The Best Deals and Discounts for College Students

Multicultural young girls shopping and paying with credit card in boutique, fashion shopping girls concept stock photo
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With President Joe Biden’s federal student loan cancellation plans making headlines as of late, it may be easy to forget the rising cost of attending college or university in the first place.

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Paying for college can be a daunting financial task. As College Data reported, according to the College Board, “A moderate college budget for an in-state student attending a four-year public college in 2021-2022 averages $27,330. For out-of-state students at public colleges, the average budget comes to $44,150, and for students attending private colleges, the average budget is $54,800.”

That’s not an insignificant sum. However, there are ways for every college or university student to save a few dollars, especially when it comes to entertainment options, technology, food, or general goods. Many popular brands offer significant deals and discounts to students — either through their own storefronts or via provider sites like UNiDAYS and Student Beans.

So, whether you’ve already begun your semester or are about to, here is a smattering of some of the best discounts for college students this year.

Make Your Money Work for You

Entertainment

AMC: The reality is that sometimes you have to leave your dorm or apartment and take a break from the books. When you need some high-quality narrative distraction, AMC has you covered. Not only does the theater chain offer 30% discounts off everyday matinees, but students always get discounts when presenting student ID at participating locations.

Apple Music and Apple TV Plus: By singing up for an Apple Music student subscription at $5/month, you can get Apple TV Plus at no extra charge. That subscription gets you access to 50 million songs, accessible on all your Apple devices. This discounted Apple Music monthly rate is available to students enrolled in degree-granting universities and colleges for up to 48 months.

Spotify Premium with Hulu and SHOWTIME: Non-students pay up to $27 a month to bundle these three popular entertainment sites — but students can get an impressive discount and pay only $4.99 when they sign up for Spotify Premium. The discount kicks in following your free 6-month trial of Spotify Premium, Hulu (ad-supported) and Showtime.

Shopping

Adorama: If you’ve ever jumped around the Adorama site, you are well aware of the massive deals available on cameras, lenses, cinematography gear, studio lighting, tripods, pro audio, computers, printers, and every cutting-edge accessory you need to “equip your creativity.” After signing up and verifying your student status with SheerID, students will unlock an exclusive college student discount program.  

Make Your Money Work for You

Amazon Prime Student: New Prime Student account holders can enjoy a free 6-month trial, then keep it for just $7.49 a month. Delivery options on shopping and food, entertainment (Prime Video, Amazon Music Prime, Prime Gaming) and books (Prime Reading, Textbook Rental) will help during the studying slog. Prime is also offering students 6 months of free LinkedIn Premium, Showtime for $0.99 a month and its Amazon Music Limited service (see above) for $0.99 a month.

Groupon: For its Select Student Program, Groupon is offering a limited time only “Food, Drink & Fun” discount of 25% on local deals for six months. After this, 15% off local deals can still be had as long as you are a student.

Technology

Apple: College students can get a discount on select tech starting at $50 off, 20% off AppleCare+, credit with Apple Trade In and gift cards with education discount purchases.

Best Buy: Best Buy has tons of student-only deals on laptops, TVs, audio and appliances. According to CNET: “To get the discounts (which in some cases can be applied to existing sale prices), you need to create or sign into your My Best Buy account, then sign up for student deals.” Parents of K-12 and college students can sign up as well. 

Make Your Money Work for You

HP: University student and teacher discounts with up to 40% everyday savings are available. HP Education Program Purchases are limited to two PCs, two tablets, 10 accessories (including CarePacks), two printers and 12 supplies per calendar year. Plus, free shipping and easy returns are part of the deal. Registration requires an email address with a “.edu” suffix (e.g. student@university.edu).

Food

Blue Apron: $110 off (and free shipping off your first Blue Apron order) is not only available to students, teachers and alumni, but to doctors, nurses, hospital employees, first responders, military, seniors (55+) and government workers. Complete verification must be done through ID.me.

DoorDash: DoorDash offers students “The best of your neighborhood, delivered for less. Enjoy A+ DoorDash benefits for just $4.99/month or $48/year.”

HelloFresh: Students get 15% off for a whole year of deliveries — and free shipping on the first box — via UNiDAYS membership. Right now, all customers can get 16 free meals across seven boxes (plus free shipping on first box and three surprise gifts).

Fitness

Peloton: Students can take advantage of an offer to try the Peloton app free for 30 days — then it’s 50% off the cost of a standard monthly membership.

TRX Training: Unlock 20% on full-priced TRX Training products by registering and verifying your student status with Student Beans.  

Pvolve: Students and educators can get “a smarter education discount” at Pvolve. Sign up to get 30% off everything sitewide. Student deals apply to those enrolled at a college or university, and teacher discounts apply to all college professors, K-12 teachers and faculty members. Offer applies to new members only.

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Education

Chegg: Normally around $16 a month, Chegg provides course-tailored homework help, exam prep and writing support. Now, students can get “25% off your first month of Chegg Study Packs through Student Beans or get 20% off Chegg Study resources and 10% off Chegg textbooks through UNiDAYS,” per NBC Select.

Money Management

You Need a Budget: YNAB is offering a year of its personal finance software for free to all college students.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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