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Last Updated: 20th September 2021

100+ Freebies & Discounts for College Students 2022

Entering college in the U.S. is a two-pronged sword in the sense that it is both a privilege and a burden. A privilege since not everyone will be allowed to pursue a course that will define your career later. A burden as completing your college course comes with a price, which may prove to be too costly for most students. Fortunately, there is hope for you college students, it comes in the form of discounts and freebies.

Written by: Piggyy

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Being a college student would mean purchasing books and other school supplies. You also need to spend on the daily necessities, which include food and transportation expenses. There are also expenses for staying in a dormitory or a common-shared apartment with your friends, utilities (i.e., water and electricity), and some school activities.

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You are lucky if you have the funds to finance your college journey, but most typical college students support their studies by having part-time jobs, given their limited financial resources.

 

The High Costs of a College Degree

Obtaining a college degree is a costly pursuit, as shown in the following statistics based on the data gathered by EDUCATIONDATA.ORG, updated on August 15, 2021:

 

(in US$)PublicPrivate
In-StateOut-of-StateNon-ProfitFor Profit
Average tuition fee per year  9,580.0027,437.0037,200.0013,475.00
Average additional expenses16,284.0016,284.0016,749.0021,073.00
Total per year (Average)25,864.0043,721.0053,949.0034,548.00

 

  • The data are based on 4-year college courses.
  • Additional expenses cover board and lodging, books, supplies, and other expenses.

 

The Great Equalizer: College Student Discounts and Freebies

Earning your college degree may seem daunting with all the attached costs. Fortunately, silver linings exist for being a college student in the form of discounts and freebies, which you can enjoy to save on money.

 

Textbooks

Textbooks are some of the most important tools for any student. An average of US$1,000.00 per year is normally spent on books and supplies. An effective way to reduce, if not eliminate, this type of expense is to take advantage of free college books available on hand or online. Another option is to avail of a college book discount from online bookstores.

 

Free Books

  • Your College or University’s Library – this should be your go-to place for free college books as most libraries are stocked with reference books of different volumes. You only need to apply for a library card and start borrowing your required books as a student.

 

Open Educational Resources (OERs) – are a plethora of educational resources such as course materials, textbooks, modules, learning objects, streaming videos that legally allow free use. Some of these OERs are:

 

  1. Open Textbooks Grand Valley State University – contains a rich compilation of resources such as textbooks and other course materials that are openly licensed.
  2. American Institute of Mathematics Open Textbook Initiative – an open-source with access limited to mathematics textbooks.
  3. California Open Online Library for Education – offers free and open access to eTextbooks that can be downloaded, printed, or customized.
  4. Open Textbook Library – allows free use of openly licensed books. Some books may not technically “open” with usage subject to minimal cost. 
  5. OpenStax – free use of textbooks, requiring account creation
  6. Bookboon – sign up is needed to avail of free textbooks or eBooks in their collection.
  7. FreeBooks4Doctors – offers 375 free online medical books currently.
  8. The Orange Grove – a Florid-based free online library for different college courses.
  9. E-Books Directory – free access to more than 10,000 eBooks. 
  10. The Assayer – a collection of free books in Math, Science, or Computers. 
  11. Milne Open Textbooks – initially started as Open SUNY Textbooks, providing open and accessible textbooks.
  12. Textbook Revolution – offers free textbooks either in PDF or eBooks form. Cheap textbooks can be bought via campusbooks.com.

 

Discounted Books

  1. Chegg – avail of up to 90% off on the price list of textbooks with free shipping for purchases over US$35.00.as
  2. CampusBooks – sale of new or used textbooks discounted up to 90% of the cost.
  3. CheapestTextbooks.com – offers a higher discount of up to 95% for the sale or rent of textbooks.
  4. AACC Bookstore – an online bookstore where you can buy, rent, or sell textbooks.

 

Digital Subscriptions

With the shift from print newspapers to online news sources, a digital subscription is very popular and appealing to the younger generation. Most college students are on the go, and reading the online version of newspapers and magazines is more suitable for their lifestyle, whether for information or entertainment purposes.

 

College student discounts online will help attract more readers or users and encourage them to avail themselves of such digital subscriptions.

 

  • Amazon Prime Student – to avail of a college student discount, Amazon Prime Student membership offers free usage for six months with a 50% discounted monthly rate after the trial period. Sign-up with Amazon is required.

