The average full-time, on-campus college student will owe approximately $25,890 per academic year. Loans, grants, scholarships and out-of-pocket money only go so far, leaving students with a tight budget and excess stress. Hundreds of companies across the U.S., from fashion to food to insurance and even technology, have incorporated student discounts into their pricing options to help curb the weight of living under a strict budget.
Most only offer a 10% price reduction, but even a small discount can transform a $100 grocery order into a $90 order. Not all of these student discounts, however, only shave a slim portion off of product and service costs.
As a super-senior, I’ve taken advantage of my fair share of student discounts. These are the nine I have found most useful in my personal, professional and academic life.
According to a recent Jamf survey conducted by Vanson Bourne, 71% of college students prefer Mac over PC, and the major reason for students choosing PC was pricing. Apple’s back-to-school discount rates fall under their clever slogan, “Apple majors in everything.” Apple computers, iPads and iPhones run at steep prices, but their student discounts make their products even just a little bit more affordable.
With Apple student discounts, students can save up to $200 on a Mac, $50 on an iPad and 20% on AppleCare+. On some purchases, students can even get a free pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of a Mac or iPad. Apple also offers exclusive student discounts on Apple Music and professional tools.
2. Amazon Prime Student
Everyone knows college is so expensive. Every semester, college students need to buy new supplies, textbooks and household items. Amazon Prime Student offers exclusive student discounts for the student drowning in financial responsibility. A personal favorite, this discount includes the original $119 Prime account at half the cost. For $59 a year or $6.46 per month, students are eligible for this price point until their graduation date.
With Amazon Student, students can enjoy the perks of having Prime Video, Amazon Music, ad-free Amazon Music Unlimited for $0.99 a month, 40% off of Echo devices, 3 free months of Kindle Unlimited and other exclusive discounts. Amazon also offers free two-day shipping and sell-back prices for select textbooks.
3. Adobe Creative Cloud
Every visual arts student should know about the Creative Cloud for Students discount. While a majority of universities have taken it upon themselves to download the Adobe Suite on most campus computers, art students sometimes find it more convenient to buy the software for their own computers, myself included, rather than to be confined to computer labs. Even writing, public relations and communication studies students may find this software gives them a leg up in their industry.
The Adobe Suite, normally $52.99 per month, costs only $19.99 for students for the first year. The pricing is then rolled back to $29.99. The package includes all of the 20-plus Adobe applications, up to 10 TB of cloud storage and one free month of Adobe Stock. There is also a discounted option to buy the Creative Cloud Photography package for $9.99 per month if students exclusively want access to Photoshop, Lightroom and other photo-oriented Adobe apps.
Aside from the educational gains of having the suite, students can also get discounted concert tickets on select events with their Adobe ID and join Behance, an online portfolio website for artists. All students need for the Adobe student cloud at a discounted price is an educational affiliation or their “.edu” email address.
4. The New York Times
Many college students have been given the dreaded “current event” assignment where they are required to print out and bring in an article from a valid news source to share with the rest of the class. For some students, this is the only interaction they have with an actual newspaper while in college. Some students use the news to simply stay in the loop while immersed in their own personal college bubble and a number of them even use articles for papers and assignments.
Nowadays, many news sites have an article limit before readers need to subscribe. As a fifth-year professional writing major, I’ve hit this limit myself, and so have thousands of other students across the U.S. The New York Times normally runs at $15 per month, but students have the opportunity to get unlimited articles for only $4 per month with their student rates. Better yet, some universities connect with the Times to have it offered for free.
5. Spotify, Hulu and SHOWTIME
Taking breaks throughout the day is vital to keeping a stable mind through college. Sometimes, all it takes is music or a favorite TV show to relax and take your mind off of your own stress. Spotify Premium Student offers an incomparable discount so that students can have both at one price.
Normally costing $26.97 altogether, students can get Spotify Premium, Hulu and SHOWTIME for just $4.99 per month just through getting Spotify Premium Student. So, rather than using an ad-consumed music app, paying for Netflix every month or struggling with cable, students can get what they need with one simple bundle. The fact that Hulu is now stepping up its game is an absolute bonus.
6. Car Insurance
Worrying about bills on top of classes, internships and work adds to the already trying student life. Luckily for college students, some insurance companies offer college discount rates. Allstate, Geico and State Farm are among the few insurance companies working to make student life a little bit easier and safer.
Allstate offers up to a 9% discount, and while this doesn’t seem like much, college students, on average, pay more for car insurance than the average person. College students who have State Farm can save up to 25% depending on their grades, and Geico has multiple types of student discounts based on a student’s grades and their on-campus involvement.
Online portfolios and resumes are rapidly becoming the norm with the development of professional social media sites like LinkedIn. Squarespace is an “all-in-one website builder,” much like WordPress or Wix. All three of these platforms are free to some extent, but Squarespace is the only one specifically geared toward building an online professional presence.
The company’s Personal Plan runs at $12 while college students have the opportunity to get 50% off of their first full year of subscription with Squarespace’s college discount. With this subscription service, students can blog, build a portfolio and resume site and even start their own business website.
8. Local Grocery Stores
Buying food, with or without a meal plan, can be expensive. If you find yourself miles from the nearest Aldi, I’m sure you’re familiar with this struggle as well. Coupons can save students a good amount, but discounts are even better.
Select universities have partnerships with local businesses and grocery stores to provide student discounts exclusive to their own students. Most discounts run at 10% off, but that would amount to $10 off of a $100 order and every cent counts. Students can find out whether or not their university or college has this discount by checking their website or calling ID services.
UNiDAYS is a modern, retro-themed app structured to provide students with exclusive offers, discount prices, scholarships, internship opportunities and more. A completely free app, UNiDAYS keeps student discounts in one location: on your phone.
With this app, students can receive price discounts on fashion brands like Adidas and Ray-Ban, beauty products, restaurants and food delivery services, health-related products such as glasses and contacts, music apps such as Apple Music and tech devices ranging from Apple, Dell, HP and GoPro. While reviews reveal there have been technological issues getting registered with the app, students are finding these deals to be helpful when under budget stress.