Some images from MoneyLion’s app, which shows a few features of the app

By using this app, students can have a better idea of how they’re spending their money. So over time, they can determine where they’re spending most of their money and make changes to save some much needed cash. In addition, students can get a quick and simple rate for a personal loan using MoneyLion. With a free app for iOS and Android, and an intuitive user interface, MoneyLion can help college students manage their personal finances and boost their credit.

4. Acorns (Wealth Management)

Acorns is a FinTech app that allows users to effortlessly invest their spare change (a.k.a. passive investing). How does it work? Simple. After opening an account and linking your debit/credit cards, Acorns rounds up the spare change on each purchase and instantly invests into a diversified portfolio of index funds based on your risk preferences. With Acorns, consumers can avoid the hassle of carrying around extra change and use it to invest.

An example of an Acorns account portfolio. The 5 portfolios range from Conservative to Aggressive, and all have different distributions of investments.

Acorns is a great way to start investing, especially for students. By starting to invest in very incremental amounts, it gives students practice managing their money and investing before investing with larger amounts. Acorns has both a web and mobile platform, and is free for college students with a valid .edu address for up to four years from date of registration. Can it get much better?

Free $5 for your first investment in Acorns!

Check out Part 2 of our series here!

Have a FinTech app you use that you want to share with our community? Email us at!