For most college students, the school year ends in approximately two months. In terms of back-to-school sales, the season is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Right now, students are eagerly planning a summer of jobs, internships and, if they're lucky, a well-deserved break. Do student discounts fit into that picture? Absolutely. These seven resources will be valuable for any and all thrifty students.
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1. Free Amazon Prime
Amazon.com is a great place to shop for books, electronics, clothing and even food. For students, Amazon is even better because the company provides free two-day shipping benefits for one year. Students can sign up by providing their school and major.
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2. The GRE Discount
If you're planning to apply to graduate school, be prepared to spend some serious money. Application fees can cost up to $250 per school, and your school might even charge you for ordering transcripts. On an entry-level salary or student budget, this expense can be hard to swallow. If you're thinking of going to graduate school - now or ever - keep in mind that Educational Testing Services (ETS), the organization that administers the GRE, is currently offering a promotion. If you're planning to take the GRE between August 1, 2011, and September 30, 2011, ETS will offer a 50% discount. Normally, the test costs $160, so the savings are substantial. With the $80 that you save, you could get some great study guides.
Cramster is a website that provides user-submitted and peer-reviewed answers to textbook questions. To have access to all answers, students need to pay a monthly fee, but there are some that are available for free. If you're stuck on a homework problem from a textbook, check out Cramster - you might just find the answer you're looking for!
4. Niche and Specialty Forums
Admissions counselors have a wealth of information regarding graduate school, college and post-graduation life. Unfortunately, these resources are expensive, and you may not be able to afford the consulting fee. Instead, look for niche user forums about your discipline of choice. There are plenty of forums relating to graduate school, law school, business school and medical school. Chances are, if you've had a question, someone else has had the same one … and found an answer.
5. Hulu and Network Television Station Websites
A cable bill is tough to pay on a student salary, and it's probably one of those expenses worth eliminating altogether. Television shows are widely available for free, so cable isn't something that you necessarily need. Connect your television to your computer, and stream your shows online.
6. Cell Phone Plans
Depending on your coverage area, your cell phone provider may offer student discounts to your particular school. If you're shopping around for a new contract, device or plan, make sure to ask whether a student rate is available.
7. Asking Questions.
Frequently, retailers won't advertise student rates, so always make an effort to ask. Often you'll never know a better deal is available unless you ask for it.
The Bottom Line
Even though degrees are expensive, being a student opens doors to great savings opportunities. No matter who you are you should always take advantage of creative opportunities to save. Ask questions, and think outside of the box when it comes to subscription expenses. In many situations, new technologies provide alternatives to the norm, and you'll be extremely happy with the money you'll save.