A student discount is a special offer provided to people who are enrolled as full-time or part-time students in an educational institution. These discounts make various products and services more affordable for the student demographic since they often face financial constraints pursuing higher education.

Discounts for students are widely available across different sectors, including technology, entertainment, apparel, and travel, and can significantly reduce the cost of goods and services for students.

Key Takeaways

  • A student discount is an offer that reduces the price of goods or services for students upon presenting valid student identification. These discounts help students stretch their budgets further and are an effective tool for managing expenses.
  • Qualifying for these discounts typically requires proof of enrollment, such as a student ID card or an “.edu” email address. The verification process may vary when purchasing items online, often involving student verification services like UNiDAYS or Student Beans.
  • There are many discounts available across different sectors. These include discounts on tech and electronics, apparel, travel, dining, entertainment, fitness and wellness, subscription services, and academic resources and textbooks.
  • For students, discounts provide financial relief, encouragement of independence, affordable cultural and educational experiences, budget-friendly entertainment, and affordable travel. Businesses benefit by attracting new customers, building brand loyalty, leveraging word-of-mouth marketing, increasing sales, and developing a positive brand image.

Defining Student Discounts


Note: A student discount is a reduction in the regular price of goods or services, offered by businesses to students upon the presentation of valid student identification. This exclusive offer aims to help students, whether at high school, college or university, make their limited budgets stretch further.

For students – who are often balancing the costs of tuition, textbooks, housing, and more – discounts can make a tremendous difference. However, it’s worth noting that student discounts aren’t universal; not every business offers them, and the ones that do may vary widely in how much they take off the regular price.

To qualify for these discounts, students typically need to present proof of enrollment, such as a student ID card or an official enrollment letter. In many cases, a .edu email address is used to verify student status, especially when registering for discounts online.

How Does a Student Discount Work?


Tip: To qualify for student discounts, an individual must typically prove their enrollment status at an educational institution. Eligibility often requires presenting a valid student ID or providing an educational email address. For online purchases, verification systems like UNiDAYS or Student Beans may be used.

Discounts are usually offered to those part-time or full-time in higher education, although some offers extend to high school students as well. For example, let’s say a clothing retailer offers a 20% student discount. If a student selects a jacket priced at $100, they’ll only pay $80 once the discount is applied at checkout. That’s $20 saved — money that can go towards textbooks, meals, or other necessities.

Student Verification Process

To qualify for a student deal, you typically need to provide proof of current enrollment in an educational institution. This may include:

  • Valid student ID card: an official identification card issued by the school.
  • Enrollment verification letter: a document from the registrar’s office confirming enrollment status.
  • Recent transcript: indicates current student status with the course list.
  • School-issued email address: often used in online verification processes.

Tip: The process for verifying a student’s status varies by retailer or service provider but generally involves the following steps:

Online Verification:

  1. Students are asked to log in through a portal like UNiDAYS or Student Beans which validates their student status.
  2. After verification, they may receive a coupon code or can activate a promotion that applies the discount directly.

In-store Verification:

  1. Students present the required documentation at the point of purchase.
  2. Staff members verify the documents and apply the discount to the purchase.

Types of Student Discounts


Tip: Student discounts help students save on a variety of products and services. These discounts are not standardized though, varying in amount and availability depending on the business and the location. However, they broadly fall under several categories based on the type of product or service.

Here are some of the most common types of discounts for students:

Tech and Electronics Discounts

Technology is integral to a student’s academic life. Many technology companies offer significant discounts on computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, software, and other electronic gadgets for students. For instance, Apple, Microsoft, and Adobeoffer reduced prices for students. Students can also get discounted or free subscriptions to coding resources, design tools, and various educational platforms.

Clothing and Retail Discounts

Many clothing and retail chains offer discounts specifically for students. From everyday apparel to high-end fashion, these deals can help students save on their clothing budget. Brands like Levi’s, ASOS, and Topshop offer deals upon showing a valid student ID or verifying student status online.

