There’s a pretty common idea floating around that students are always broke. That’s probably because they often are: on average, student fees and tuition can cost over $23,000 per year, and that doesn’t even include the cost of books and living expenses.
Obviously, students need all the help they can get when it comes to the old pocketbook. Luckily, there are certain businesses that recognize the tight squeeze their academic-minded patrons often feel, and offer student discounts. Be it for clothing, entertainment, or household supplies, any break a student can get is helpful.
Of course, Amazon Prime offers more perks than just a streaming service. In addition to the movies, shows, music, and live TV you can experience on Prime Video, signing up for Prime gets you free two-day shipping, 2-hour grocery delivery, free cloud photo storage, exclusive discounts, and more. Although Amazon can seem expensive on a student budget, when you sign up for Prime Student you can get six months’ membership free, and a half-price membership after that. You can find almost anything under the sun on Amazon, so you can even justify a membership under “household expenses”.
Reading fiction can be tough for full-time students since they likely have about a thousand textbooks to tackle before the end of the semester. But for time on the treadmill, walking around campus, or on a long public transit commute, audiobooks can be your best friend. Luckily, Audible has your back. With a 30% student discount, the subscription costs under $10 per month for access to three titles per month plus audio-guided workouts.
Spotify, Hulu, and Showtime
Looking for a soundtrack for your life? Spotify is the place to access new music or playlists for any occasion. While users can access Spotify for free, purchasing a Spotify Premium membership means ad-free listening, and access to way more features including building your own playlists and skipping songs that aren’t for you. Try out the service free for a month. After that students pay a discounted $4.99 per month. If you think that’s awesome, check this out: this fee now includes access to Hulu and Showtime, too.
Hulu, normally $5.99 a month, does support this with a few ads, but you get access to tons of shows and movies including Family Guy and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Showtime has some of the hottest documentaries, dramas, sports, and movies, ad-free for your binging pleasure.
Just because you’re a broke student, doesn’t mean you need to look like one. By finding the best pricing on clothes from your favorite retailer, you can look sharp for your next in-class presentation, job interview, or a night out. For a great selection of discounts, check out UniDays, a discount program that partners with cosmetics, clothing, and supplies companies to get you the deals you need. Save on well-known companies like Toms, Kate Spade, Banana Republic, Topshop, and more. Score American Eagle apparel at a sweet 20% discount, and 25% off ModCloth duds using a UniDays account and proving your student status. In non-apparel related news, UniDays also partners with computer companies to score you deals, like 10% off Dell computers.
Based in England, ASOS.com is a web-based clothing retailer. Get 10% off all clothing from ASOS using your student discount.
Look sharp without breaking the bank in a pair of Dockers, Levi’s resident authority on khaki pants. Dockers offers all students 25% off their orders.
This iconic denim brand offers students the opportunity to sport the little red tag with 25% off.
Both teachers and students get a 15% discount on anything from swimwear to sweats at J Crew. Just show a valid student ID at checkout to prove your eligibility.
Club Monaco offers a 15% discount off of both full-price and sale-price items to college students.
Computers and Software
Get Office 365 free of charge and 10% off accessories like headphones and keyboards from Microsoft when you key in your educational credentials.
Many students need to learn PhotoShop, InDesign, or Illustrator for their computer graphics or editing classes. Instead of the usual $59.99 per month price tag, Adobe gives students access to the Creative Cloud suite of software for a much more affordable $19.99 monthly fee.
Apple offers discounts to educators, higher education, and high school students near the beginning of each school year, often on the coveted MacBook and iPad. The deal changes each year, but in September 2020, the company offered $200 off an eligible Mac, plus free AirPods.
Students need computers to write papers, do all kinds of research, and stay connected with family and friends. Taking notes in classes requires the portability of a laptop, and they can be pricey! Check out Lenovo’s website to score a 5% deal on your new hardware.
HP has you covered on many school essentials like printers, laptops, PCs, and security software. You can order HP products at a 10-35% discount, and have them shipped for free when you use your Edu email address to sign up for an HP Education account.
Logitech carries tons of tech toys, and all at a 25% discount for students. You can scratch your gaming itch with top-shelf headphones, buy mice, keyboards, or speakers to trick out your PC, or pick up a camera for video conferencing.
Look into deals that aren’t exclusive to students! Websites like Swagbucks offer deals on deals every day of the year, regardless of your academic standing. Purchase popular books and magazines, gift cards, and even necessities like Norton Antivirus Software to earn cashback in the Swagbucks shop.
Whatever your techy needs, BestBuy holds amazing back-to-school deals each September. Shoppers can also get deals by creating a MyBestBuy account, and signing up for Student Deals.
Check with your municipal government’s website to find out if you’re eligible for a discount there – many students are. You can ride the bus, streetcar, or subway most places within a city or town for a green, affordable way to travel.
For longer distances, consider taking a bus. Maybe taking the bus sounds old-fashioned, but Greyhound isn’t going away. Not relying on rails, you can get almost anywhere on the bus, at a relatively low fare. Students get a further 10% off travel and 15% off shipping through Greyhound.
With all the expenses of being a student, owning a car may seem way out of reach, and renting can be just as pricey (if not more). For those times you need a day trip to clear your head or you need to make a quick trip home, Zipcar has you covered with self-serve cars available at locations around the country. Sign up for a membership and receive a discount when you prove your student status.
If you’ve never taken the train, it could be time you tried it. It’s a comfortable and affordable way to travel around the country, and Amtrak offers savings of up to 25% for eligible students in California, some places in the Midwest, and in New York state.
It’s hard to fit entertainment into a student budget, especially because these outings tend to get quite pricey. Luckily, movie theatres often offer discounts for the educationally-minded cinephile. AMC and Cinemark both offer student discounts when moviegoers purchase tickets with a valid student ID.
Student housing is pretty frequently accessed through a short-term lease, and many college students move home each summer. That can mean a lot of moving over the course of an undergrad program. Rather than finding your one friend with a pickup truck to make five trips between the old place and the new one, a rental truck can make the whole process easier. Luckily, Penske offers a student discount of 10% when you use the applicable promo code at checkout. Budget offers a 20% discount for local moves and 15% for one-way trips.
There are plenty of services you can get discounts on as a student – far too many to mention here. Instead, consider all of the expenses that make up your budget, from car insurance (Allstate offers discounts to students who maintain good grades) to groceries, to cell phone bills (AT&T offers discounts applicable through their Signature Program, while Sprint offers discounts through various companies, universities, and organizations only). If you don’t see anything listed on the website, consider calling customer service to ask if they’re willing to cut you a deal.
Oftentimes discounts aren’t posted publicly, but they’re available when you speak to the right manager at a business. Don’t be afraid to advocate for a few extra dollars in your wallet.
Don’t forget to check out smaller businesses in your town. A local store in a college town often offers student discounts you won’t know about until you call or visit. Supporting a local small business could have more benefits too, including the undying love and loyalty of an entrepreneur.
Spend some time finding the best deals on everything you buy. Even a few dollars can make a difference to your bottom line each month!