You may have asked your teenager, “Can’t you just pretend you’re 12, so I can pay less?”
Of course, a withering stare generally follows a question like that.
And that’s why you can take heart. Your teenager may no longer eat the cheaper kids meal and may have to pay the adult admission into a lot of places, like theme parks and museums, but there are still some places that will give student discounts to your high schooler. And if you have a college student? You may be sitting on a gold mine (well, not literally … don’t sit on your kid). Businesses are delighted to give discounts to college students, apparently hoping to nab them as loyal customers for life. And that should help you a lot, if you’re one of the many parents still funding their college kids’ lives.
So if you’re looking for ideas on how to get a student discount for your son or daughter, here’s a list of places to get you started. Just remember that in most cases, to get a student discount, your kid will need to have on hand a high school or college ID.
Amazon: Most people are probably aware of this, but you can’t write an article about discounts for students and not mention Amazon Prime Student. It’s available for college students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. You need to have proof of enrollment and a valid email address that contains the domain suffix .edu, according to the full terms and conditions. Your student gets the first six months for free and then pays $6.49 a month (or pays $59 at once for the year, which translates to $4.92 a month). Of course, if you’re a parent, and your college kid is off in a dorm or apartment somewhere, you or your kid could probably save that money and you could keep your college kids on your own Amazon Prime membership, if you have one.
Banana Republic: Students save 15 percent, provided they’re at the brick-and-mortar store (no online shopping for this discount) and have a valid ID to show the clerk. (Note: The store’s website makes no distinction between high school and college students.)
Club Monaco: Both full-priced and sale items are 15 percent off if you have a valid college ID. If you want to shop online and have an email that ends with .edu, you can give them your email to get a code for that 15 percent off.
J.Crew: Here, you do have to be a college student to get the 15 percent discount. It’s only for customers shopping inside the store, and with an ID, of course.
It’s also worth looking at shopping portals, says Will Lipovsky, EO of First Quarter Finance, a consumer information website.
Adding your teenager to your car insurance plan can cause your premiums to double, so it’s worth remembering you can often get a discount if your kid has a healthy report card. All insurance companies are different, and the various rules in each state may mean an insurer offers one thing in Montana and something slightly different in Maine. But generally, you can get a discount if your kid is making a B average or better, if you’re willing to regularly furnish proof (i.e., a report card). Typically, you can expect to see a discount of 10 to 15 percent. Some insurers promise even more savings: State Farm’s website says you can save up to 25 percent on your premium if your kid is getting good grades. (But before you get too excited, note the “up to” in that sentence.)
A lot of retailers offer technology discounts to students. Here are a few examples:
Apple: The website has student discounts for its products. College students can save 5 percent off most purchases.
Norton: The anti-virus software offers some pretty steep discounts aimed at college students. For instance, at least at the time of this writing and for this writer, Norton AntiVirus Basic is being offered for $14.99 instead of the $49.99 retail price.
Microsoft: Students with a valid school email address get Office 365 for free at its online education store. You’ll get Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and you can save up to 10 percent on devices the company sells.
Basically, if you have a high school or college student and you’re buying something involving technology, always ask if there is a student discount wherever you are shopping. You never know, and you may be leaving money on the table ― a lot of it ― if you don’t.
“Student Universe is a great resource for high schoolers looking to save money on a spring break or summer trip,” says Kristin McGrath, an Austin-based editor at the retail website Offers.com. “If you’re between the ages of 16 and 26 ― and a student and can prove your status ― you can book flights, hotels and tours at a discount after you verify your student status and register for an account.”
The average movie ticket price is $9.11, but you might shave off a decent amount if you’re a high school or college student, McGrath says. “Some national and regional chains give a few bucks off if you present a student ID when buying your ticket,” McGrath says.
AMC Theatres, for instance, offers a student discount if you show your ID. You may also find that if your kid looks like a student and you tell the customer service rep that he or she is a student, they’ll cut you a break, despite not having an actual ID. At least, that’s what this writer has found.
“In a similar vein, performing arts halls, theaters and shows often give significant discounts to students with ID, sometimes up to half off what regular tickets would cost,” McGrath says. “Just because you’re a high school student on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t go to the ballet or theater. In fact, you should be taking advantage of these discounts while you still can.”
And she is right, of course. As we parents know, until you’re old enough to start getting senior discounts, or unless you’re lucky or cursed enough to be prematurely gray and pass yourself off as somebody older, much of adulthood can be a long, lonely stretch of time without any discounts or freebies.