Highly recommend a bottle of Lexol ($5-6) and a tin of Kiwi ($2) and you are good to go. Combine them with a rag and a horsehair brush ($10) and you have the start of a shoe shine kit that will last you for years.
+1 on this for a college kid. You don't need to be spending money on (or even learning about) obscure and expensive shoe polish. Meltonian is a creme (cream?) and works fine. Cremes have more luster and less shine than wax-based polishes such as Kiwi, but Kiwi will do you fine and it's less goopy than a cream, so a little less messy. I would recommend two rags, one to put on the polish (using one finger) and one for buffing. Or you can buy a horsehair dauber for about $2.50. Another tip, and this may seem extreme, but I wear a cheap surgical gloves on the hand applying the polish. That shit is a bitch to get out of the tip of your finger. Good luck.