50 Great College Student Discounts
Managing your money is tough in college. You don't have much, but you still want to attend events, go shopping, and eat out with your friends.
If you are a current or future college student looking to save money whenever possible, you've come to the right place. If you are the parent of a current or future college student, you are also in the right place.
Luckily, there are numerous stores, websites, and companies that offer discounts and coupons to students. The sad part is, students and their parents don't always realize this. 21 percent of parents who have students in college use coupons to buy them supplies, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. If you don't know about student discounts in your area, you may be missing out on a ton of savings.
For this reason, I have come up with 50 of the best student discounts within ten different categories for the upcoming year. If you want to save money on everything from clothes and books to flights and insurance, read on for more information.
School Supplies & Subscriptions
College students need school supplies, bedding, textbooks, and certain subscriptions to thrive in school. If you're looking for such necessities, you'll be happy to know your student status will get you a significant discount on such necessities. Always check to see which discounts are offered on certain websites and in certain stores before making a purchase. It could save you a couple of hundred dollars.
1. Barnes & Noble
If you are a member of studentrate.com, you can save 90 percent on used textbooks at Barnes & Noble. Sign up is free and will allow you to get 6 percent of your cash back on every purchase. The cash gets deposited into your account a day or two after. They also provide free textbook rental returns.
2. Bed, Bath & Beyond
First, you can get 4 percent cash back when shopping on the website if you're registered with studentrate.com. Second, you can sign up for coupons on their website to save hundreds of dollars on bedding and other supplies for college. The student life section of their site will immediately ask you for an email upon arrival. Sign up to receive coupons via email and begin saving.
Amazon is one of the easiest and cheapest places to buy textbooks, chargers, and just about anything else. In fact, Statista says it's the number one e-retailer with a total of $107 billion in net sales throughout the United States in 2015. If you're a student, they'll give you six whole months of Amazon Prime for free. You can save $420 and get free two-day shipping on all orders. If you want to explore other options, check out textbook rental comparisons.
4. The New York Times
The New York Times offers student discounts on their monthly subscriptions, which is often necessary for school. When you subscribe, you agree to pay just a dollar a week until you want to cancel. Your subscription comes with unlimited access to their website and apps.
5. The Wall Street Journal
If you need a subscription to The Wall Street Journal for class, it won't cost much. As a student, you will only have to pay a dollar a week for just fifteen weeks.
Student Credit Cards
If you want a credit card for college, make sure it's a student credit card. Many credit card companies offer rewards and special rates to college students when they apply for a card. Read through the best student credit cards for in-depth reviews of each company listed here.
6. Discover Card
Discover will give you a pass on your first missed payment. They will not charge you over-limit fees, annual fees or transaction fees. With Discover, you can receive up to 5 percent cash back in certain categories each quarter. Categories include gas, restaurants and more.
7. Citi Thank You Preferred Card
This card has a rewards program that uses Thank You Points. You get 2,500 Thank You Points if you spend over $500 in the first three months of your service. You can also acquire Thank You Points when you use your card at certain places. You can redeem your points for pretty much anything you want.
8. Capital One Journey Student Rewards
This card gives students up to 1.25 percent cash back on their bill each month if it's paid on time. There are no annual or transaction fees.
In 2015, a survey by ID.me concluded that 77 percent of college students were likely to buy products and services from companies offering student discounts. When I was in college, we got 10 percent off at the local ice cream parlor, fast food chains, and all of the pizza places in town. It definitely kept us coming back.
If you're in a college town, ask about a student discount when you pay your bill. Just remember to always carry your student ID with you. If you don't eat out often, it's also useful to learn how to reduce your grocery bill.
You can get 10 percent off with Subway's student discount if you ask about it at participating locations.
10. Hard Rock Café
If you have an international student ID card, you can get your own discounted menu at the Hard Rock.
Chick-fil-A will give you a free drink for being a student if you show you ID.
You can also get a free drink at Chipotle.
13. Burger King
You may be able to get 10 percent off at your Burger King with a student discount. Just ask when you pay.
Many McDonald's also offer 10 percent off if you show your student ID.
15. Waffle House
You can also get 10 percent off at Waffle House.
16. Buffalo Wild Wings
Ask for the 10 percent off discount at Buffalo Wild Wings as well.
Show your student ID to get a 10 percent off discount at participating Arby's.
Cell Phone Plans
Certain cell phone providers actually offer discounted rates for students on purchases and plans. Make sure to check with your provider before you pay more than necessary for a plan or a new smartphone. You should also check out some other tips to save money on your cell phone bill.
Click here to enter your student email and see if you're eligible for a discount on a Verizon cell phone plan. You could be eligible to receive $50 back on your new smartphone, free shipping and $65 cash back. Just make sure you're signed up with studentrate.com.
Similar to Verizon, you can go to their website and type in your email here to see if you're eligible for student discounts on an AT&T cell phone plan. If so, you can save huge on your monthly bills from now on.
With a T-Mobile cell phone plan student discounts can save up to $60 on a smartphone purchase. You will also not have to pay an activation fee. To see if you qualify, call 1-844-301-2425 and make sure you have at least half-an-hour to determine eligibility.
