Student Discounts

               It’s no secret that college is expensive, and on the fun flip side of that, college students are generally poor and broke. It’s hard to make money, go to class, do homework, and pay for tuition AND the bare essentials all at once. But, fear not—there is hope. A silver lining in the form of student discounts.

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Yes, college students are poor, and everyone knows it—but companies want your business anyway. Many, many companies have special discounts for students in order to attract your business (and to entice you to spend your limited funds at their establishment). Being in college does usually mean that you are operating on a twig-thin budget, so finding and taking advantage of these student discounts whenever possible can be a big lifesaver.

The sort of things that you can get student discounts for range from electronics to cosmetics to food to travel. Honestly, if you’re determined enough, you can find a student discount for just about anything. Need a new pair of shoes? Want to grab a pizza? Laptop broke and you need a new one? Feel impulsive and want to escape to a far-off land? Say it with me: Student Discounts.

Depending on where you go, you may only need to flash your handy-dandy student ID card at the checkout counter to get the student discount. Online vendors or apps may just ask for your student email, which means that “.edu” email address that you only use for your professors and classes just became way more exciting. Some stores may require you use their app or another verification process, but whatever the method, as long as you’re a student, the discount opportunities are all around you!

The Best Student Discounts

               While all student discounts are a blessing, not all of them are created equal. There are some student discounts that shine brighter than the others. Here are some of the best student discounts that you should absolutely take advantage of:

            Memberships

               Student discounts are not limited to one-time purchases, some companies will give you discounted rates on memberships to use their services. These memberships specifically are some of the best student discounts to have:

               Amazon

               Amazon is pretty much the one-stop shop for all your life, entertainment, and product needs. Their regular Prime membership is $14.99/month, which gives you access to their music, video streaming, and reading options, on top of their shipping and exclusive offers. Their student discount gives students access to all of that, plus some exclusive student offers, for $7.49/month. Oh, and did I mention that your first 6 months are FREE? If you can only afford one membership during your college years, I would seriously consider Amazon Prime.  

               Spotify (and friends)

While the debate between Spotify and Apple Music is unnecessary, let me tell you why, for students, Spotify is a better deal. Spotify allows you to stream music through the internet so that you can pick a song out of the air, search for it, and play it on demand (just like Apple Music and YouTube). Their regular membership costs $10.99/month. Their student membership costs $5.99/month, with the first month FREE, and they give you access to HULU at no extra cost!

That means not only are you getting the benefits of music streaming, but also movies, tv shows, and some sports added on just because you’re going to college. Apple Music does a student discount as well for the same price, but, unless you find a special offer, you only get music, no video streaming included. The Spotify student discount gives you a lot more “bang for your buck.”

Most music and video streaming services offer some kind of student discount these days, but few are bundled together and so the price of having music and streaming usually means double. This Spotify and Hulu bundle is one-of-a-kind in terms of student discounts in the streaming world.

student discounts, best student discounts, where to get student discounts

               Sam’s Club

               Buying in bulk is fantastic. It’s even more fantastic when you can do it at a discounted rate. Sam’s Club is what some might call a “warehouse club,” given the appearance of the buildings and the bulk-proportions of their products. Don’t let the name fool you though, Sam’s Club sells groceries, food, household supplies, and even has a pharmacy. They also typically have a “restaurant” counter which sells things like soft drinks, pizza, hot dogs, and other mouth-watering snack foods.

               Sam’s Club is membership only, however, which means an annual fee in order to get access to their discounted lifetime supply of toilet paper and 1-ton boxes of candy. The regular Sam’s Club membership is $50/year, which is really not that bad considering the amount of savings that it offers you throughout the year. What’s really great though, is that students only pay a fraction of that for their membership. The student membership for Sam’s Club is about $20/year. Students must set up an account with ID.Me that will verify they are students before they get access to the deal. Once you have a membership, though, you’ll be amazed at just how much food $10 can get you.

               Sam’s Club is not the only warehouse club like this. BJ’s Wholesale and Costco are also great options. BJ’s Wholesale offers a student membership for $25, with a $10 signing bonus that is credited to your new account. The membership is valid for one year. Costco’s student membership is not discounted, but they will credit you $20 as a signing bonus. Their membership is $60/year, so you pay $60, and they give you $20 to spend in their warehouse. All three warehouse clubs offer exceptional savings and huge portions/bulk buying. However, as far as value goes, Sam’s Club offers the best student discounts, especially with their membership fee.