 

Other freebies are:

  • For certain purchases deemed eligible, 2-day shipping free of charge;
  • Prime Video – unlimited streaming of T.V. shows and movies;
  • Prime Music – free access to thousands of songs;
  • Prime Playlists and Prime Stations – unlimited access, advertisement-free;
  • Prime Photos – unlimited access to photo storage;
  • Exclusive Prime Student deals plus discounts

 

  1. Audible – for new student members interested in audiobooks, it offers a 30% discount. You also get credit with Amazon.com worth US$10.00. Registration with UNiDAYS is a prerequisite.
  2. Chirp – use the code REALDEALSTUDENT5 to receive US$5 on your first audiobook. The offer lasts until December 30, 2022. Sign up for free and avail of discounts of up to 95% on the top audiobooks. 
  3. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) – upon qualifying as a student member, you have unlimited access using the WSJ app and WSJ.com, its curated newspapers, complimentary e-books, exclusive offers and events, and podcasts. 
  4.  The Economist – offers a 50% discount on subscription costs for three months (or 12 weeks) on both (1) digital-only and (2) digital and print subscriptions.
  5. The Washington Post (W.P.) – Academic Rate subscription at US$1.00 for the first four weeks and 50% off at US$5.00 every four weeks to avail of unlimited access to W.P. apps and washingtonpost.com. A third-party provider will conduct an eligibility verification.
  6. Spotify + Hulu + SHOWTIME – college students aged 18 and older can avail themselves of the Spotify Premium Student bundled with Hulu and SHOWTIME at US$4.99/month with one month free. A third-party provider will determine eligibility.
  7. YouTube Premium – offers eligible students a free trial for a month then a monthly package rate at US$65 for ad-free music and videos.
  8. LastPass – does not offer student discounts on the site, but discount coupons and promo codes can be found on couponupto.com.
  9. Apple Music – allows non-stop listening to 75 million songs, including playlists and new releases under its student plan offered at US$4.99/month, which includes Apple T.V. Registration with UNiDAYS is required.
  10. Skillshare – an online learning platform where you can get a 50% discount on Premium membership using a valid .edu address under its Skillshare Student Scholarships.
  11. Treehouse – offers online coding classes that you can attend in the comforts of your home. It offers Student Perks, special discounts exclusive to its members, such as the Balsamic Cloud 90-day or Fresh Books 2-month free trials.
  12. You Need a Budget – is a free personal finance software catering to all college students. The objective is to relieve you of student debt and take control of your spending.
  13. PureVPN – register with Student Beans to avail of a 15% student discount.
  14. SiriusXM – subscribe to the new Student Streaming Platinum at US$1 for three months and US$4 per month afterward to enjoy streaming or listening to music, news, sports, and comedy.

 

Software and Apps

As most college students use computers or laptops to study their lessons and complete their assignments, it is good that college student discounts on computer software are available. These software and apps are very useful for college students in accomplishing their tasks.

 

