Money and College: Stretching Your Student Discount

Life as a student can be difficult, from studying to earning enough money to pay for tuition and housing. However, you can save more money than you thought possible by following these 12 tips on how to stretch your student discount.

#1 – Auto Insurance

If you commute to school and must use a car, then it makes sense to pay as little as possible for car insurance. Take advantage of the student discount that most car insurance companies offer. If your company does not offer a student discount, switch to one that does. While young drivers under 25 years of age pay more for their premiums, students typically pay less because they are less to insure. Insurers like the idea that you are responsible enough to apply to and stay in school.

#2 – Banks and Credit Cards

Most banks generally charge fees for bank accounts and credit cards if a person has no credit history. Students are different. Most banks offer no fee student checking and no fee student credit cards. This isn’t really a discount in the traditional sense because you don’t save money immediately. However, opening a no fee credit card and no fee checking account bolsters your credit rating. Even if you don’t plan on using a credit card in school, having that account open will help you in the long run. You’ll be glad you did it when you reach your late 20s and need a loan for a car or home.

#3 – Housing

Many apartment management companies will give students a 3 to 5 percent student discount. It’s not just out of the kindness of their hearts though. Students tend to be better renters.

#4 – Public Transportation

Students generally get to ride buses and subways at a discounted rate. This discount even applies in other countries. Before you travel, however, make sure to get an international student ID card.

#5 – Local Restaurants and Bars

Local restaurants and national chains run special promotions for students ranging from straight discounts to appetizers to even free entrees. If you have to eat out, remember to bring your student ID.

#6 – Computers

Most schools have an agreement with major computer companies to enable their students to buy computers at a substantial discount. This is especially true with Apple Computer. Apple has historically had close ties with education and offers special packages for students ordering new desktops and laptops. The student discount could save several hundred dollars though usually Apple will restrict students to just one purchase per lifetime. Hardware manufacturers benefit from this arrangement too by getting people to get accustomed to their brand at an early age.

#7 – Software

If you download software illegally, you should stop, because you could purchase it legally for a very reasonable price. Most students can get a copy of the latest Windows operating system for about $5 and the Microsoft Office suite for about $15. These special student licenses can be acquired through your schools IT department. This is another area where you can save hundreds of dollars.

#8 – Gym Memberships and Health care

Most schools have a gym and clinic on campus. You’re paying for it, so why not use it? It’s not a discount in the traditional sense, but if you were to get a gym membership and a health insurance plan and you were not a student, you would be paying a lot more money. Even if you choose not to work out at the campus gym, health clubs will still offer discounted student rates in hopes of attracting younger, and possibly more beautiful people, to their gyms.

#9 – Movie Theaters

Many movie theaters will sell student tickets that are $3 cheaper than the standard adult ticket. This discount even applies to evening shows.

#10 – Museums

Some schools have an museum on campus that is generally free to everyone. However, there are museums around the world that charge a hefty price of admission for regular people. These same museums offer incredible values to students who often pay less than half the regular price of admission.

#11 – Theme Parks

Many theme parks charge a lot of money to begin with, so it would be advisable to avoid them, but if you must go, be sure to mention you’re a student. Several theme parks offer student discounts in the hopes of enticing you to attend with several of your friends.

#12 – Concerts / Sporting Events

Larger schools bring performers to campus allowing students to get free or discounted tickets to watch those shows.