20 college discounts you never knew existed

Brooke DiPalma
Brooke DiPalma

Millions of high school graduates across the US are about to prepare for their next greatest adventure: college. Between tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation, higher education can get expensive.

However, that’s not all these students will be paying for. The average public college 4-year undergraduate student will spend about $2,110 on extra expenses per year, according to the College Board.

Between preparations for move-in day, adventures with new friends, and many unforeseen costs, it’s important to take every opportunity to save big. Before they call mom and dad to put money into the bank, students should check out these 20 discounts just for them.

Don’t wait until the last minute to gather the basics

  1. Apple’s Store for Education: Save up to $50 on a Macbook Pro and receive exclusive discounts on other Apple (AAPL) products.
  2. Microsoft Education (MSFT) : Get Office 365 for free; this includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Also save up to 10% off on Surface Pro 4.
  3. Amazon Prime Student Discount: Sign up for the free six-month trial for Prime student; this includes two-day shipping, unlimited movie and TV streaming, and student exclusive deals and promotions. At the end of the six months, your bank account will be charged $49/year. This may seem like a lot, but it’s 50% less than the normal cost of Amazon (AMZN) Prime, $99/year.
  4. Adobe: Save up to 60% on every Adobe (ADBE) creative app for photography, design, video, and web. Creative Cloud All Apps come all together for a fixed price of $49.99 per a month. However, for students and teachers, this package deal is only $19.99 per a month.

Stay informed

  1. The New York Times: Students can get Basic Digital Access to the NY Times (NYT) for $1 per week. They can get the all-access option for $1.50 per week, which allows access to Times Insider.
  2. Wall Street Journal: Receive the student print and digital pack for the semester rate (15 weeks) for $15 or buy the yearlong subscription for $49. This provides 6-day paper delivery and WSJ Magazine. It also provides unlimited access to WSJ.com on a desktop, tablet, mobile devices, and Mobile Tablet apps, like the What’s New app.
  3. Washington Post: Anyone who has an email address ending in .mil, .gov, or .edu is eligible for a FREE Washington Post subscription.

Dress the part

  1. Madewell: Present your college ID at all in-store locations to receive a 15% discount on all items.
  2. J.Crew: Receive a 15% discount at J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, and J.Crew Mercantile stores with a valid school ID at checkout.
  3. Banana Republic (GPS): Present your college ID at all in-store locations to receive a 15% discount on all full-priced merchandise.
  4. Kate Spade (KATE): Receive a 15% discount on all full-priced items in stores when you show a valid school ID at checkout.

Find the perfect music to keep you focused while you study

  1. Apple Music (AAPL): Try it for free for 3 months! After the 3 months are up, sign-up for a student membership for $4.99/month. You’ll have to log into UniDays to verify that you’re enrolled in a degree-granting university. Apple Music features vary depending on the country and region; check out what you’re eligible for here. 
  2. Spotify Premium: Try it out for 30 days for $0.99. When the 30 days are up, you can sign up for the Spotify Student Discount, $4.99/month.

What’s the difference between Apple Music and Spotify Premium? Apple Music is “All the ways you love music. All in one place.” It provides the user with access to their iCloud Music Library and the Apple Music streaming catalog of over 40 million tracks from artists around the world and then syncs the music right to your phone. Meanwhile, Spotify Premium provides access to over 30 million songs ad-free. If you’re on-the-go, without wifi, you can take your collection offline, without using your data.

Adventure is waiting: Visit friends and family for a lot cheaper!

  1. Student Universe: This travel booking service offers special rates on flights, hotels, and tours, so students can travel more and spend less. Since 2000 its reach continues to expand, with over 80 airline options and millions of students who use their services each year. Membership is free and upon sign-up, you even receive $20 off!
  2. Amtrak: With a valid student ID, students ages 13-25 can receive a 15% discount off the Lowest Value or Flexible Fare ticket option when you book at least three days in advance. Under Passenger #1 Adult, be sure to chose Student option. The fare prices in the options already include the 15% off.

Save big through UNiDAYS.

Sign up online, then download the UNiDAYS app to acquire a UNiDAYS ID. Depending upon the brand, receive a one-time code that can be used either online, presented in stores, or both.

  1. Bed, Bath, & Beyond: Present your UNiDAYS ID (in the app) to the cashier in-store in order to receive a 15% discount.
  2. Express: Enter the one-time promotional code during online checkout to receive 15% online. Present your UNiDAYS ID (in the app) to the cashier to also get 15% off.  
  3. Ray-Ban: Enter the one-time code during online checkout to save big with a 20% discount. There are no in-store student discounts available.
  4. Reebok: Plug in the one-time code in the promotional code area during online checkout only in order to benefit from a 20% student discount.
  5. Limited Time Offers: Check out the UNiDAYS Home Page to learn about the latest online and in-store sales. While you may not receive an extra student discount, you’ll know about big sales at some of your favorite brands.

50/30/20 Rule

Through these exclusive discounts, college students have the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars each year. However, in order to not overspend on unnecessary items, it’s important to make a budget plan. If a simple budget plan doesn’t work, try the 50/30/20 rule.

When you take a look at your income after taxes, try to divide your income in three parts: 50%, 30%, and 20%. Fifty percent should go towards paying your fixed expenses like rent, utilities, and phone bill; 30% should go towards discretionary spending like groceries, clothing, and entertainment. Meanwhile, 20% should go directly toward savings.

If you budget well, you could have enough money to splurge on the apparent favorite food of the millennial generation: avocado toast.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeDiPalma

See Also:

Fix My Finances: Tracking your expenses

Millennials are saving for financial freedom — not retirement

More from Brooke:

‘This is the time to treat myself’: Why so many millennials eat out 5 times a week

Why Whole Foods might stay ‘Whole Paycheck’ under Amazon

How startups have infused ‘the vibe and the culture’ at Stanford

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