Travel Discounts

Students often have the “travel bug”, so many travel companies offer student discounts. These savings can be found on airlines, railways, and bus lines. STA Travel, for instance, is known for its discounted student fares. Students can also save on accommodations with hostel chains and hotel groups offering student rates. Even some car rental companies and taxi services offer discounts for students.

Food and Dining Discounts

Dining out is expensive even if you’re not on a student budget, but many restaurants offer student deals. Fast-food chains, cafes, and even some upscale restaurants have special student menus and discounts. These offers may vary by location and might not be widely advertised, so it’s always worth asking.

Entertainment Discounts

Cinemas, theaters, concert venues, and museums frequently offer student discounts. Streaming services such as Spotify, Hulu, and Apple Music also provide discounted rates for students. In some cases, students might be eligible for free or reduced-cost memberships.

Fitness and Wellness Discounts

Health clubs, gyms, and fitness centers often offer student deals on memberships. Some also provide discounted rates for fitness classes, swimming pools, or sports activities. Even wellness apps and platforms may offer discounts or free trials for students.

Subscription Service Discounts

Various subscription services – ranging from newspapers and magazines to software suites – offer student rates. Microsoft Office 365, The New York Times, and Grammarly Premium have student subscriptions that offer the same services at a fraction of the cost.

Academic Resources and Textbook Discounts

Many academic resource platforms offer discounts on textbooks, research materials, and access to scholarly databases. Some bookstores even offer student discounts on both new and used textbooks. For example, Chegg, Amazon Student, Barnes and Noble, and JSTOR have student-friendly prices for new and used textbooks, textbook rentals, educational materials, or even free access to academic papers and journals. 

Amazon Prime has a 6-month free trial for students, including Prime Video.

Benefits of Student Discounts

Deals for students offer benefits that extend beyond just saving money. The perks can have a pretty large impact on a student’s life. Here are a few common advantages:

For Students

  1. Financial relief: College expenses aren’t limited to just tuition fees; there are also books, supplies, housing, and transportation costs to consider. Every penny saved can make a significant difference and potentially reduce the need for student loans.
  2. Encourages independence:  discounts provide a practical way of stretching budgets further, allowing students to live within their means and understand the value of money better.
  3. Cultural and educational experiences: many cultural institutions like museums, theaters, and art galleries offer student discounts. This makes it more affordable for students to participate in enriching experiences outside of the classroom.
  4. Budget-friendly entertainment: recreation and leisure activities can also be costly. Discounts on movie tickets, sporting events, music streaming services, and more ensure students can enjoy their downtime without incurring substantial costs.
  5. More affordable travel: deals for students offered by airlines, train companies, and accommodation providers can make traveling more accessible, whether it’s for leisure or going home for the holidays.

For Businesses

  1. Attract new customers: students are a considerable segment of the consumer market. By offering special student discounts, businesses can attract this new demographic, expanding their customer base.
  2. Brand loyalty: businesses can build brand loyalty with a younger audience early on. Students who receive discounts are likely to continue using the same products or services even after graduation.
  3. Word-of-mouth marketing: students often share information about discounts and deals with friends and classmates, or through social media – potentially increasing a company’s visibility and customer base.
  4. More sales: while student deals might mean smaller individual sales, the increase in volume can often offset this. More customers buying products or services, even at a reduced price, can lead to increased revenues overall.
  5. Positive brand image: having discounts for students shows that a brand cares about its customers and supports education, which can draw in shoppers who value socially responsible businesses.

Student Discounts FAQs

What Is a Student Discount?

It is a reduction in the price of goods or services offered by businesses to students. This discount is usually granted upon presentation of a valid student identification card.

How Do I Get a Student Dealt?

You typically need to present a valid student ID when making purchases. For online purchases, you may need to verify your student status via your “.edu” email address or through a student verification service such as UNiDAYS or Student Beans.

What Businesses Offer Discounts for Students?

A wide array of businesses offer them. These include clothing retailers, tech companies, travel providers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and fitness centers, among others.

Do All Students Qualify for Discounts?

Generally, both full-time and part-time college and university students qualify for discounts. Some businesses also extend these discounts to high school students. However, eligibility criteria can differ from one business to another. It’s always a good idea to check the specific terms and conditions of each discount.

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