Use Your Student Status to Your Advantage


Most college students aren’t rolling in the dough, and pretty much everyone knows this. Even businesses. And what’s great about that is now they are starting to reward you for being a student by offering up discounts for college ID holders. While you’re busy racking up your student loan debts, you can save a little on everyday things like food, entertainment, books, clothes, and even travel. Interested? Pay close attention.

One of the largest college discount networks is through the Student Advantage Discount Card. Thousands of companies are involved and accept the Student Advantage card, which will give you discounts at places you already go. The downside is that membership is not free, it is $20 per year. However, after just a few uses it will pay for itself. Examples of discounts you can receive is 15% off Urban Outfitters, half-price tickets to a play, 15% off Greyhound travel, 20% off GoSmile, 40% off at AMC Movie theaters, and more.

If paying $20 to get discounts is still too much for you, many companies offer their own college discounts. You’ll just need to do a little more local research. At my local movie theater, college students who show their ID get reduced ticket prices (just like the senior citizens). I’ve also found out about getting reduced student prices for the Cleveland Orchestra and even plays at Playhouse Square. I’m even starting to see food places that offer discounts to students. Most places that offer these discounts have something posted in their window or in a prominent place, so be on the lookout. Most of the time, you can also find out about such discounts on their websites. If you don’t see anything, don’t be afraid to ask – the worst they can do is say no!

Being a student is also adventageous in preparing for your future career. How so? Well, you can often time join professional organizations in your field for super reduced prices. If you’re a psychology major, why not join the American Psychological Association? Preparing to be a physical therapist? Join the American Physical Therapist Association. Most working adults who are members of these organizations pay hundreds of dollars to be members. Sometimes they have flat-rate fees, other times they are dependent on your salary. But students can join these organizations at reduced rates, often as low as just $20. It’s a great thing to put on your resume, as well as to start networking in your field. I highly recommend doing this. I’ve done it, and it was well worth it. Opportunities have come up for me that otherwise I’d have never had.

If you’re looking to score cool new tech gear, such as a new computer or an iPod, check with your college bookstore. You likely don’t even need to go into the actual bookstore, just pull it up on your school’s website. Many times, they have set up deal with technology companies to offer you discounts on the cool new gadgets that you are just dying to have. For example, the iPod. The iPod Nano 2GB retails at $149, but clicking on the link to the Apple store through my college bookstore’s website, I am able to get it for a good bit cheaper – $120. That’s a $30 discount, which is better than what Best Buy gives you when they put the iPods on sale. Many colleges also hookup with Dell, Apple, and others to offer you similar discounts on computers. Need software? Buy the educational version through your college. You can get the software you need at a drastically reduced priced.

Being a student definitely has its perks, so take advantage of it while you can. Check with local retailers and restaurants to find out how you can save money by showing your college ID. And check online to see if there are any local college discount organizations in your area. Saving money is a good thing.

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