While being a college student comes with late night cram sessions, dining hall induced indigestion, and seemingly perpetual poverty, being enrolled in a four-year college or university does have its perks.
Most major businesses realize that a college student is a considerable consumer despite their limited funds.
In order to offshoot tight budgets, many resources are available to a college student at discounted rates.
Here are some of the best deals for the wallet-conscious college student:
- Amazon Prime
Amazon.com is a one-stop shop for textbooks, electronics, dorm décor, and all of your entertainment needs. Professor assigned a book for next week, and it’s all checked out at the library?
Don’t fret! Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping for an entire year. Signing up is free (only for students) and easy on their site. Amazon offers plenty of used options on textbooks, which will save you big in place of your University bookstore.
- Hulu and Online Television Streaming
If you’re living in the dorms, the closest you’re going to get to cable access is your college’s crummy TV station. Instead of watching Go Tigers! News one more time, keep up-to-date on international news and your favorite shows with free online television streaming.
- Student Debit/Credit Cards
Student debit cards and credit cards often waive annual interest fees and occasionally offer cash back or rewards for purchases made on groceries, gas, textbooks, and other student needs.
While student credit cards typically offer low credit lines, they are great for building crucial credit history. Sites like ecreditcards.com compare different student credit card offers.
- STA Travel
While spring break specials on MTV might depict lavish “vay-cays” in Cancun or Dubai, you may be wondering if the few hundred bucks in your wallet will get you to a motel in Maysville, Kentucky.
Fortunately, STA Travel offers student discounts on flights, trains, buses, and hotels. If you plan far enough in advance, you and a group of friends can land a steal of a vacation package.
- Student Rush
If you’re a theater or lit major, you’ll probably be attending a couple of plays over the course of your college career. Contact local theaters for their student rush options; you can even see popular Broadway musicals for as low as $25 by waiting in student rush lines.
- Your University
The best way to save is by taking advantage of everything your university has to offer. Most colleges offer well stocked multimedia libraries, one-on-one career services, free gym memberships, off campus living assistance, and affordable dining options. We used to have a running joke at my college that we could eat entirely for free, simply by attending all the catered seminars and events on campus.
Not only do these seminars offer free meals (and usually from pretty high-end restaurants around town), but also offer interesting discussions topics and invaluable perspectives on a wide range of topics from career advice to the Arab spring. How’s that for food for thought?
Additional Tip: To find these seminars, you can use modifiers on Google Search. Type in the following within the quotes: “site:[youruniversity].edu (“seminar”+”catered”)” and see what comes up. Other great search modifiers can be found on this infographic.
A college student can be assured it is the only time in your life when you will be rewarded for being broke.
Trust a graduate on this one: it will never happen again. So take advantage of all the deals and discounts offered to you and enjoy the most eye-opening four years of your life!
Lynn Maleh has been featured as a guest blogger on a variety of websites. She wrote this particular piece on behalf of VetTechPrep.com.