Sprint may also offer a student discount. You could be eligible for unlimited data at just $10 more a month if you're a student. Go to the Student Discount Program section of their site and type in your Sprint phone number to see if you qualify. If you buy a smartphone, you could get a year of free talk, text, and 1 GB of data. According to their website, though, many of Sprint's cell phone plans are discounted already and don't qualify for more.
If you're a student, you could be saving money on your car insurance. Some insurance companies are known to charge more per month for young drivers, according to DMV.org. Others know this and want to help you out as much as they can.
These providers offer good student discounts to full-time students that get decent grades. If you have at least a "B" average as a full-time student, you should look into car insurance discounts. You should also read into how to save money on car insurance right now.
You can cut your car insurance bill by 15 percent with Geico car insurance if you're a full-time student under 25 with a "B" average. Their website says you can save from $100-$200 by switching to them. Get a free quote to see for yourself.
With Allstate car insurance, your grades really matter. If you have a "B" average and are considered a full-time student, you can save up to 20 percent on your car insurance. Make sure to ask an agent about it.
24. State Farm
Similar to Allstate, State Farm likes to reward students for good grades. You may be eligible for up to 25 percent discount if you do well in school.
Certain transportation companies offer significant student discounts. For access to such discounts, though, you may have to purchase a Student Advantage card.
Student Advantage Cards require a membership. You pay $20 for one year of membership. The price goes up to $10 for a two-year membership, another $10 for three years, and another $10 for four years. Once you're a member, you get exclusive student deals on products and services from a multitude of brand name companies in various industries.
25. Local Trains and Buses
Public transportation may offer student discounts in your area. Make sure to ask about this before you buy rides in bulk. It could end up saving you a lot of money.
26. Coach USA
If you can find your school on their list, you are eligible to receive travel discounts with Coach. Just make sure you can provide your student ID. You can check their site to find which schools they service and what kind of discount you'll receive depending on your journey.
Greyhound buses offer discounts to students with Student Advantage Cards. If you have one, you will receive 10 percent off of any fare you purchase.
Hotel & Travel Discounts
If you are an avid traveler, hotel and travel discounts for students could save you a lot of money. You can save on travel insurance, flights, hotels, tours and more with certain travel discount and hotels deals.
Certain hotels like Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge participate with Student Advantage Cards. If you have a membership, you can get up to 15 percent off of your next hotel stay in any participating hotel.
29. STA Travel
Travel companies help plan your trip so you can avoid the hassle. STA is one of the world's leading travel companies for students and has been around since 1979, according to their website. If you're younger than 26, you will receive solid discounts on flights, hotels, hostels, traveler's insurance and transportation by signing up for STA Travel.
Student Universe is a unique discount travel site for students. It's free to sign up. Once you do, you will have access to discounts on over 75 airlines, thousands of hostels and hotels, and even tours for your vacation. You must be an 18-25-year old student to be eligible.
Electronics & Software
Many electronics and software companies offer fantastic discounts to students for their business. If you're going to school or need some new gadgets, see if you're eligible to save some money.
Apple gives amazing discounts for students and parents who are buying for their college students. You can save 5 percent or more on Apple products with education pricing. If you buy a new Mac, you'll save $200 as a student. You'll also receive a $100 Apple gift card to use on applications and other Apple products with your new laptop. If you buy a phone, you can get a credit of $50 to spend.
32. Best Buy
You can save hundreds of dollars with Best Buy's great deals for students. They have a College Student Deals Program in which you can sign up and receive coupons straight to your email. If you are eligible for their student deals, you could save up to $300 on a new laptop.
Microsoft offers great deals on their software, which is vital for college. You can get Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and more for only $126 with their student discount. Also receive 10 percent or more off on most Microsoft products. Find your school on their site to determine if you're eligible.
Dell has always offered solid discounts to students. Their discount program is called Dell University. Go to the site and type in your school's Member ID to gain access to discounts, which include the discounts on the Microsoft programs mentioned above.
If you're planning on doing some school shopping, make sure you get your discount. One mistake I made in college was not checking to see about student discounts before going to the mall. Now it hurts to see how much I could have saved. Don't let it happen to you. Here are some of the best clothing stores that offer discounts for students.
35. Charlotte Russe
Charlotte Russe will give you a 10 percent discount at the register if you show them your student ID. They don't advertise it on their website, so make sure to ask. You can also get 4 percent cash back by signing up for studentrate.com.
36. American Eagle
If you sign up at studentrate.com, you can get 5 percent cash back on all purchases at American Eagle.
37. Forever 21
Forever 21 will give a 10 percent discount to students. Just make sure to ask at the register and know their return policy (no returns or exchanges).
With Toms, you can also get up to 10 percent of your cash back for being a student. It doesn't hurt that they'll give a pair of shoes to someone in need when you buy a pair. Just make an account with studentrate.com.
39. Champs Sports
Champs sports offers 10 percent off only on purchases of $50 or more for students. Make sure you show your ID at the register.
