College is expensive, but being a student comes with certain perks besides staying up late and sleeping in until your 3pm class. Retail stores offer some great discounts to students that can save you a ton of money. Don't miss out on these amazing student offers! IN PICTURES: 6 Ways To Fund A College Education
Every college student needs a computer. Dell and Apple are two technology companies which offer discounts to students. Dell discounts vary and can be found via Dell University. The Apple store's "education pricing" applies a 10% discount for college students, as well as grade-school educators. (The Analytical Engine Sir Charles Babbage started down the road that led to computers in the early 1800s. Learn more, in From Beads To Binary: The History Of Computing.)
Some universities have connected with cell phone carriers to provide student discounts. T-Mobile offers an 8-15% discount on monthly bills to students at certain schools. Sprint offers a 10% discount on selected plans for students at certain schools.
Holidays and spring break aren't the only times when students travel. Greyhound Bus Lines offers a 20% discount through Student Advantage. Amtrak offers a 15% discounts to students who have a Student Advantage or International Student Identification Card (ISIC). Discounted airfares can be found through online travel agencies such as Student Universe and STA Travel. (Although high fuel prices and threats of terrorism have scared many individuals out of airline stocks, the astute investor can still make money in the sector. Find out more, in Is That Airline Ready For Lift-Off?)
Several retailers offer discounts to students. For instance, J. Crew offers a 15% discount with ID, the discount only applies to fully priced merchandise. Over the July 23 weekend, Old Navy extended a 25% discount to students and teachers. Back-to-school specials from other retailers will soon follow.
There may be a gym on campus, but if you want to continue to work out away from school, then being a student can work to your advantage. Many YMCA branches offer reduced joiner fees and monthly membership fees for full-time students. You may be required to provide proof of active enrollment in addition to your ID card in order to receive the discount. (Blood, sweat and tears should belong in the gym, but your money deserves some training time too. Read more, in Get Your Budget In Fighting Shape.)
A trip to the movies seems to get more expensive every year, jumping 8% last year. Being a student may provide you with a discount of up to 25% in some theaters, so be sure to pack your student ID card to take advantage of the deal. If you aren't in a rush, you can wait for the movie to come to your college theater for an even larger discount.
Banks know most students do not have a lot of money to work with. As a result, they often provide free or discounted services. They must know you are a student in order to receive the perks, such as free checking, no minimum balance or a free ATM card. Some universities have relationships with specific banks, and offer the convenience of ATMs and/or branch locations on campus. (Lack of organization can harm your finances as much or more than being short on cash. Find out more, in 8 Steps To An Organized Financial Life.)
Student Advantage is a discount program that offers its members special deals. The card carries a membership fee, depending on for how many years you subscribe. Discounts apply to several sectors, including travel, technology and health. Some larger companies with discounts available through Student Advantage include Macy's, Pearle Vision and Barnes & Noble.
Concerts & Games
Campuses with sports and entertainment facilities typically offer substantial discounts on admission to on-campus activities. Sometimes, the discount may come along with conditions. For example, seating may be limited to certain sections. For football games, it may be the end zone and for concerts it may be the nosebleed section, but either way, you'll have a seat for the action.
The Bottom Line
College is expensive, why not cut a few financial corners whenever possible? For best results, always carry your student ID card. Oftentimes, you will have to ask for the discount as it may be subject to change and it may not be well advertised. Ask and perhaps you shall receive. As professors often say, "The only stupid question is the one you don't ask."
Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: The Unrelenting Claw Of Bernie Madoff.