The Best Student Shopping Deals

By Madison White on September 20, 2019

It isn’t exactly a secret that college students are often short on money. With tuition prices rising and textbooks becoming more and more expensive, college students have less and less to spend on things like entertainment. That student ID can be your golden ticket too!

Being a college student will often give you lots of access to deals and discounts, you just have to know where to look. From streaming services to fashion retailers, the list of discounts is nearly infinite. Check out all of different categories and websites to find out what you could be saving on next.

Music and Streaming

Amazon Prime Student

One of the largest companies in the world hasn’t forgotten about college students, and in fact, offers them perhaps more deals than any other website. Everybody knows Amazon. Their reach extends far and wide beyond selling physical products; Amazon now has streaming services for TV, movies, and music. Luckily, Amazon Prime’s student membership extends to all three.

One aspect of the Prime student membership is the free Prime shipping that comes with it. Most of their items qualify for Prime shipping: meaning that it is free and usually arrives within three days. This is especially helpful to college students who are looking to buy new or used textbooks from Amazon and need them to arrive quickly.

Besides the great deals on shipping a Prime membership also gives users access to the Prime Video services that include hundreds of popular TV and movie titles. You can watch all of these on-demand through their website streaming service. They feature many talked about shows like Fleabag, Downton Abbey, and many, many more.

While a Prime student membership won’t get you their music streaming service for free, it will let you buy it for just $0.99 a month. This is a small price to pay for access to thousands of songs by hit artists.

Cost-wise, an Amazon Prime Student membership comes with a variety of perks, including being completely free for the first six months. That’s right. Free. After the initial six months, students can expect to pay half of the regular membership fees. This calculates out to $6.49 per month or $59 dollars a year. If you’d like to know even more about Prime Student, you can read a press release about it here.

Spotify + Hulu + Showtime

If Amazon isn’t your thing, you may be looking for another way to gain access to your favorite music, TV shows, and movies. Luckily, Spotify has stepped in to fill that gap.

For many years, Spotify has allowed students to pay only half the price of a regular membership for Spotify Premium. If you aren’t familiar with the app, it gives you access to music almost every artist you can think of. It also allows you to make playlists and listen completely ad-free. Using your user data, the app also creates suggested playlists and artists you might like based on your interests.

The fun doesn’t stop there, though. In recent years, Spotify has upped its game. They’ve also included free Hulu and Showtime alongside your Spotify student membership. This means you’ll have access to hit TV shows and movies on-demand for no additional cost.

Currently, the Spotify Student membership is half the normal membership price, but the first three months after you sign up are completely free. After that, you’ll pay $4.99 a month for all three services.

Apple Music

If you’re addicted to your iPhone, you might have issues giving up your Apple Music. You may have spent years downloading certain music and creating playlists that jumping ship now would feel like a waste. The good news is that your hard work doesn’t have to go to waste. Apple Music has student deals too.

Much like Spotify, Apple Music’s student deal is half of their regular membership price. You can expect to pay $4.99 a month to gain access to their large music library.

Digital

Microsoft Office 365

When you enter college, it is likely that your school helped you download Microsoft 365 for free. If fact, many student emails are run through Microsoft Outlook. This is a fairly common thing, but just in case your school wasn’t in the loop, you can download the software completely free as a student.

This gives you key access to programs like Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and more. These programs are essential when you need to write essays or create presentations for your classes. You can visit their page here to find out more.

Adobe

Whether you are in a creative major or simply like to create art in your free time, you may be interested in Adobe software that allows you to edit images. For most people, purchasing Adobe can be a bit of a chore because of the hefty price tag that comes along with it. Students, fortunately, can save 60% of that normal price. $19.99 a month will get you access to the entire Adobe suite that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.

If you’re just after Photoshop, you can buy a different plan for only $9.99 a month.

Technology

Many major technology retailers offer various discounts for students. The well-known ones, like Microsoft, Lenovo, and Apple can give different price reductions that range from 5-10% off to other student deals that change based on the season. Even major technology retailer Best Buy which will price match other stores if you find a cheaper price on Amazon. If you’re looking into buying a new piece of technology, especially a laptop, definitely check into whether or not the brand or store offers a student discount because they probably do!