40. Banana Republic
Get 15 percent off of full-priced merchandise with Banana Republic's student discount. Just ask and provide your student ID at checkout.
41. Anne Taylor
You can save 15 percent off of your full-priced purchase when you shop at Anne Taylor as well.
Things to do Around Town
There are likely plenty of events and shows that offer student discounts in your local area. Check your local newspaper or do a Google search to seek out such events near you. If you're not sure, bring your student ID and ask about a discount at the door. You could save a significant amount of money by remembering to ask about a student discount wherever you go.
42. Movie Theaters
Many movie theaters offer student discounts if you can provide a student ID. Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, for example, both have student discount programs. You can save a couple bucks with these. Keep in mind, though, they're not offered in every theater. You can check to see if Cinemark theaters near you offer discounts by typing in your zip code on their site. You can do the same on the Regal Cinemas website.
Many museums offer significantly lower prices for students. For example, if you go to the Modern Museum of Art in New York City, you can save $10 on your ticket with a student ID. You will pay $14 instead of $24.
Depending on what town or city you live in, there may be student discounts for events in your area. Always check and make sure if you want to save a couple bucks. If you want to see a Broadway Play in Chicago, for instance, you can get a ticket for just $15 as a student, according to TimeOut Chicago.
The same goes for concerts. Check to see if local concerts offer discount prices for students. If you're in a college town, it's likely they will.
46. Professional Sporting Events
Professional sporting events like baseball and hockey may also provide discounts to students. Discounts usually depend on the team and where you live. For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates give package tickets to students with valid IDs. You can pay $20 for a ticket to the game, a t-shirt, and a $10 voucher for food and drinks, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
47. College Sporting Events
You will usually pay less for college sporting events as well, seeing as you're a college student. Show your student ID at the ticket booth to make sure you get your discount.
Shipping can be pricey, especially for a college student. If you ship with FedEx, though, you will receive 20-30 percent off of the cost to ship. Just show them your student ID and they will apply the discount. Every FedEx offers discounts for students.
49. Tax Refund
You can even get a tax deduction for being a student, according to IRS.gov. If your parent claims you as a dependent on their tax form, they will receive the refund for you. Otherwise, you can claim tuition and fees you or your parents have paid throughout the year. This will result in tax deductions and tax credits, allowing you to pay less in taxes.
50. Nail and Beauty Salons
If you live in a college town, it's possible that your local nail and beauty salons provide discounts for students. For instance, a number of salons in the area surrounding New York University in Manhattan offer discounts for students with a valid ID and studentrate.com membership. Always check to see if you can save some cash with your student status.
Recap - Get Out & Start Saving
If you're in college and always looking to save, bring your student ID everywhere you go. It never hurts to ask about a discount. It could end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year on school supplies, textbooks, electronics, clothes, food and more.
50 Great College Student Discounts FAQs
Are there sites specifically designated for student discounts?
If you are in the process of getting your undergraduate or graduate degrees, you probably feel as though everything is expensive and all you seem to do is rack up more and more student loan debt that seems like it will never go away. With the cost of an education today, you would not be remiss in feeling this way.
However, as a student, you do have the opportunity to save money while you are in school, and you should take advantage of these opportunities when they arise. Our top five student deal sites show you how you can save on anything from computers, to clothes.
Not only that, many of them have giveaways that you can enter for free and earn cash back or items you need to enhance your learning experience like an iPad. Before you think of going to the store, whether it is a brick and mortar store or an online store, check these sites for the deals and opportunities that they have available for you.
It may take extra time to go through this process; however, as your student loan debt is running up, it's important to find cost saving measures wherever possible. You should think of the time that you spend finding deals as money that you are earning just as you would on a job, and sometimes for just a minimal effort, you can save tens of hundreds of dollars.
How can I save money while in school?
Getting a college education is an expensive endeavor these days; however, while you are in college, you need to make sure that you take advantage of all of the opportunities you have to save. The first step in saving money while in school is to make sure that you obtain a student identification card. When you present your student identification card in locations from a movie theater to a museum, you will get instantaneous savings. Even if you are visiting an establishment that does not highlight student discounts, ask the representative if they are available. You would be surprised at how many companies want to give you a break while you are in school.
Other than taking advantage of deals that are available to you as a student, you need to make sure that you practice proper budgeting while you are getting your education. Setting specific and achievable financial goals and then holding yourself accountable to them by only utilizing cash or prepaid debit cards is a great way to make sure that you are not overspending while you are in school.
College is a great place to make lifelong friends, and you should make sure you surround yourself with people who respect your savings mentality and help you achieve your goals. It is fun to go out, but maybe you can host game nights in or rent movies in your room rather than going out to the movies. If you live off-campus and need to pay for food, perhaps you can host group dinners in and have your friends contribute to the cost of the meals.
While you are in school and learning what you need to prepare yourself for your career, make sure that you are taking the time to teach yourself proper money and savings habits, knowing where you get student discounts, proper budgeting and saving with friends are great ways to keep your costs low and your savings high. Plus you will develop healthy financial behaviors that will benefit you the rest of your adult life.