Best Student DiscountsReviewAdvice

Best Student Discounts for 2016

Looking for the best student discounts? We review the top sites to find student savings and deals

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College Student Discounts

With the simple click of a button, the internet can unlock a world of money saving possibilities for the ordinary college student. While there may be thousands of sites designed to trim the excess costs off of things like textbooks and other college essentials, it may be difficult to identify which sites are trustworthy or provide the quality of goods that you're looking for. Rather than testing the waters firsthand, we've done some of the legwork for you.

To ease the selection process and make things a little easier on you, we've compiled a list of the best resources based on a few key components. Keep in mind the organization's ratings, platform navigation, and service quality. Read on below to see what's in store for you and your pocket book.

Best Student Discounts - What to Consider

Key questions to keep in mind while browsing the list of providers include:

  • Are the deals and discounts up to date and accurate?
  • Are there discounts on pricier supplies like textbooks?
  • Is the site easy to navigate and can I locate the items I need?
  • Does it offer a mobile app for savings on-the-go?
  • Is there additional information provided on student related topics like loans or scholarships?

The Best Student Discounts

Student Rate Review

  • Pros
  • Wide range of deal categories
  • Offer information on loans, scholarships, etc.
  • Discounts on school necessities
  • Giveaways and frequent opportunities to win
  • Back to school promotions
  • Cons
  • Some confusion between ads and valid promotions
  • Not Better Business Bureau Accredited

This platform is in many ways similar to Amazon except it's completely oriented towards students! You can find student deals on things like cell phone plans, textbooks, travel packages, cosmetics, local organizations, and more. Some of the brands they feature on the site include American Eagle Outfitters, Sephora, Lenovo, and T-Mobile just to name a few. They also have a pretty extensive database of information on loans, scholarships, credit card programs, and giveaways exclusive to Student Rate members. At one point, they were giving away a free iPad to one lucky subscriber and all you had to do was sign up for a chance to win. They frequently feature those sorts of giveaways, and as a member you'll get the full scoop on all of it.

Verdict - Superb

The sole disadvantage we picked up on was the number on advertisements present on the page. At times, it can be a little tricky to differentiate between the actual deal and a link to a paid ad. Before registering for giveaways or raffles, be sure it's not an outside sponsored contest that directs you to an external page.

College Budget Review

  • Pros
  • Browse local deals
  • Rewards you with free items
  • Earn College Budget Bucks
  • Range of products
  • Exclusively for students
  • Cons
  • Does not provide refunds--only credits
  • Not Better Business Bureau Accredited

CollegeBudget is a buying platform designed with students in mind. With that being said, their site has been offering students discounts since 2011 on things like food, electronics, and entertainment. When you sign up for a membership with College Budget, you'll get access to exclusive scholarships opportunities, listings of textbooks available for rent, and information regarding loans.

The site makes it simple to browse and shop for deals in your area, then share it with local friends and family. Prior to launching CollegeBudget, the team built CampusBuddy.com and actually won the title of America's Best Young Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek. They've introduced students to a world of savings and discounts!

Verdict - Great

The perks don't end there. This platform allows you to earn CollegeBudget Bucks by getting your friends and family in on the action. As you rack up the bucks, you can redeem them for freebies like apparel, sunglasses, and more. It's a perks program that's coupled with student savings.

Student Universe Review

  • Pros
  • Group and individual travel options
  • Flexible discounts and student rates
  • User-friendly registration platform
  • Book flights, hotels, tours, and more
  • Alumni discounts available
  • Cons
  • Difficulties reaching a representative
  • Non-refundable reservations

Student Universe is designed to find you the hottest deals on airfare, hotel reservations, and even railways. If you're wondering what local activities are happening in your area, Student Universe can tell you that too and they even have a function to locate tours in unusual locations anywhere in the world. If you're more interested in accomodations for room and board, you can find that on Student Universe as well.

There's no better time to travel and experience the world than in your 20s and you can do it for a lot cheaper than you may think. Plus, Student Universe makes it simple to plan out your trip, including transportation and housing. Don't be misled by the name. This site isn't exclusive for students because alumni are also eligible to receive student savings and discounts.

Verdict - Great

In order to receive these deals and promotions, you must be able to verify that you are in fact a student at a degree-granting college. In terms of customer service, this is where the site is somewhat lacking. Clients have mentioned some difficulties reaching a Student Universe representative and concerns regarding non-refundable reservations.

Student Savings Club Review

  • Pros
  • Offer local and national discounts
  • Provided at no charge to students
  • Benefit programs available for alumni
  • Cons
  • Must be sponsored through college
  • Not available at all schools
  • Not Better Business Bureau Accredited

Whether you're shopping online or locally, being a student permits you access to discounts unavailable to other shoppers. The Student Savings Club, is touted as "the most valuable student discount program in North America." While we can't verify whether that part is true or not, what we can say is that they offer some pretty great benefits. Their program and discount services are designed especially for colleges, universities, employers, and organizations.

Take a look at their local and national discounts, all offered at no additional charge to college students. As as alumni, you'll also receive some perks. Who would want to pass up on this types of savings? As a college student with limited financial resources, there's not better skill to possess than savvy spending.

Verdict - Great

So everything is on point with the Student Savings Club except for one catch. The catch is you'll need your campus to sponsor the program. It tends to be somewhat limited in terms of the schools serviced. Take for example the state of Florida. The Student Savings Club is currently only available at one university which seems unbalanced considering the size of the state. If they made an effort to even out the offerings in states like Florida, they would have scored a bit higher on our list. Nonetheless, it's a great resource for students and alumni.

Upromise Review

  • Pros
  • Up to 25% off on purchases
  • Over 950 online stores
  • Cash back rewards program
  • 1% cash back on personal credit cards
  • Simple registration process
  • Cons
  • No federal or state tax advantages
  • No market return

Upromise works in conjunction with over 950 online retailers, plus an additional 10,000 restaurants, grocery and drug store distributors to help you get maximum rewards for shopping. It's an interesting and easy to use platform-simply visit any one of their online stores or 10,000+ restaurants, groceries, and drugstores, and earn finances for college (up to 25 percent of your purchases). Essentially, your day-to-day spending fuels the financial aid you earn. Recruit the help of family or friends and they can also contribute towards your college tuition and expenses. To date, members have earned $670,000,000+ through daily purchases alone. To get a full listing of the partnered businesses simply refer to the uPromise site. As an added bonus, you'll also get 1% cash back when you enroll your personal credit card. There are student savings and rewards at every turn with Upromise!

Verdict - Great

There is one major disadvantage worth noting. This is not a 529 plan so it does not offer any federal or state tax exemptions. Assuming you were intent on this point, you may want to consider investing in a 529 plan instead, in order to get a market return.

Best Student Discounts Recap

That about covers some of the top savings organizations on the web for student deals and discounts. I'm sure there's more out there, so if you have a personal favorite, let us know in the comments below.

Student Deals 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.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.