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Make the Most of Your Student Discount This Semester

Make the Most of Your Student Discount This Semester
Christina Hammarberg

It's January and you're back at school. Most likely a lot poorer than you were before the holidays. Before you resort to a steady diet of ramen noodles and tap water this semester, let me remind you of an extremely helpful benefit of that photo ID you're forced to carry with you everywhere: student discounts. Yes, that lovely little piece of plastic entitles you to tons of savings that reach far beyond the campus bookstore.

Where to Find Student Discounts

As a student, you're pretty much guaranteed to savings on pretty much everything - from the essentials (books, food, clothing, technology) to travel, car insurance, movie tickets and so much more. I've found discount amounts that range from 5 to 25 percent, but the majority of major merchants and brands offer at least 10 percent off for any student with a valid ID. Not a bad deal!

Sites That Help You SaveStudentDiscount_UNIDAYS_0105

To claim your discount in-person, all you need to do is show your ID. But online, it can be a little trickier. For that reason, many brands partner with shopping services like UNiDAYS, Studentrate.com or StudentUniverse.com for their student discount program. These sites require you to set up a profile with them in order get your discount. Each of these sites are free to join, and once you're you're registered, you won't have to re-enter your student information each time you shop online at your favorite stores. Just log in through the partner site and you'll be immediately recognized - and discounted! One other thing to note: while some brands will offer a straight-up discount, others work on a cash-back system. For example, if you shop at BookRenter.com for your spring semester textbooks, StudentUniverse.com will give you 8 percent cash back on your order total, which is then credited to your account for use on future purchases through StudentUniverse.com.

The Best Student Deals

So, who's dishing out the best deals for students? The best way to find out is to look at your favorite brand's website FAQs, or try searching the web for what you want. Here are a few brand discounts that certainly make me wish I was back in school:

Apple - Students (and parents of students) can save up to $200 on a Mac, and up to $20 on a new iPad.

Amazon Student - Students get all the benefits of Amazon Prime for just $49 per year, plus a free StudentDiscount_Amazon_0105six-month trial.

Buffalo Wild Wings – 10 percent off your entire meal. This may vary by location, so check with your server.

Chipotle – Students can get a free, small fountain drink with any meal purchase.

FedEx – Get up to 30 percent off select packing and services.

Geico – Students that maintain a grade point average equivalent to a “B” can get up to 15 percent off certain coverage plans.

Goodwill – 10 percent off any purchase. Some locations have special student-rate days, while others accept student IDs anytime.

Jo-Ann Fabrics - 10 percent off all purchases. Students can also sign up for access to special discount days and events.

ModCloth - 10 percent off any purchase with UNiDAYS account, or 10 percent cash back with StudentRate.com.

Spotify - U.S. students can get 50 percent off Spotify Premium accounts.

StarbucksStore.com – StudentRate.com members can earn up to 7 percent cash back here.

Toms Shoes - 10 percent off any purchase with UNiDAYS account, or 10 percent cash back with StudentRate.com.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Now, it may be tempting to go dig your old ID out of the junk drawer, but having a valid student ID and/or a valid student email address is key when it comes to these discounts. Merchants and businesses will check when you provide your ID in person, and online transactions typically require a working academic email address.

By the way, student discounts aren't strictly for college and university students. Many merchants will gladly accept a high school - and sometimes middle school - IDs. Just make sure to check with a manager. And don't forget to check out some of the small businesses that are local to your school. Chances are, they offer student discounts, too.

 

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