Fashion

If it’s a major fashion retailer, they probably offer a student discount. Almost all large brand companies will give students some sort of deal, whether it be a small percentage off of your total or free shipping. However, sometimes these discounts aren’t well advertised. Make sure that you scroll down to the bottom of the website and look for a “Student Discount” link. It may be hiding. After you find it, all you’ll probably have to do is type in your name, school, and school email address and congratulations! Savings are headed your way.

It would be impossible to list out all the brands that offer discounts, but here are some popular ones:

Kate Spade: 15% off through UNiDAYS

Topshop: 10% off

H&M: 15% off through UNiDAYS

Nike: 10% off

American Eagle: 20% through UNiDAYS

Culture and Fun

 

UNiDAYS

I didn’t learn about this site until I went to study abroad in the UK. The odd name comes from most British students calling college “uni”. This site is heavily promoted during orientation weeks at universities across the pond. Luckily, the great deals you can find in this app have crossed the Atlantic.

In short, the website is a hub of all student deals. Once you make an account with your university email address, you can browse the many different discounts on almost anything you can think of. This includes fashion retailers, fast food restaurants, and much, much more. Some of the deals are permanent and others are only short term, so make sure you check in on it regularly. You can also specialize your interests so you see discounts that align with your wants and needs.

Another perk of the app? Because your account has verified you as a student already, you won’t have to go through any extra verification procedures.

Zipcar

If you live in a dorm or apartment on campus, you may not have access to a car. Because so much of your life is confined to a short walking distance, there really isn’t a need for one. However, if you are wanting to go do something off-campus, you may run into some problems. It may be difficult to get off campus, especially if your city doesn’t have reliable public transportation. Renting a car from a more traditional company can also be difficult if you’re under the age of 25.

Luckily, Zipcar is a service that can really help you out. Many universities across the country have partnerships with Zipcar and have their cars on campus. However, not every single campus will so be sure to check before you get started on the process.

The process appears pretty straightforward. You register for an account and they have to verify your driver’s license. If you’re an international student, don’t fret, they take international ones too! Once you’re verified, they’ll send you a ZipCard and then you’re ready to hit the road.

You can choose lots of different plans that will suit your needs. You can choose if you want to pay the flat rate of $7 a month or $70 a year. On top of that, there are hourly rates and mileage rates based on which car you drive, how long, and how far. Insurance and gas in the car are free.

If you don’t drive often and don’t want to pay for the upkeep of a car you never use, this could definitely be a great option for you.

Student Events

This isn’t necessarily a traditional student discount, but it is definitely one worth mentioning. So often, students can take free things for granted. Especially when the flood of emails comes in every week, you may find yourself deleting newsletters before you read them. This isn’t good practice though, because so many campuses have dedicated events teams that bring you fun and exciting events that are so often completely free.

Most universities will have student events going on every single week. They can also range widely from sporting events to concerts to book readings to drag shows. You never know what you might find! Make sure that you aren’t bypassing emails that might be sent to you or posters that are up around campus. Many colleges also have social media pages that they will frequently update about upcoming events.

It is also common for other companies to host events through universities. Keep an eye out for these too because students will usually get a reduced rate if the event is ticketed.

Your library

Another opportunity that many students miss are the deals you can find at your university library. In fact, libraries are not just old buildings that store lots of books! Most libraries have adapted their services to fit what modern college students want and need.

If you’re a bookish person, then you probably already know that the library is for you. Is there a new release coming out soon that you’re dying to read? Let your library know that you want to read that title. They can usually get it for you in a variety of ways by either ordering a copy for their collection or borrowing it through interlibrary loan. Libraries often also feature audiobooks that are free to rent and use if you would rather listen.

If books aren’t your thing, most libraries also have up-to-date movie and TV show collections. You can very often rent out DVDs from them, and some university libraries have even teamed up with certain streaming services to offer entertainment on demand.

The final discount isn’t a specific one. Remember that most places know that students are short on money and want to help you. Even if it is a small, local business, asking if they do student discounts may get you one! It never hurts to ask. After all, it is great to shop and support the small businesses in your area. Your money, even if it is discounted, will likely be much more appreciated there than at some large corporate one.

Whenever you’re buying something, whether it be in person or online, always check for student discounts. You never know what you’ll be able to save. Also, check what existing subscriptions you may already have. You could definitely be overpaying for things that could cost you a lot less.

Madison graduated with her Master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester (UK), and holds Bachelor's degrees in English and Creative Writing from Wichita State University. She currently teaches English at Wichita State University and works as a freelance writer and blogger on her website Madison White Writes and elsewhere.

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