For most college students, trying to save money is a way of life. Whether it’s pirating textbooks, dumpster diving for food, or “borrowing” toilet paper from the library bathroom, students tend to find clever ways to pinch pennies.
But one of the best ways to save money as a college student goes largely ignored. Students can get discounts at many of the places they already shop, just by flashing their student ID or using their student email address. Here are some of the best offers – and how to get them.
Best Discounts for College Students
The following retailers and merchants offer special pricing for students:
The Spotify Premium Student program offers a one-month free trial. After that, students will pay $4.99 a month for Spotify Premium, Hulu, and Showtime’s streaming service.
The discount is available for 48 months total. Subscribers may be required to provide extra documentation to verify their status as a student. Unfortunately, you are not eligible for this offer if you’ve previously used Spotify Premium before. You may still be eligible if you already have a Hulu or Showtime account.
Apple offers lower prices for students as part of the Apple education program. For example, a 13-inch Macbook Pro costs $100 less and a 16-inch Macbook Pro is $200 less.
Apple does not require proof directly at the time of purchase, but they do reserve the right to audit the purchase after the fact. If you can’t prove you’re a student, they may charge you the difference between the regular price and the student price.
Samsung offers students and teachers up to 30% off on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. They can also receive special pricing on other electronics and appliances like headphones, portable chargers, and monitors.
Unlike Apple, Samsung verifies student status before they receive the discount. You may have to upload documents to prove you’re a student.
Adobe Creative Cloud
The Adobe Creative Cloud suite includes programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Lightroom.
Students can receive access to the Adobe Creative Cloud for $19.99 a month, compared to $52.99 a month for regular users. This offer lasts for a year, after which the price will change to $29.99 a month. Use a school email address to have your identity verified immediately during checkout.
While Amazon Prime normally costs $119 a year, students can get a free six-month trial. After that, the membership will only cost $6.49 a month, which is half off the normal price.
Students can get Showtime for only $0.99 a month for one year, a two-month trial subscription to Kindle Unlimited, and discounts on textbooks.
Microsoft Office 365
Students get free access to Microsoft programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more when they sign up using their student email address.
Microsoft may ask to verify your school enrollment at any time. If you are no longer a student, they can cancel the membership immediately.
Students can save up to 35% off on HP products like computers, printers, and laptops. To receive access to the HP Education Store, you have to register with a student email address ending in “.edu”.
Students can save $100 off certain computers and up to 10% off monitors and other accessories.
Nike normally offers a 10% discount for students but has recently increased it to 20%. Students have to prove their eligibility online before receiving a special coupon code.
The code can only be used once every 30 days.
Many movie theaters, museums, and other attractions have specific student prices available with a student ID.
Cell phone carriers
Verizon and AT&T both offer student discounts on cell phone plans. Students can save $10 a month for the unlimited package on one line or $25 off for two lines.
Students have to apply for the AT&T Signature Program, which determines eligibility based on your email address.
Many local and national chains offer special membership pricing for students. Some, like the YMCA, may offer a sliding scale membership based on your income.
Many clothing stores offer a discount to students. Retailers including J.Crew, Madewell, Uniqlo, and H&M offer 15% off to students.
In general, these discounts can range from 10 to 20% off depending on the company. You usually have to show a student ID when shopping in-person or use a student email address if shopping online.
Students get a one-month free trial to YouTube Premium and then a $6.99 monthly membership, compared to the $11.99 standard price. This subscription includes ad-free videos, the ability to download videos for offline watching, and access to YouTube Music Premium.
Students have to verify their status every year.
Students who already love to save money should shop at Goodwill. Some locations provide an extra 10% off if you show a student ID. Other locations may have certain days of the week where students get an extra discount.
Call your local Goodwill and ask about their specific policy.
How to Get the Student Discount
Most in-store retailers require that you show a student ID as proof. If you forget the ID at home, they may deny the request.
If you’re shopping online, your student email address will be used to verify your status. You may not get the discount if you try to use a regular Gmail address.
Other companies will go a step further and verify your enrollment directly with the school. Getting a discount may not work if you’ve already graduated, even if you still have a student ID or a university email address.
Even if there’s no explicit student discount on a store’s website, it never hurts to ask. They may have an unwritten rule or be willing to extend a special offer.
Sometimes the student discount cannot be combined with other sales, offers or coupons. If that’s the case, you may be better off buying an item on sale than applying the student discount to a full-price item.