Student discounts. You know they’re out there. You know they save you money. But how often do you look to use them? Student discounts can either save you money on things you would otherwise already be paying for, or can allow you to do things you wouldn’t have had the spare cash for before the discount. Sometimes you have to register to receive discounts at a business, but it won’t take you more than a few minutes. And, usually, all it takes is the flash of a student ID. Whether you’re looking for a good meal, fitness deals, retail and tech discounts, or some culture in your life, this article outlines your top categories, and gives you five discounts available for businesses that students actually go to.
If you’re on a tight budget, you probably aren’t buying many clothes. But sometimes, you have to. Luckily, hundreds of retail stores, from thrift stores to the brands you see in the mall, offer student discounts.
- American Eagle and Aerie – 20% discount. Register here.
- TOMS – 10% student discount.
- Banana Republic – 15% student discount with valid student ID.
- Levi’s – 15% student discount. Register here.
- Madewell – 15% student discount.
Some stores don’t advertise student discounts on their website, but will still offer an in-store discount if you present a student ID. This is the case at Goodwill, as most locations will give you 10 percent off if you ask.
“I always show my student ID at Goodwill to get a 10 percent discount.” – Emma Meyer, Point Loma Nazarene University
Museums are a great way to explore your college town, especially if you’re from out-of-town. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a museum that doesn’t offer a student discount, from local museums to some of the most famous institutions. Always check if your local museum has a student discount, but we listed some of the most popular U.S. museums in different cities that help out students.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York – $13 off the standard $25 ticket.
- Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas – $10 off the standard $25 ticket.
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado – 10% off general admission adult tickets.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California – $7 off the standard $15 ticket.
- Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois – $6 off the standard $25 ticket.
Note: Wondering where Washington D.C. is on this list? Some of the most popular museums such as the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum all have free admission.
“Students are classically known for a tight budget, so these discounts allow us to get a taste of culture too!” – Devin Valdez, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Sports and fitness
Sports and fitness are great outlets for students and help you stay healthy both physically and mentally. Plus, activities like skiing or yoga are social hobbies for many students and a large part of their lives. Many popular sports and fitness locations offer significant discounts, helping you be able to do the activities that contribute to your all-around health.
- CorePower Yoga – The unlimited monthly membership is $119 for students instead of $139/month, and the 10-pack of classes is $159 instead of $194.
- Epic – The Epic Local College Pass is $629 compared to the Epic Local Pass, which is $709. You can use that $90 for gas money to get to the slopes or some hot cocoa and snacks at the ski lodge.
- 24 Hour Fitness – Varies. Select locations offer student discounts, but you have to ask the location directly about their discount.
- Pure Barre – Varies. Most locations offer a 10% discount on their unlimited membership packages.
- PureGym – Up to 30% off fixed-term memberships. Register here.
Note: Plenty of popular fitness programs will have various locations, but aren’t franchises. Instead, each location is owned by an independent affiliator, and this affiliator may choose to offer a student discount. For example, CrossFit follows this model, and each affiliated location has different rules. CrossFit 213 in Los Angeles gives a $20 discount to students towards a monthly membership, while South Charlotte CrossFit in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a 20% student discount.
“Student discounts provide an incentive for young people to integrate extracurricular activities into already busy schedules. In my experience, it’s important to be physically healthy and mentally well-rounded in order to perform academically. CorePower Yoga has been a positive influence on what often becomes an overwhelming college agenda–especially in a more affordable package.” Micaela Estrada, University of Denver
“A big one for me was being able to get a discounted ski pass, because it can be pretty financially straining to be a college student but it doesn’t mean you should have to give up the things that make you happy or provide some stress relief.” – Sophie Butler, University of California, Los Angeles
Restaurants and food
This is huge–you’ve got to eat at some point! And LOTS of restaurants, especially fast-casual chains that you’re likely to be eating at anyways, offer student discounts. Plus, some grocery stores also give discounts, which is a place you’ll definitely find yourself at at some point. So whenever you’re on the go and need a quick bite, want a good meal with friends, or need groceries for the week, check to see where you can bring your ID and save.
- Subway – 10% discount with student ID at participating locations
- Chipotle – Free drink with the purchase of a meal if you bring a student ID
- Buffalo Wild Wings – 10% discount with student ID at participating locations
- Dunkin’ Donuts – 10% discount with student ID at participating locations
- Kroger – 5% discount with student ID at participating locations.
“A local Indian restaurant offers 10 percent off for college students and that’s so nice. I would go there over the other Indian restaurant because they are doing what they can to promote and get people in their doors. Student discounts are not only beneficial for student but also for the businesses.” – Becca Davis, Western Michigan University
“I always show my student ID at the local grocery store, Jensen’s, to get 10 percent off on all of my groceries for the week! This is a very helpful and useful discount considering the amount of food college students need to eat on a daily basis.” – Christina Monreal, Point Loma Nazarene University
Public transit and travel
If your college is in an area where there is public transit, check to see if your school or the city gives student discounted passes, as many colleges and universities give discounted or free public transit college passes. This is especially helpful if you don’t have access to a car while in school, but want to work at a job or internship. Even if you do have a car, public transportation options can save you time in traffic and gas money.
“Using free public transit allowed me to work downtown while still being in school. It saved me a ton of money and gave me the flexibility to immerse myself in a new city.” – Scott Mann, University of Denver
Other big ones
There are a few other companies college students frequently use for different college necessities. For example, a laptop can be quite pricey, but laptops are hugely common–and sometimes even required–in college classes. To help students save on these common college expenses, companies like Amazon and Apple lower the price a bit.
- Amazon – 50% off Amazon Prime, making a monthly student membership $6.49 per month.
- Apple – An education priced MacBook Air is $849, compared to a regular priced MacBook Air, which is $999. See all education pricing here.
- Microsoft – 10% discount on select products.
- Adobe – 60% discount on Creative Cloud apps.
- News sources: The Wall Street Journal – $4 per month digital pack subscription compared to regular price of $38.99, The New York Times – $1 per week basic subscription compared to regular price of $3.75 per week.
“I use a chrome extension called Honey that automatically tries hundreds of discount codes in a few seconds. These codes that it tries are both commonly used codes, and codes that are reported to work by other users. I don’t shop online too often, but Honey saved me about 100 bucks last year.” – Patrick Ryan, University of Denver
A student budget can be tight, but discounts can open new doors or help you stay within your budget. Be smart about what you do buy by choosing a business that offers a student discount when making a purchase, and always carry your ID with you so you can ask if a business offers student discounts. More places than you think will help students save if you ask, so don’t be shy!