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Ways to save with student discounts

Great deals all parents and students need to know about

Last updated: July 20, 2015 05:00 PM

With the start of school just around the corner, you may be fretting about how much you'll have to spend on clothing, electronics, and other back-to-school must-haves.

Luckily, if you or your child is a college student, many stores and services offer discounts that make purchases more affordable. Some even extend the invitation to high school or even kindergarten through 12th grade students. Only one thing is required for most stores: evidence of enrollment. For online purchases, this can be as easy as filling out the site's student-discount registration form and stating the school you attend. For in-store purchases, simply flash a student ID at the register. It's that easy. So lower your anxiety with these great offers.

Apparel, sporting goods, and footwear

Ann Taylor and Banana Republic: Both companies offer a 15 percent discount for full-priced purchases in store when shown a college student ID. Ann Taylor extends this offer for online purchases too. In order to receive the discount online, registration with UNiDAYS—a student discount service—is required. Registration is free.

Through UNiDAYS, other discounts are available from stores such as Claire's, Urban Outfitters, TOMS, and more. Be sure to visit UNiDAYS for the full list of participating stores.

J.Crew and Madewell: Both companies offer a 15 percent discount for in-store purchases when shown a college student ID. Teachers are also eligible to receive the discount.

Footlocker and Lady Footlocker: Offers 10 percent off a purchase of $50 or more with a Student Advantage Discount Card, a program that offers reduced prices at various retailers and service providers. These discount cards are available for purchase online for $22.50 for one year (add $10 for each additional year). This price includes shipping and handling costs. To be eligible for this card, students have to be 16 or older.

Food and entertainment

Dairy Queen: High school and college students are eligible to receive a discount card or a “Student Meal Deal” at participating locations. The amount of the discount depends on location.

Regal: Offers student discounts on select shows, times/dates, and locations. For eligibility requirements and availability, contact your local Regal theater.

AMC: Select AMC theaters have “Student Day” every Thursday. You, or your child, can get a reduced-price ticket price when you show a college or high school ID. Those who have the above-mentioned Student Advantage Discount Card are eligible to receive up to 40 percent off prepaid tickets.

Cinemark: Participating Cinemark theaters offer student discounts. Discount days and times vary by location.

Want to know more ways to save through student discounts? Read "Best Computer Discount Programs for Students."


Apple: Offers education pricing online for college students or high school graduates anticipating the start of college. Parents buying for college students are also welcomed to use the discount. You can save up to $200 on a new Mac and up to $20 on a new iPad.

Sony: The Sony Education Store offers online discounts of up to 10 percent for college students. In order to receive the special pricing, students must first register with Sony.

Lenovo: The online Academic Purchase Program offers college students and those K through 12 discounts on laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. All you need to do is indicate which educational institution you or your child attends. For those whose schools are not listed, simply click "Enter here to shop special deals" under "Can't find your school?" and you will be directed to student deals. Student Advantage Discount holders can save up to 25 percent on purchases.

HP: With HP Academy, college students and those K through 12 can save up to 20 percent off HP products online. Other benefits include free shipping on all orders and personalized product recommendations. Registration is required.

JourneyEd: College students receive a discounted price on software and other merchandise online. JourneyEd offers discounted products for K through 12 students too. 


General Motors: Through the General Motors College Discount Program, college and graduate students are eligible for a discount on any qualifying Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC vehicle. Size of the discount depends on the vehicle. See the full list of eligible vehicles here.

Greyhound: Student Advantage Discount cardholders are eligible to save 20 percent on Greyhound fares purchased online or in person. 

Amtrak: Student Advantage Discount cardholders are eligible to save 10 percent on Amtrak tickets purchased three days in advance online.

Geico and Statefarm: Through the "Good Student" discount, Geico offers up to 15 percent on certain coverages and Statefarm up to 25 percent. Certain restrictions may apply.

Marcy Robles

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