There’s no point beating around the bush: college ain’t cheap, and you need to buy things. While some businesses offer student discounts, they aren’t always upfront about it.
So, here’s a no-nonsense list of 23 great student discounts that cover everything from computers to game consoles, and movie theaters to Amazon Prime. And food, of course.
What You Need to Get Student Discounts
Remember, you can’t just say “I’m a student,” and expect to get discounts. You need proof of enrollment. This comes in many shapes and sizes, but usually, online retailers require a .edu email address, and local businesses require a student ID.
Some websites that ask for a .edu email address actually do communicate with your school to make sure you’re enrolled. This only takes a second, as schools tend to keep an enrollment database on-hand for student discounts. If you’ve recently graduated or you’re taking a break, you might still be listed in your school’s enrollment database. Don’t let enrollment checks scare you—it’s always worth a shot.
Student Discount Websites
Before we get into specific student discounts, we should acknowledge there are websites and apps dedicated to student finance, wellness, and discounts. These apps are routinely updated with new and exclusive student discounts, so they’re worth keeping an eye on:
- Unidays: While it’s cluttered with weird memes and “epic internships,” this app is useful for finding exclusive student discounts.
- Save the Student: A website dedicated to student finances. It has a handy (albeit, bulky) list of student discounts.
- Student Beans: This site is entirely dedicated to student discounts. It’s continuously updated with new and exclusive deals, so it’s worth visiting often.
- STA Travel: This service is for traveling students. It’s great for getting discounts on flights and hotels.
Now that you’ve bookmarked some fancy student discount sites, it’s time to dig around for some deals.
Computers and Electronics
If you’re in college, you need a computer. Thankfully, most major electronics retailers offer student discounts for select products. These aren’t site-wide, but they’re usually good for the essentials (and even some video games):
- Best Buy: Worth a look if you want a new laptop. Best Buy routinely offers decent student discounts on select products.
- Apple: Most computers are on sale for students, and Apple even throws in a free pair of Beats.
- B&H: Need some electronics or photo equipment? B&H gives you free shipping and discounts on some orders.
- Adorama: If you’re looking to save on photography, audio, or video equipment, then Adorama’s student discount may be your best option.
- Dell: If you’re specifically looking for a laptop or desktop, Dell offers tons of student discounts.
- Microsoft: Select products are discounted for students, including Xbox games and consoles.
Of course, you need more than a computer. Whether you’re studying medicine or architecture, you’re going to need some expensive software.
Professional-grade software can usually be purchased with a student discount. Here’s a handful of popular software you might need for class:
- Microsoft Office: Depending on your school, you might have free access to this. Check the Microsoft website and see if your school is eligible.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Students can get this suite for prices starting at $10 a month.
- Music Software: Students can get massive discounts and extended finance plans for music software, like Ableton Live and ProTools.
- Apple Pro Apps: A Pro software bundle that includes Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4, and MainStage 3 is available for $200 to students.
- AutoDesk Fusion 360: This design software is totally free for students.
In some cases, colleges hand out free software licenses to students. So, before you jump the gun on a discounted (but still expensive) Adobe or Ableton license, ask an adviser or professor about free software.
Services, Music, News, and Insurance
Of course, life isn’t just computers. If you’re a student who needs a Prime account, access to a streaming service, or a discount on your car insurance, you’re in luck:
- Amazon Prime: Students get Prime for less than half the regular price at $50 a year.
- Spotify Premium, Hulu, and SHOWTIME: You can get all three for $5 a month.
- Pandora Premium: Students get four years for just $5 a month.
- Newspapers: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are each $1 a week for students. You can get The Washington Post for $5 every four weeks.
- Allstate: If you have a good GPA, you can get a discount on your car insurance.
- GEICO: Again, based on your GPA (and driving history), you might get a discount on your car insurance.
- 1-800 Contacts: Students get 10 percent off all orders.
Be mindful these businesses keep an eye on your student status. Your Amazon Prime membership is $50 while in college, but it could hike up once you’re out of school. If you forget to cancel these accounts when you get out of school, you might end up paying more than you bargained for.
Local Student Discounts
You probably know this already, but most student discounts happen at a local level. We’re talking about museums, movie theaters, and restaurants. Here are some local businesses that usually offer a student discount, but you’ll have to do a little research to figure things out:
- Clothing: Most major clothing stores offer a student discount if you sign up for a mailing list. Next time you go shopping, ask about student discounts. Or, search Google for your favorite retailer and include the term “student discount.” Keep in mind a lot of discounts are in-store only.
- Museums and Galleries: Most (especially those owned by Universities) offer free or discounted admission for students. They also usually accept student IDs from nonlocal students.
- Movie Theaters: AMC, Cinemark, and Regal theaters offer student discounts at some locations. Check the websites to see if your local theater is included. Smaller theaters might not take student discounts, but it’s worth calling to find out.
- Restaurants: Most major fast-food restaurants (McDonald’s, Chipotle, Dunkin’) offer some form of a student discount. As for local restaurants, just ask, or search for “student discount” on Yelp. Local restaurants near a university usually provide student discounts.
- School Supplies: Locally-owned school supply stores (especially art and music stores) usually offer student discounts. Corporate-owned office supply stores tend to be a bit stingy.
- Gyms: Some (but not all) gyms offer student discounts. This is usually done at the local or franchise level, so check your local gyms. You might want to see if your school has a gym or offers free exercise courses before looking into a gym membership.
- Goodwill: Your local store might have a day of the week designated for student discounts. All Goodwill stores are different, so call yours to find out.
If you can’t think of any local businesses that offer student discounts, try searching for “student discount” on Yelp. Also, if your college has a student-run magazine or social media account, glance through it and see if there are any good deals.