Fast-Food

               Plenty of fast-food chains cater to college students because often a large chunk of their consumers, especially in college towns, are college students. Discounts at fast-food restaurants can look like getting a free drink with your meal or getting a free upgrade in the size of fries. Some restaurants will just take a percentage off of your bill.

student discounts, best student discounts, where to get student discounts

McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Waffle House, Subway, and some others (at select locations) all offer a 10% discount to students with a valid student ID. Pizza Hut has been known to offer 10-20% discounts for college students, depending on location. You know how Veterans and Military personnel always ask about Military discounts when they go out to eat? Start making that common practice for yourself in college. Be the one who asks, “do you do student discounts?” when the waiter brings the bill. It may seem like a hassle for not a lot of savings at the time, but even a dollar or two each time adds up.

Technology

               One of the worst experiences is having your phone, or worse, your laptop, break during the semester. Everything that you do in college nowadays goes through the internet. Most assignments are turned in online, the syllabus is available through your class dashboard, your papers are written up on your laptop. When that breaks, it’s a crisis.

               So, knowing which technology companies offer big discounts can be an absolute life-saver. The exact student discounts for each of these sources will vary depending on product and time of year. One of the best places to start with is going to be Best Buy. They have great discounted prices for college students and can give you a variety of brand options based on your budget and functional needs.

               HP is another great option. HP offers student discounts of up to 40% off. You will have to create an account with HP, but the account won’t cost you anything extra. They may have to determine your eligibility for their education discount, but that shouldn’t take very long either.

               Lenovo also offers student discounts that range from 5-40% off. They will have to be verified through ID.Me at checkout, but the savings could be huge—like several hundred dollars huge. Dell is another technology company that offers big discounts to students. You can get a 5% off coupon sent to your email in addition to lowered prices for college students through their website.

            Other

               Some other great student discounts to know about are the AMC and Regal Theater’s discounts, and Microsoft Office.

               Going to the movies may not be the most advisable past time as a student, since it’s a little expensive and takes up a pretty big chunk of your day. But it’s still a great way to take a day off or hang out with friends every now and then. And you can save some change as a student. AMC and Regal Theaters both offer student discounts on certain days and times. Discounts vary and students must present a valid student ID at time of checkout.

               Microsoft office offers less of a discount and more of a gift. Microsoft will allow you to download their Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Teams for free as long as you attend an eligible institution. All you have to do is use your school email, and they will give you access to download it for free if your college is an eligible institution. This is great to have in case you need to do work without the internet (the old-fashioned way), you can just open up an Excel sheet or a blank Word doc and save it to your laptop.

          Where to get Student Discounts

“From grocery stores to retailers to obscure lifestyle companies, these apps show you all the student discounts you could possibly need.”

               Aside from just going into the stores or googling their websites, how can we find out where to get student discounts? In the great age of technology and convenience, some smart people have compiled student discounts of all sorts and sizes onto apps that will verify your student status for you. The most popular of these apps are Unidays, Student Beans, and ID.Me. All of these apps are free for students. You sign up, create an account, and go through whatever student verification process is required (which is often just using your student email).

               Once you have an account, you can search through all of their listed student discounts. From grocery stores to retailers to obscure lifestyle companies, these apps show you all the student discounts you could possibly need. I recommend making an account and downloading the app for each of these sites because some retailers will require you to be verified through one of these apps in order to give you their student discount.

               Using student discounts on these platforms is usually as simple as clicking “redeem offer,” and you then purchase whatever it is like you usually do for any online purchases. Limited time offers and deals are also easier to find on these platforms and can be super rewarding. These apps are a must-have for college students, especially when you’re operating on a budget so small you need a microscope to see it (been there, stay strong).

Conclusion

               Is college a time of slim spending and limited funds? Absolutely. Should you practice frugal spending and keep the purse strings tight? Yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever treat yourself or spend money on things that will benefit you. That Sam’s Club membership will do you a lot of favors if your college doesn’t have a cafeteria or you go through a lot of toilet paper. Maybe your friends want to hang out at the movies and then grab breakfast at midnight. Use your student ID, make a day of it, and save a little change.

student discounts, best student discounts, where to get student discounts

               Be careful not to use student discounts as an excuse to blow all your money on shoes and French fries. Yeah, sometimes justifying an expense because you have a discount is not really a justification at all. But, knowing that the discount is there for a rainy day or for a practical purpose does make life a little easier and provides a little comfort when you know you can save a little cash on the things you’re paying for. Student discounts are a blessing! And now, you know the best student discounts and where to find them.

For information about Christian colleges, or to be entered into one of our scholarship drawings, visit us at The Christian Connector.

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