Archive | Student Discounts

SAVING-MONEY-LARGE

Image by 401kcalculator.org on Flickr

A college education opens doors. Successfully earning a degree can set an individual on the fast track to a lucrative career. Too often in the past, prospective students taken the college plunge without giving enough thought on how they will pay for their education.  In 2013, 70% of the graduating class entered the work force with an average of $28,400 in student loan debt.

With the startling number in mind, current and future students should gear up to face the uphill battle to escape the student loan pit. Federal grants, scholarship contests, a part-time job, or planning to locate job with the federal government are the traditional methods of paying for college.

There is another option: working for a company who pays for college. Many businesses have begun to recognize the importance of an educated work force, as well as the difficulties that their low income employees have accumulating the funds to attend college. In order to help their employees overcome that problem, many companies have added a tuition reimbursement plan to their benefits package.

Individuals who have college dreams and student loan nightmares, might want to think about applying to work at one of these companies.

Fiat Chrysler’s free college tuition program helps their employees earn their associate, bachelor, or master’s degree. The program is open to all part- and full-time employees who have worked at the company for thirty days. Chrysler will pay 100% of tuition, fees, and books upfront when their workers attend Strayer University. Individual dealerships must pay a fee to the overall corporation for their employees to participate.

Smucker’s tuition reimbursement benefit will pay 100% of tuition costs for company approved courses.

Starbuck’s College Achievement Plan will pay 100% tuition coverage when their employees attend one of Arizona State University’s 49 online bachelor degree programs. The plan includes all employees located in the United States.

Verizon Wireless’s tuition assistance program offers full-time employees up to $8,000 and part-time employees up to $4,000 when they pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s or MBA degree.

Monsanto’s tuition reimbursement Program will reimburse full-time employees up to $7,500 and part-time employees up to $3,750 every year for eligible courses. The employee must maintain a good grade to remain qualified for the program. The program will also reimburse employees for CLEP exams fees, certification courses, entrance exams, and licensing exams.

Bank of America’s tuition reimbursement plan will reimburse their employees who have been employed for 6 months up to $5,250 per year. The plan will cover tuition, per unit credit fees, registration fees, any other class fees, and textbooks for job related courses and non-job related courses if they support a job related degree.

Oracle’s college tuition reimbursement benefit will reimburse full-time employees $5,250 per calendar year. The degree must either be related to current or future job responsibilities and the individual must maintain a grade of B- or better.

Apple’s plan will reimburse employees that work more than twenty hours a week up to $5,000 per year.

Best Buy’s college benefit plan will reimburse employees who have worked for them for 6 months $3,500 for undergraduate degrees and $5,250 for graduate degrees.

Disney’s tuition assistance program reimburses employees $700 per credit unit, 100% of purchase price of all books, and up to $100 per course for the cost of materials. College courses covered by this program must relate to the employee’s job duties.

This article was contributed by guest author Samantha Stauf.

college students

The concept of a starving student is not new. In fact, the majority of college students struggle to make financial ends meet. College students are also known to be extremely busy juggling all of their classes, homework, and other responsibilities. However, there are certain things that students can do to save money and time while at college.

Make a Budget

It sounds simple, but the truth is that not having a budget is the number one reason why college students do not have enough money. It’s easy to go to a nightclub with friends or go out to eat, but before you know it, there is not enough money to pay for books and other necessities. It is essential for college students to have a clear idea of how much money they’re spending each month and use this as a guideline for knowing when they can spend and when they need to cut back.

Be Smart with Textbooks

It is estimated that college students will spend in excess of $1,300 every single year on textbooks. Many are frustrated to learn at the end of the semester that the textbooks they spent hundreds of dollars on can only be sold back for just pennies on the dollar. So save money by borrowing textbooks from college libraries or local libraries if that is not an option. Purchase textbooks secondhand, online, or from other students. Keep your textbooks in good condition so that they can be resold when they are no longer needed.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

In most college towns, businesses, restaurants, and other venues will offer discounts to students who attend local schools. Before buying anything, ask about a student discount. The worst-case scenario is that they will say there is not a student discount available. Best case scenario is that you will find yourself saving hundreds of dollars every year.

Save Money on Food and Drink

If your college offers a meal plan, use that before eating at fast food restaurants. Minimize the amount of money spent on alcohol consumption. Learn to prepare inexpensive meals at home or in your dorm. Purchase a nice coffee maker as opposed to spending four or five dollars on a coffee at your local coffee shop. Be on the lookout for freebies that are offered at school. Become a frugal shopper. If you’re going to go to the grocery store or to a restaurant, first check online for coupons or promotions to see if you can get a percentage off of your meal or even a free meal.

Take Online Classes to Save Time and Money

One of the most modern ways to save money and time during your tenure at almost any college is to take online classes. The control that you have over your schedule will be sure to help you hold a part time job and manage stress levels during the semester. Online courses, like an online Masters of Law, can be less expensive and more rewarding than ever before.

Skip the Gym

Gym memberships are expensive. Most college campuses offer free fitness classes or intramural sports. Use these as a free way to keep in shape as well as a way to save time. These options are usually much more accessible to students, leaving time for essential activities. Here are some other free exercise ideas.

Going to college is expensive, and it is getting more expensive every year. By following the five suggestions above, a college student can guarantee that they save time and not break the bank while at college.

This article was contributed by guest author Anita Ginsburg.

L (5)

By hackNY.org on Flickr

Amazon Student is a special service offered by Amazon which – you guessed it – caters specifically to students. Available initially as a free six month trial, the service can be extended after the trial for $39 a year, for up to four years. Once your four years of Amazon Student are up, the service automatically switches you to Amazon Prime, the regular premium service with similar benefits, for $79 a year. So what is it exactly that you’re paying for as a student?

