Having a smartphone puts apps that make your life more efficient just a few taps away. As a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, there are many apps you can use to improve your experience as a student. Here are six of our top picks
1. Via, a ride sharing app.
Via is a ride sharing app available on iOS and Android. It costs $3 per drop off and will take you to most places within Arlington city limits. If you’ve recently moved to Arlington, you probably realized by now there is no bus service; Via is the alternative.
Via runs during the hours of 6am to 9pm Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm on Saturday and does not operate on Sundays. Ideally, Via comes in handy for trips to the store, bank or other errands you may need to run throughout the day.
It’s a great alternative to Uber, which can put a strain on your bank account. The average wait time can span from 5 to 15 minutes. Although, during it’s peak hours of operation (typically lunch time on weekdays), the wait time can range from thirty minutes to an hour, therefore planning accordingly is key.
It’s also important to keep safety in mind when using Via. The pick up and drop off points aren’t always necessarily curated to your exact location, so be mindful when crossing busy streets. Most Via drivers utilize the company vehicles that has the Via logo on it, while some drivers use their personal vehicle. Always double check the license plate before approaching a vehicle.
The WildFire app, available for iOS and Android, is a great way to stay connected with the University and Arlington community as a whole. In order to join the UTA specific community, you have to register with your Mavs email; all students should receive an invite in their inbox at the beginning of the fall semester.
Wildfire allows people to post to different subgroups with topics ranging from campus life to memes. This app comes in handy because you can get alerts about events on campus or when inconveniences, like the very frequent WiFi outages, arise. Students can even stay up-to-date about emergencies in the UTA and Arlington community (although, this app is NOT an official channel for emergency alerts and all UTA students should register their phone number for MavAlerts).
At it’s root, this app creates a central place for UTA students to be real with each other and truly connect with each other on an easy to navigate platform. It’s a great resource to get quick advice from fellow Mavericks.
This app is essential to staying connected at UTA. While available on Android and iOS, it’s also accessible from your laptop, desktop and tablet.
Mavericks use GroupMe to create group-chats for their classes and stay connected within their organizations. If you live on campus, most RAs will create a floor chat and it’s a great way to connect with you hall-mates.
You can register on GroupMe using your email, phone number, or Facebook account.
4. Various Fast Food Reward Apps
Mavericks have access to many fast food restaurants right here on campus and as college students, are always looking for ways to save money (and get free food).
Downloading the app for the fast food restaurants on and around campus that you frequent will allow you to accumulate free treats at various restaurants and save your hard earned cash.
Some apps highly recommended are Panera, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Sonic, and Whataburger. When you sign up for Panera’s reward program, you instantly earn a free pastry – what’s not to love about that? Sonic and Whataburger regularly offer free treats and discounts that don’t require purchases or a set amount of visits.
Keeping a variety of reward apps handy on your smartphone will keep your bank account and belly full.
DineOnCampus, available for iOS and Android, is essential for Mavericks who live on campus and will definitely keep busy commuter students connected to campus life.
This app gives you access to a list of all available dining options on campus (excluding College Park Center locations). It comes in handy especially for the Connection Cafe and Maverick Cafe because it allows you to view the items on the menu for each meal period, so you can decide if you want what’s being served without wasting time and a meal swipe.
DineOnCampus also provides the hours for the various dining locations on campus. Again, this comes in handy because who wants to walk all the way across campus just to find their favorite restaurant is closed? It is especially helpful on the weekends when the dining locations hours vary greatly and can be a bit difficult to keep up with.
6. MavOrgs and Event Pass
This isn’t technically an app, but it’s an essential that surprisingly many UTA students don’t have much knowledge about. In a nutshell, MavOrgs is a database containing the numerous organizations registered on campus. Event pass is used by most organizations on campus to check students into events.
MavOrgs is a great tool to utilize because it allows you to research and find organizations that you might be interested in. All you need to do is sign in with your Net ID and you will have a plethora of diverse organizations at your finger tips.
MavOrgs also lists different events going on around campus. So, if you ever find yourself bored on campus, pull out your smartphone or laptop and get searching on MavOrgs.
Speaking of attending events on campus, you will need your Event Pass to get in to most of them. Event Pass can be accessed by click the circle in the top right corner that will have your first initial it.
To avoid having to sign into MavOrgs every time you need to get into an event using your Pass, save it to your phone by taking a screenshot of it, or saving it to your Apple or Google Wallet.
Downloading these six apps will keep you connected to the UTA community, whether you’re a part-time or full-time, on campus or commuter Maverick.
I'M CURRENTLY A COLLEGE FRESHMAN STUDYING JOURNALISM AND FIGURING OUT LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME.