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Here’s a well-known fact: College is expensive. We’re not just talking about tuition. There are textbooks, school supplies, room and board, and a whole host of other expenses to consider when you’re striking out on your own for higher education. Also, let’s not forget the coffee you’re going to need for those all-night study sessions. Fortunately, when it comes to free stuff for college students, there are plenty of options if you know where to look.
With that idea in mind, I created a list of college student discounts and freebies that’ll save you loads. Every cent saved counts, so rake over these ideas closely to see how they can work best for you.
Oh, and while you’re at it, download the KCL app to learn more ways to save every day.
Amazon Prime Perks for Students
1. Sign up for Amazon Prime Student to get six months of Prime for free (and lots of other perks).
Amazon Prime offers free 2-day shipping, a massive video library, and loads more. Instead of paying $139 for a year, Amazon Prime Student membership offers the first six months free, making it one of the best student discounts. After your trial, you’ll pay a student rate of $69 per year, or $7.49 per month. The membership gets you:
- Free 1-day delivery
- Prime Video
- Early access to deals
- Subscription to Amazon Music Prime
- Amazon photo storage
- Prime-exclusive deals
You need to be enrolled at an eligible college or university to take advantage of the perks.
NOTE: After six months, you’ll automatically be upgraded to Amazon Prime Student at 50% off ($7.49 per month or $69 per year). However, you can cancel at any time.
2. Use your Amazon Student discount to save on entertainment, food, and more.
Amazon also offers Amazon Music Unlimited and Showtime for just $0.99 a month (each) as a student exclusive. Moreover, they have discounts on textbook and e-textbook rentals. Jump on the student freebies while you can!
Here are a few more things you can get with an Amazon student discount:
- Grubhub+ Student: Unlimited free delivery on all meals (for deliveries over $12)
- Calm: 3-month free subscription. Afterward, you’ll only have to pay $8.99 for a year subscription (normally a $69.99 value)
- StudentUniverse: Up to 10% off flights and hotels
- CourseHero: One month free and 24/7 homework help. Then it’ll be $9.95 per month (normally $39.95 per month)
Check out all the Amazon Prime member benefits that await you.
College Student Discounts on Subscriptions
3. Enjoy newspaper subscriptions for as low as $1 per month.
I love the feel of a real newspaper in my hands. But college kids hardly have time for that! Luckily, there are college student discounts for digital newspaper subscriptions like these:
- The New York Times: $1 per week when you take advantage of the student discount (that’s $4 per month for unlimited access to online articles through the NY Times)
- Wall Street Journal: $4 per month for all articles and podcasts produced by WSJ
- Washington Post: $4 per month when you verify your student status; includes all-access digital content
- Los Angeles Times: $1 for six months for unlimited digital access (save 99%)
4. Manage your money for free with You Need a Budget.
When money’s tight, a service like You Need a Budget (YNAB) can be super helpful. YNAB is a personal finance service that syncs with your bank account and helps you with spending habits, saving, and more.
It normally costs $14.99 per month, but You Need a Budget offers their software to students free for a year.
Email email@example.com, send them proof of your registration, and they’ll send you a license key good until the end of the school year.
5. Get a college student discount on the Headspace app.
Headspace is a great app you can download on your phone that offers many meditation programs to help you relax after class. You can also use it before any big tests or presentations.
To qualify for the student discount, you have to be enrolled in a U.S. Title IV degree-granting institution. Once you submit your information, it’s processed through their third-party verification system.
The Headspace student discount will cost you $9.99 per year as opposed to the $69.99 per year you’d spend if you weren’t a student.
6. Peloton offers student discounts on their exercise programs.
College student discounts that make it so you don’t have to step foot in a gym? Gimme.
Peloton is a great alternative to the gym, and it only costs students $6.99 per month ($12.99 per month + tax for everyone else).
This deal is only good for one user, so no sharing with your roommates. We love that the app has thousands of live and recorded workouts, including yoga, Pilates, and strength training.
You can also track the calories you burn if that’s your thing. What’s great about the app is you don’t need one of their expensive bikes or treadmills to use it!
Discounts on Technology for College Students
7. Students get an Apple gift card with a Mac or iPad purchase from Apple.
Before every new school year, expect to see special Apple college student discounts.
In 2022 Apple’s Higher Education Back-to-School offer was either a $100 or $150 Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Apple product such as an iPad, iMac, or MacBook Air.
However, you typically have to make the purchase in a certain promotional period and at a qualifying Apple location. Look out for the annual promo event to happen in June for U.S. students.
Related: You can get 30% off Samsung products with the Samsung student discount.
8. Get Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for free from Microsoft.
Free stuff for college students should definitely include software programs. What student doesn’t need Microsoft Office 365? Microsoft offers this suite of programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more) for free to college students.
All you need is a valid school email address. As long as you’re a qualified student, your plan won’t expire, but your eligibility can be checked at any time, so heads up about that.
In this freebie plan, you’ll also receive 1 TB of free OneDrive online storage. Furthermore, if you’re new to the Microsoft Suite, they offer training tutorials to get you started.
9. Pay only $19.99 a month for Adobe Creative Cloud with your college student discount.
Students can get a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud for only $19.99 per month. If you know anything about Adobe products, this is a total steal! Students just need to be at least 13 years old to get this offer. After one year, the cost goes up to $29.99 per month.
This subscription normally costs $54.99 per month, so that’ll save you about $400 a year — talk about one of the best student discounts! It comes with Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro, and Premiere Pro.
10. Beef up your slide presentations with Prezi for $3 a month.
When it comes to free stuff for college students, every deal helps. Prezi is a virtual presentation tool company that makes products for video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet.
You can select the basic plan that allows you to create up to five visual projects a month. Or students who verify their enrollment status can get a Prezi EDU Plus student plan for $3 or an EDU Pro plan for just $5 a month. All educational Prezi plans allow you to create an unlimited number of visual projects.
11. Gain access to free 3D design software with Autodesk.
If you’re a college student studying engineering, architecture, or simply want to get into 3D design, you can get over 50 different types of software downloads for free through Autodesk for a year.
These programs would normally cost you thousands of dollars per year, but thanks to one of the best college students discounts, you can get these for free. Autodesk works for Mac, Google Cloud, Linux, and Windows platforms.
You’ll need to be a student or educator in order to register. Autodesk will verify your student status when you make an account by asking you several questions. There’s the option to renew as long as you stay eligible.
Discounts on Shopping for College Students
12. Save 20% at Bed Bath & Beyond from July – September with their College Pass.
Bed Bath & Beyond offers 20% discounts for college students when they sign up for a “College Pass” through their website.
You just need to upload a school-issued document (acceptance letter, school ID, class schedule, tuition receipt) to be eligible for 20% off every purchase you make between July and September online and in store. The deal ends Sept. 30.
Redeem this coupon between July and September in store by downloading the app (iOS / Android) or printing the coupon. You can also get it at BedBathandBeyond.com when you check out.
13. Sign up for UNiDAYS for the best college student discounts at retailers.
UNiDAYS is a website dedicated to giving you the best college student discounts. All you need to do is upload proof of your admission to the site, and you can get discounts on dozens of stores. Here are some of their best offers:
- Adidas: 15% off all online orders
- Microsoft: 10% off laptops, tablets, and accessories
- Aerio: 20% off all online orders
- Domino’s Pizza: 35% off all online orders
If you’re looking for more ways your student ID can save you on retailers, KCL has you covered.
Discounts on Entertainment for College Students
14. Use the Spotify student discount to get Spotify, Hulu, and Showtime for $5 per month total.
The Spotify student discount isn’t just about discounting Spotify Premium, which is regularly $9.99 per month. For just $4.99 per month, it also throws in Hulu (regularly $7.99 per month) and Showtime (regularly $10.99 per month).
If you already have a Hulu account, you’ll need to deactivate and reactivate it through the Spotify Account Overview page. And you can only take advantage of this discount if you’re a student at a U.S.-based Title IV accredited institution.
15. Use your student ID to get discounts on streaming services.
Your school ID will help you get college student discounts on your favorite streaming services.
- Paramount+ is normally $4.99 per month, but students get a 25% discount on a standard subscription (with commercials). That’s $1.25 less per month.
- Discovery+ offers students $2 off, making the service $3 per month.
- Apple TV is bundled with an Apple Music subscription for students. This makes both services $5 per month total.
- YouTube Premium offers students a $5 discount, which makes the service $7 per month for ad-free YouTube and unlimited access to YouTube Music.
- MLB.tv is giving students free access to watch baseball games when they sign up with ID.me.
And NBCUniversal’s Peacock service is always free for the base account. Speaking of which, check out these streaming services offering free access.
16. Get discounts when you watch movies in theaters.
Several movie theaters offer different student discounts when you show your student ID. Here are a few deals that I found (and used), but be sure to call ahead to see if the deal is applicable to your theater. Prices may differ from location to location.
- AMC: $1 off regular prices on Thursdays (8% savings)
- Cinemark: Discounted tickets at select theaters. Discounts differ from location to location, but they will typically be $1 off regular prices (7% savings)
- Regal: Discounted tickets at select theaters. Discounts differ from location to location, but they will typically be $1.95 off regular prices (15% savings)
College Student Discounts on Career Development Services
17. Find jobs and internships relevant to your major with Handshake.
Check out Handshake if you’re looking for internships or positions in your field of study. Handshake is a free site just for college students to help you land that first internship.
To sign up, just fill out a profile with your school-provided email. Then you can find internships either by browsing job boards or by getting in touch with a recruiter.
The company also provides interview tips, resume and cover letter help, job role explanations, and career paths to explore. You can also browse student success stories.
18. Submit your resume to The Ladders and get a free analysis from career experts.
The Ladders resume review service is free and offers pointers so you can improve your resume and increase your chances of landing a job. A lot of services charge for a resume review, so this college freebie is a steal.
If you want to get more out of your Ladders account, you can spend $25 – $50 per month for their premium service, which allows you to auto-apply to jobs from your account. There’s even a career advice section to help you navigate the interviewing and salary process.
19. You can earn certificates and learn skills with your student discount.
Many websites exist to help you continue your education and develop your professional skills. These offer some of the best student discounts:
- Coursera: Students can get one certification course free. If you want unlimited access to the site, it’ll cost you $399 per year.
- Skillshare: With 50% off a premium membership, students will pay $7.50 per month instead of $15. You’ll also get a 7-day free trial, so there’s no downside to signing up.
- LinkedIn Learning: Students get a free month-long trial, and afterward, it costs $40 per month. Just use your school email when you sign up.
There are lots of free online and in-store classes, too!
20. See if you qualify for free tuition reimbursement through your employer.
Did you know that some employers will reimburse a portion of college tuition costs? Starbucks will even pay for all of it! Now, that’s one of the best student discounts to the tenth power.
Here are a few of the best places that will pay for your college:
- Walmart covers 100% of tuition with their Live Better U program.
- Amazon‘s Career Choice program covers 100% of college tuition for high-demand degrees for employees in the U.S. (95% outside of the country). Must be employed for 90 days.
- Starbucks pays 100% tuition and fees for eligible employees to earn a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program (via the Starbucks College Achievement Plan).
- Chick-fil-A covers up to $25,000 when you win their Chick-fil-A Remarkable Futures scholarship.
- Papa Johns offers 100% tuition coverage at Purdue University Global and University of Maryland Global for team members that work at locations owned by Papa Johns. You need to have worked at least 60 days and 10+ hours a week through the Dough for Degrees program.
- Chili’s has a free, online education program, Best You Edu, for employees who want to get a GED, certificate, associate’s degree, citizenship preparation, or tutoring. Team members employed for at least 45 days and work at least 15 hours a week are eligible.
For a list of companies that will pay for your college, look no further than KCL.
21. Join professional networking societies for free.
Joining a professional society offers great networking opportunities and access to mentors in your field of study. Here are some that college students can join for free:
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- American Planning Association
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- American Institute of Physics
Discounts for Student Financial Needs
22. As a student, you can get a free checking account.
Make note: there’s absolutely no need to pay a monthly fee for a checking account if you’re a student. Check out these offers:
- LendingClub Rewards Checking: Save up to 1% on everyday purchases with your Rewards Checking debit card.
- Chase College Checking Account: It’s free for students ages 17 – 24, comes with no service fees for up to five years, plus students unlock $100 for opening an account.
- U.S. Bank: Students get a U.S. Bank Visa® debit card and no ATM transaction fees at U.S. Bank ATMs and no monthly maintenance fees.
- Bank of America: Students 25 and under get a free checking account with waived monthly maintenance fees.
There are many ways to save on your banking accounts and even get paid to sign up.
Discounts on Dining for College Students
23. Show your student ID to get discounts at restaurants.
Here are some of the best places to get free stuff for college students at restaurants using your student ID. Be aware that only participating restaurants will hook you up, and most of them will ask you to show your student ID.
- Burger King gives you 10% off your order.
- Chick-fil-A and Chipotle will give you a free drink with your order.
- Dunkin’ Donuts offers 10% off at participating locations.
- McDonald’s gives you 10% off your order.
- Taco Bell provides a 10% discount at participating locations.
Plus, there are many more ways you can save on dining by using your student ID.
24. Earn points toward free food with Pocket Points.
Pocket Points is an app that rewards you with coupons and free stuff for college students when you stay off your phone while driving and during class. What a genius concept!
Sign up for Pocket Points and download the app to start earning credits, like a free Chick-fil-A sandwich or 25% off Papa Johns Pizza.
If you get your teacher to register, they can create rewards for their students. For example, if you stay off your phone for 20 hours of class, they could give you 10 bonus points or drop your lowest assignment grade.
College Student Discounts on Travel
25. Use your student ID to get discounts on travel.
Here are some of the best student discounts for traveling while getting your degree:
- Amtrak gives a 15% discount to students on all tickets.
- Greyhound offers a 10% discount on all student tickets.
- Zipcar gives discounts based on which university you attend.
- Check your local Metro station to see if there are any discounts. For example, the DC Metro gives free passes to full-time students, and New York gives three free rides a day for students.
There are many more ways to save while traveling.
26. Ride public transit for free in select cities.
Check your university for public transportation student discounts, or see what discounts you can get through the transit agency.
For example, in California Amtrak offers student discounts on monthly passes, but Metrolink’s monthly student pass is cheaper, and you can also use it on Amtrak trains. Most California universities offer a credit toward a monthly student pass.
In addition, plenty of colleges also offer some kind of free shuttle service for students from campus to residential areas.