  1. Google Sheets – a free, web-based app that allows you to create spreadsheets online and edit them if needed.
  2. Microsoft Office 365 – under Office 365 Education, eligible students can sign up for free use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams.  
  3. Evernote – eligible students with a valid .edu or .ac email address can avail a 50% discount for a full year of Evernote Personal.
  4. Ulysses – a writing app that is offering a special rate of US$10.99 for students, good for six months usage.
  5. Adobe Creative Cloud – offers up to a 70% discount (from US$52.99 to US$15.99 per month) when you subscribe to the Creative Cloud all-apps.
  6. Notion – an app providing an all-in-1 workspace for the whole team. It is free for personal use by college students.
  7. Notion for Education is suitable for every student in managing their notes, tasks, reading lists, or research work. This app is free for individual students after sign-up.
  8. Asana – an app that allows students to track their college workload, from assignments to extracurricular activities.
  9. Asana Premium is available to U.S.-based students for free to aid in their group work.
  10. Autodesk – offers college student software discounts on their AutoCAD bundle subscriptions that would be helpful to college students pursuing engineering, architecture, or design courses. A free 1-year educational access to products and services of Autodesk is open to eligible students and renewable as long as eligibility is maintained.
  11. MSC Software – utilizes simulation software technology allowing engineers, with the help of virtual prototypes, to validate and optimize their designs. It conducts webinars, Standard courses, and Custom courses that might prove useful to college students. 
  12. Tableau – eligible students from accredited educational institutions can avail of the free 1-year Tableau licenses for easy access to the whole eLearning suite.
  13. Atlassian – software developer that produces tools utilized by numerous teams worldwide. It offers free trials for its Standard and Premium cloud plans, which can be useful to college students.
  14. Squarespace – register with Student Beans to avail the 50% student discount on your first annual plan. 
  15. Azendoo – an app combining the most popular and widely used apps. A free year is available to students if they qualify under the Azendoo for Education special offer.
  16. Invision –  a prototyping design tool created by designers for use by designers. It can be used for free by students involved in designs.
  17. Sketch – offers a 50% student discount for users who want to install on their personal devices Sketch’s Mac app.
  18. Lucid Chart – gives free Education accounts to college students allowing them to use graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams, mind maps, and timelines. It also provides unlimited document creation and sharing.
  19. Basecamp – college students are given a free 30-day trial with the condition that the site will be used strictly for educational purposes.
  20. Ableton Live – offers a 40% student discount on Live 11 Standard or Live 11 Suite.
  21. Axure RP – a design tool in developing prototypes for interactive HTML. It gives free licenses to students anywhere in the world.
  22. JetBrains – offers free individual educational licenses to eligible students that are valid for one year.

 

Cell phone Service

Almost everyone owns a cell phone, with a majority using at least two or more of these communication devices. Aside from its basic function of sending text messages and making calls, a cell phone is now a vital work device in sending and receiving emails and accessing files or documents. It has also become a source of entertainment in watching videos or listening to music.

 

Given the competitiveness among the mobile phone providers, companies constantly develop attractive packages bundling up unlimited use of data, calls, and text. Particularly, there are many college student discounts on cell phone plans, such as:

 

  1. Sprint – provides special offers and savings to a certain group of people, such as university or college students. You need to submit proof of eligibility to know if you are qualified. Sprint is now part of the T Mobile family.
  2. AT&T – accepts requests for college student discounts on cell phone plans but is limited to postpaid lines.
  3. Verizon Wireless – offers two packages for its Unlimited Plans to college students. Registration with UNiDAYS is required for eligibility.
    1. US$60 per month (from US$70) for one line plus taxes and fees.
    2. US$95 per month (from US$120) for two lines plus taxes and fees.
  4. T Mobile – offers no special discounts at this time though there are available coupons online.
  5. U.S. Cellular – deals and offers are not specifically geared to college students, but coupons are available online.

 

Services

College students can also enjoy discounts and deals offered by service providers involved in local transportation, truck rentals, car insurance, museums, and movie theatres. Possible savings on these services mean that they will not be deprived of their right to travel or be entertained. 

 

  • Local public transit – many bus operators generally offer discount cards for all types of students, including those attending college or university. 

 

Examples are:

  • METRO system in Texas issue Student Fare Cards that gives 50% discount to college students studying in the University of Houston, Houston Community College, Lone Star College, Texas Southern University, and Rice University.
  • Capital Area Transportation Authority in Michigan offers discounted fares of 60 cents for college students.Moving truck rentals – discounted rates for college students are crucial for this service, especially when moving from your home to your dormitory. Some of the moving companies to consider are:
  • Budget Truck Rentals gives 15% off for one-way moves and a higher discount of 20% for local moves. You can schedule your move any time since the company is very flexible, having more than 20,000 moving trucks.
  • Penske grants 10% off on all moving rentals with one-way moves providing free unlimited miles.

–  Museums – as another avenue for learning, especially for those college students leaning towards the arts, admission to these institutions ranges from free to a minimal fee.

 

In Philadelphia, the Woodmere Art Museum is free for all students with their I.D.s.  The Barnes Foundation charges a US$5 admission fee for college students with I.D.s.

