Being a college student is not easy on the pocketbook. Between tuition, books, housing and all the other necessities, it often feels like that student aid check can’t come fast enough. While being broke and eating Ramen noodles is just a part of the college experience, there are ways to use that student ID to your advantage.
Many retailers, movie theaters and restaurants offer student discounts, but not all of them are advertised, so it’s always smart to ask. This is especially important at local, independent establishments, as they are often looking for ways to stay competitive with the corporate giants out there.
Check out some of the best student discounts below.
• J. Crew offers a 15 percent discount (in-store only) for both students and educators on full-price items. Bring in a valid ID and you’re set.
• TOMS, the popular footwear brand, already donates a pair of shoes to someone in need when you purchase a pair, but if you need another reason to buy these sustainable shoes, students get various discounts depending on the day. You can expect discounts like free shipping to 10 percent off.
• The Limited offers a similar student savings program as J. Crew, giving students 15 percent off of any in-store purchase, and the discount is extended to military members as well.
• Eddie Bauer, a favorite of outdoors enthusiasts across the country, gives students 15 percent off with a valid college ID. This applies to full-priced items and is in-store only, but hey, something is better than nothing.
• Urban Outfitters caters to its millennial customers, especially with their bohemian clothes and sarcastic art prints. Students can get a 10 percent discount by signing up on the company’s website or flashing a college ID inside the store.
• Ann Taylor and its younger sister store, Loft, both offer 15 percent discounts for students. This could definitely come in handy when it’s time to interview for internships.
• Club Monaco is a classy retailer with prices just slightly out of reach for the average college student. Luckily, they offer 20 percent off full priced and sale items, both in-store and online. Put this discount to work after you get that degree, but before your student ID expires, and you’ll look career ready in no time.
• Banana Republic is popular among young adults, but it can be a tad on the pricier side. Luckily, you can flash a student or educator ID at checkout to get 15 percent off of your purchase.
• Juicy Couture has been a staple of college campuses since their velour tracksuits hit the scene a decade ago. Show a valid college ID at a Juicy Couture store for 15 percent off.
• Goodwill is popular with anyone looking for a good deal on gently used clothes. Student IDs can get customers a 10 percent discount at participating Goodwill locations, while a donation of unwanted clothes or furniture may also get you savings coupons.
• Apple has several different discount programs for both students and educators. The offers vary, so the best bet is to make an appointment with a Genius to check on the best discounts available.
• Microsoft is much like Apple, in that they offer various discounts on equipment and software for students. Many colleges and universities participate in a program with Microsoft in order to make Office 365 available for free, so be sure to search for your school on the Microsoft website.
• Dell is one of the big back-to-school PC makers, as they offer a plethora of savings options for students of all ages. The fact that the company is already on the lower end in terms of pricing means that the additional student discounts could really add up.
• Lenovo has an Academic Purchase Program dedicated to getting students connected to the technology they need without the sticker shock. Discounts vary and often depend on your college, so make sure to search on their website.
• Best Buy does not require a student ID to receive discounts; instead, sign up on their website with a .edu email address for access to special coupons and savings opportunities.
• Norton offers up to 50 percent off of their popular anti-virus software for students, ensuring that all sensitive data (and selfies) stay where they belong.
• Adobe Creative Cloud is available for just $19.99 for both students and educators, allowing access to some of the finest design software around. Get this deal and take your presentation game up a notch.
• Amazon Prime has an incredible deal for students – get a six month trial for free, after which the service drops to an astonishing 50 percent discount, giving students free two-day shipping and access to Prime streaming video and e-book libraries.
• FedEx, while not exactly technology, is still a useful service for students and faculty alike. The courier’s student discount program can get customers up to 30 percent off of various services.
• AMC Theaters offers special student rates on Thursdays. Since many other local theaters also offer student days, check into both the corporate and independent cinemas in your area to find out about their discounts.
• Cinemark movie theaters almost all offer some sort of student discount. Their website has a searchable page to find the theater – and discount – closest to you.
• Professional sports of all types offer student discounts both through the league and universities themselves. For example, UCLA students can get cheap Clippers tickets while teams like the Minnesota Twins have student nights, where standing-room only tickets are just $5 with a valid ID.
• Performing arts venues in many areas often have student and educator “rush” nights. These performances have lotteries for those with college IDs, with winners getting free or deeply discounted tickets – even to Broadway shows!
• Chipotle gives those with a valid student ID a free drink with purchase, although each location’s participation varies.
• Chick-fil-A, just like Chipotle, offers a free beverage with purchase, as long as you flash that ID at certain locations.
• Subway is the largest fast-food chain in America in terms of number of locations, and is definitely a favorite among poor college students. But stretch that $5 even further with a 10% student ID discount at participating locations.
• Buffalo Wild Wings is already a popular hot spot for students given their many wing flavors, but the 10 percent off with college ID seals the deal at certain locations.
• Arby’s is another popular fast-food restaurant that offers a 10 percent discount with a valid student ID. Like other franchise restaurants, participation may vary.
• Dairy Queen encourages its franchisees to offer a 10 percent student discount. While not every single location participates, most do, so go ahead and get that Dilly Bar.
• Sam’s Club offers a $15 gift card when signing up for their collegiate membership. While some young people are reluctant to shop at big-box bulk stores because of their membership fees, they can actually help save a lot of money on certain products and services, including gasoline, prescription drugs and even personalized cakes.
• Jiffy Lube gives students several discounts for oil changes and repairs, perfect for when your ’95 Toyota is starting to make funny noises.
• Amtrak offers 10 percent off fares for anyone with the Student Advantage Card. In addition to train travel discounts, this card also offers members savings on everything from food to textbooks.
• ISIC is an internationally recognized discount card, which proves your student status in over 125 countries, and offers discounts on tens of thousands of attractions across the globe. Now all you have to do is convince your parents to let you go!
• Cheapoair is an airline travel site that offers student-rate fares at deep discounts, especially if you have flexible travel dates.
• OneTravel is similar to Cheapoair, offering low-priced flights through several carriers. The prices are generally inline with Cheapoair, though they are competitors so you may catch a lower price on one versus the other.
• State Farm is indeed a good neighbor, offering a special good student discount for car insurance, which can save you up to 25 percent for good grades.
• Esurance also offers a good student discount, which is determined by grades. The company also gives a discount to students or alum of certain Pac-12 schools, so check to see if your school is on the list.
• Allstate has generous good student discounts, offering up to 20 percent off of premiums for earning those As. They also offer an additional 10 percent discount for teenage drivers who complete the teenSMART program.
• Nationwide is on college students’ sides with their good student discounts. Young people aged 16 to 24 qualify, as long as they maintain at least a B average.
Phones and Plans
• Sprint offers special discounts for students who are enrolled at participating colleges and universities. There are a lot of schools on the list, so be sure to see if you qualify. They also offer teacher discounts.
• Verizon works like Sprint and ATT, in that they offer discounts based on the school you attend. If your school is not on the discount list, see if you can get onto a family plan with legit family or trustworthy friends.
• Cricket Wireless is a relatively new player in the wireless game, but their prices are hard to beat. Their student plan offers unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month – a steal when compared with the average monthly cell phone bill of $100.
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