The trial version of Amazon Student includes free two-day shipping for the whole six months, and members will receive email updates on promotions. Amazon Students get exclusive deals on products, and can take part in giveaways and contests that a non member wouldn’t be eligible to partake in. Amazon Students members can also get a $10 referral credit for each friend that they refer to Amazon Students, with no limit on the amount of friends that you refer.

Being a Amazon Student member has other bonuses that include having access to Prime Instant Video and their photo storage service. Prime Instant Video is a streaming service with access to a large amount of movies and TV shows (just as any other streaming service would have). The photo storage service is a nice additional feature which allows Amazon Student members to store an unlimited amount of photos.

For Canadian and American students who enjoy shopping online, Amazon Student is a great option, especially for the free two day shipping that it comes with. Online shoppers will save money on shipping costs and receive their purchases more quickly – which is also great for last minute gifts! Students who enjoy watching television and movies will benefit as well from the large amount of content available on Prime Instant Video. Photo lovers who may be running out of hard drive space, or wish to keep their content in the cloud will benefit from the unlimited photo storage offered. Amazon Student appears to be a great service with great features.

The biggest con here of course is the price. However, you get six free months to test out the service and see if you like it (and use it) enough to warrant the $39 per year fee. Keep in mind that you’ll be switched over to Amazon Prime once your four years are up. If you don’t want to spend the $79 per year at that point, you’ll need to find another place to store your photos.

For more information on becoming an Amazon Student, check out their website.

Highlights:

  • Six month Free Trial
  • Free Two-day Shipping
  • Unlimited Photo Storage
  • Prime Instant video streaming service
  • $10 credit per referral
  • Access to special deals, promotions and contests
  • $39 per year until graduation or four years of use
  • Automatic renewal (must provide credit card information upon sign up
  • Automatic switch to Amazon Prime ($79/year) once your four years are up

Image by nikkinoguer, Flickr

Image by nikkinoguer, Flickr

Discounts should be well known to students because they can be used at attractions, restaurants, and retail stores. Here is a student discount guide that will have you saving a few dollars at the end of the day.

Attractions

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM):
The ROM is one of the largest museums in North America and it is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada. It contains many exhibits that are both educational and fun. For full-time university students, general admission is free on Tuesdays. Simply show them your student I.D. card and you’re on your way to digging up some dinosaur bones!

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO):
The AGO is also located in downtown Toronto, Canada. It features a wide array of art collections from around the globe including Europe, Asia, and Africa. General admission to the AGO is free on Wednesday nights between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. No student I.D. card is required. Just show up and enjoy!

Restaurants

Subway:
Subway is a great option for a quick meal between classes or when you are on the go. They offer a variety of submarine sandwiches, salads, and snacks. Present your student I.D. card to receive 10% off your purchase.

Dairy Queen:
If you have a craving for ice cream, Dairy Queen is the place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth. With an exceptional amount of options, you can get anything from a simple ice cream cone to their signature Blizzard treat. Students get 10% off their purchases with their student I.D. card.

Retail Stores

Bulk Barn:
Bulk Barn is great for stocking up on your essential food products such as pasta, flour, and dried herbs. It is also a cheap option for snacks like nuts, candy, and dried fruit. The best thing about Bulk Barn is that students receive 10% off their purchases on Wednesdays with their student I.D. card.

Club Monaco:
Club Monaco should be a go to location for students. They offer fashionable and stylish clothing. Club Monaco offers a 20% discount on full price and sale merchandise. Simply present your student I.D. card and enjoy your savings.

As you can see, this is just a small sample of student discounts for attractions, restaurants, and retail stores. There are hundreds of discounts out there for students. However, many are not advertised. Remember this golden rule: Always ask. Who knows, you could stumble upon an awesome discount!

Image by Hobbies on a Budget, flickr

Image by Hobbies on a Budget, flickr

One of the best things about attending a post-secondary school is getting that powerful card that you’re going to store in your wallet and cherish. I’m not talking about your credit card – it’s your student ID card. Granting you access to student-only events and discounted admission to various attractions, this card is one of the first things you should research when you’ve decided on your school. It’s the business way of saying “we know you’re probably broke, so here’s a break.” Take advantage and keep as much money in your pocket as you can – you’ll need it in the future, when even coupon cutting doesn’t seem to be enough.

Benefits offered depend on your state/province, your city, and your school itself. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Public transit student rates
  • Discounts to on-campus food locations
  • Local business and restaurant discounts
  • Free or discounted admission to local bars
  • Admission to student-only events

Once you graduate, your school may offer an alumni card that gets you discounts for tickets, stores, restaurants, and sometimes even insurance rates.

On top of your school’s identification card, here are some other ways to get discounts as a student:

Card Cost What You Get
SPC Card (Canada) $9 plus shipping
Available for 1 year
Valid at over 100 locations, most offer 10-15% off clothing, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops & more.
See the full list.
StudentSaver (Canada) Free Discounts range from 10% to 50% for goods and services including restaurants, salons, art classes and more.
This card is available to both full- and part-time students across Canada.
Student Advantage (US) 1 Year + Rebate: $20
2 Year + $10 Rebate: $30
3 Year + $10 Rebate: $40
4 Year + $10 Rebate: $50
plus shipping
Discounts on a ton of brands, including hotels, transportation, clothing and technology.
ISIC (International) $20 plus shipping
Valid for 16 months
Acts as student identification across the globe so you can take advantage of discounts in every country, whether you’re visiting or on exchange.

Don’t forget to shop around too – especially in July and August, stores are full of back to school sales! A quick Google search for “back to school sale” will give you a ton of places to look for discounted laptops and school supplies. Deals for students are plentiful. Take advantage of them while you can!