 

  1. Movie theatres – college student discounts at theatres are prevalent. To avail of the special price offers of movie theatres, always bring your college I.D.
  2. Car insurance – college students driving their vehicle should look for car insurance that gives college student discounts. This insurance is important to avoid huge costs if you get involved in any car accident. A couple of car insurance companies you can look into are:
    1. GEICO offers various student discounts such as Good Student Discount, Good Driver Discount, membership discounts (fraternity, sorority, or honor society), and organization discounts (alumni, college, university, or student).
    2. State Farm car insurance offers teenage discounts such as Good Student Discount, Driver Training Discount, and Student way at School Discount.
  3. Amtrak – as part of its national student discount, advanced purchases (a day before) are subject to a 15% discount for college students aged 17 to 24.
  4. Zipcar – gives college student discounts in certain universities to help you save on hourly and daily rates.

 

Food and Drinks

Sustenance is important for everyone, especially for those who are hard at studying. Several establishments, luckily, offer college student discounts on food and drinks. Some of the establishments listed below offer discounts and freebies exclusively to students since they need to present their valid student I.D.s.

 

  1. Pocket Points is a downloadable mobile app that rewards refraining from using your phone while attending classes or while driving. The points you earn can be used to redeem discounts and deals from its online retail and local business partners.
  2. Chick-fil-A – offers a free drink when presenting your college student I.D. upon ordering. A free Chick-fil-A sandwich is one of the rewards in Pocket Points.
  3. LunchBox – a food app catering to students within the vicinity of restaurants offering three of their best meals.  It guarantees great, better-priced food for students. 
  4. Buffalo Wild Wings – gives a 10% student discount upon presenting a valid student I.D.
  5. Dairy Queen – offers a 10% student discount for holders of student I.D.s. Valid only at participating stores. 
  6. Chipotle – gives free drink with your purchase when you present your student I.D. at select participating stores.
  7. Waffle House – present your student I.D. to avail of a 10% student discount at participating stores.
  8. Qdoba – get a free drink with the purchase and upon student I.D. presentment for participating stores. In some locations, students may be offered burritos at a discount. 
  9. Mosaic Foods – avail of a US$30 student discount on your order when using the “REALDEALSTUDENT30” code 
  10. TCBY – gives a 15% discount for students bearing valid I.D.s at select stores.

 

Event Discounts

College students can enjoy discounts extended in certain events covering sports, concerts, or arts.

  1. Sporting Events – University of Southern Carolina students can avail of a US$155 ticket package cost for seven games for an average cost of US$22 per game, which is less than 50% of the price of a normal ticket. The Cleveland Indians offer half-priced tickets during their Student ID Nights as long as the student shows a valid I.D. 
  2. Campus Events – concerts or lectures conducted within the confines of the campus normally offer either free entrance/ access or discounts to their student population. At Stanford University, all of its current students can access the films and screenings of Stanford Live, including all recorded performances, podcasts, and discussions related to such films and screenings. At the University of Texas at Austin, student group tickets are available to watch and see performing arts on campus. There are also additional discounts, which may vary depending on the event.  
  3. Concerts, Performances, and Art Events – Student tickets for US$10 are available at Carnegie Hall, while the Metropolitan Opera offers student tickets at varying rates to full-time students, undergraduates, and graduates.  

 

Banking and Finance

A bank account means you have access to funds in case of an emergency. Many students find it hard to keep their accounts, especially when a maintaining balance is required; hence, college bank account deals. 

 

For the best college bank deals, consider the following banks:

  1. Ally Bank – gives an interest rate of 0.5% on its online savings account, which is 10x the average rate.
  2. BB&T Student Checking – a checking account designed for a student’s needs:
    1. Customized debit card
    2. Overdraft protection
    3. Mobile Banking
    4. No monthly maintenance fee
    5. No direct deposit requirement
  3. Chase College Checking – upon opening, receive US$100 as a new Chase customer with certain restrictions.
  4. Discover Cashback Debit Account – a checking account with a corresponding debit card, which lets you earn 1% cashback on all your monthly purchases up to US$3,000.
  5. PNC Bank – offers savings and checking accounts, student loans, and credit cards to hard-working students.
  6. Regions LifeGreen Checking Account for Students – a checking account for students with no monthly fee.
  7. SoFi Money – your money is insured. Earn 15% cashback when using SoFi Money and with easy access on your phone.
  8. U.S. Bank Student Checking – a checking account with no maintenance and ATM fees, overdraft protection, free e-statements and credit score monitoring, Zelle payments, and mobile banking.
  9. USAA Classic Checking for College Students – offers no monthly service fees and online banking available for as low as US$25.
  10. T.D. Convenience Checking – no monthly maintenance fee for account holders aged 17 to 23, comes with free mobile banking.

