College is expensive – that’s an understatement, and there is no halt in sight for the growing cost of earning a degree. Many grads are closing their textbooks and entering the workforce with an average of $37,172 in student loan debt. Currently the total student loan debt across all demographics is $1.52 trillion! (Forbes.com). That’s difficult to comprehend. There are ways however, to keep debt under control while attending school. By taking advantage of student discounts and only borrowing funds to cover essentials like books and tuition, college kids can keep their debt from growing to an astronomical figure.
The student ID card has several innate perks. Not only does this little plastic ID card help students purchase meal plans on campus, check out books from the library and access school buildings, it can also help them save money at popular restaurants and retailers.
Most stores and restaurants don’t advertise their student discount, so kids looking to save money should never be too shy to ask.
The following are 8 perks students have access to if they just flash their student ID:
1. Discounts on food! What college kid doesn’t eat pizza, burritos and ice cream? Some of the most popular chains offer student discounts, including Chipotle, Papa Johns and Dairy Queen. Check out even more options here.
2. Savings on electronics and digital services. Favorites like Apple, Sprint and Adobe have student discount programs. Kids can get their course work done a little cheaper with savings like these!
3. Discounted oil changes and auto insurance. Not all college students live on campus. Commuters know the ongoing expense of maintaining a vehicle. Businesses like Jiffy Lube and Geico can help students save money on common car services and insurance.
4. Discounts at attractions and museums. Many courses require visits to art galleries, museums and the like. Rather than college kids taking on the full expense of gallery and museum visits to write papers and reports, they can take advantage of discounts.
5. Savings on travel. Most college students head home for the holidays, and for kids whose parents can’t cover the expense, there are often discounts offered on public transportation, rental cars and airfare. It never hurts to ask. Just have your student ID card on hand!
6. Movie night on the cheap! The pressure of college coursework and financial woes has been known to lead to anxiety and depression. Students can take a break from it all by seeing the latest blockbuster at their local AMC or Cinemark theater. Many theaters offer a break to students who show their college ID card.
7. Document copies and printing. Most college instructors require thesis papers, reports and other course work to be printed and bound. This cost can add up quickly throughout each semester. Students can save on prints and copies at stores like FedEx Office.
8. Shopping! Most students have a part time job to help make ends meet. Some of kids’ favorite stores can help stretch those meager earnings just a little further. Clothing stores like Banana Republic, J.Crew and Charlotte Russe are known to offer discounts. When it’s time for new clothes, kids should remember to flash their student ID at the checkout counter!
With the college debt crisis growing, it’s important for students to keep control of their finances. Parents can help instill financial responsibility in their kids before they head off to school, but students should also be made of aware of savings they have access to by simply showing their student ID card.
From food to oil changes to a new outfit, college kids can take care of their everyday needs AND save money. Many discounts are 10 to 20%, but some bookstores offer up to 50% off on subscriptions to important reads like the New York Times. These savings quickly add up and can help cut down on borrowed funds.
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