Shopping

Everyone loves to shop, either prompted by their needs or wants. Fortunately,  many shops and stores give college student discounts, which is a great help for cash-strapped students.

Below are some of the clothing stores and electronic shops offering hard-to-resist student discounts:

 

Clothing

  1. Adidas – register with UNiDAYS to enjoy your 25% student discount. 
  2. Banana Republic – 15% Education Discount is acceptable only on full-priced, in-store purchases in the U.S. and excludes purchases made online, from factory stores, or third-party merchandise.
  3. Champion – gives 10% discount to all students and an additional 10% (20% total) for college students actively enrolled. Automatic 20% discount for UNiDAYS and Student Beans verified members.
  4. Club Monaco – gives a 15% discount to registered college students (with .edu email) to all full-priced and sale items bought online or in-store.
  5. Dockers – offers a 25% student discount on all its apparel upon status verification. UNiDAYS also give a lower 20% discount to its members.
  6. Hanes – a total of 20% discount for college students actively enrolled with maximum discount set at US$10/ order.
  7. J. Crew – grants 15% discount for all in-store and online purchases to all college students with verified eligibility.
  8. Kate Spade – register with UNiDAYS to use your 15% student discount code and avail of free shipping. Re-verify your status every month to generate a new 15% discount code.
  9. Levi’s – avail of 25% discount on all apparel after verification of your student status. UNiDAYS members enjoy a lower 15% discount to its members.
  10. Madewell – offers a 15% discount to all purchases in-stores and online by verified college students.
  11. ModCloth – using UNiDAYS, avail of 25% student discount for all online purchases.
  12. The North Face – 10% discount to all eligible college and university students for online or in-store purchases. A new promo code can be generated every 30 days upon re-verification of student status.
  13. Topshop – use ASOS upon registering in UNiDAYS to avail the 10% student discount for Topshop merchandise.
  14. Toms – receive the 10% student discount code after registering and getting verified at Student Beans.
  15. Vineyard Vines – enjoy a 15% discount extended to all verified, full-time college and graduate students.

 

Electronics

  1. Acer – create a Student Beans account to avail of student laptop deals giving an extra student discount of 10% with free shipping.
  2. Apple – college student laptop discounts are available when buying Mac or iPad model units that come with AirPods.
  3. Best Buy – avail of significant markdowns in their Best Buy Student Deals with savings up to US$400. Best Buy student discounts are offers exclusively made for students.
  4. Dell – offers college student discounts on laptops using a coupon code to be issued after registering with a valid university or school email address. 
  5. H.P. – membership registration required to avail college student computer discounts on various H.P. supplies, products, or services.
  6. Lenovo – 5% students discounts on laptop and computer brands for currently-enrolled college students aged at c8 and above currently enrolled college students.
  7. Logitech – register with UNiDAYS to avail of the 25% student discount on Logitech products.
  8. Microsoft – offers a 10% discount year-round on selected products along with new deals for students.
  9. Samsung – avail of 30% off with free delivery with its Student Discount Program.
  10. Skullcandy – offers 20% student discount via a discount code issued upon verification of student status.

 

Frequently asked questions

Are Student Discounts only for College Students?

Most student discounts are for college students aged 18 years old and above. Verification of eligibility will be conducted first before discounts are granted.

Why do College Students get Discounts?

Giving college discounts is one way to show support to college students who are struggling to finish their respective courses. It can be seen as a small reward to ease the financial burdens they are facing. 

Can Student Discount be used on Sale Items?

Student discounts, generally, cannot be used on sale items whose prices have been marked down. However, some stores may allow it so better check if you can combine it prior to making a payment.

Conclusion

Surviving college might be a challenge for most students. The financial burden may be tough to hurdle but if you plan and spend wisely, you can successfully earn your degree and come out as a winner.

 

Many people realize the hardships that come with college life; hence, numerous merchants and stores offer student discounts that definitely help them weather the costs of living. 

 

The discounts ranging from 5% to 25%, when added up, would have a huge positive impact on reducing your recurring expenses. It might even allow you to save up for your other needs.

Piggyy

״The secret of happiness, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less״ - Socrates

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