Here’s a well-known fact: College is expensive. And 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 in pursuit of higher education. Even with scholarships, college still isn't cheap. Fortunately, when it comes to finding college freebies and student discounts, there are plenty of options if you know where to look.
With that idea in mind, I created a list of free stuff for college students that’ll save you loads of money. We're talking college freebies for entertainment, food, and tech.
Oh, and while you’re at it, download The Krazy Coupon Lady app or text HACKS to 57299 to learn more ways to save every day.
Free Application Fees
Before you can enjoy college freebies or student discounts you need that acceptance letter! Each application fee varies, but expect to spend around $50 - $100. Many colleges and universities don't charge an application fee. However, those that do often offer free application days or week.
To find out if your college of choice has zero application fees year round or offers a free application period during a certain time of the year, visit their website or reach out to their admissions office.
Alabama colleges and universities waiving application fees from Feb. 16 - 23, 2024:
Alabama A&M University
Alabama Aviation College
Alabama State University
Auburn University at Montgomery
Belmont Abbey College
Bevill State Community College
Bishop State Community College
Calhoun Community College
Coastal Alabama Community College
Drake State Community and Technical College
Enterprise State Community College
Fort Valley State University
Georgia Gwinnett College
Jacksonville State University
Jefferson State Community College
Lawson State Community College
LBW Community College
Mississippi University for Women
Northeast Alabama Community College
Northwest Shoals Community College
Northwest Shoals Community College
Reid State Technical College
Shelton State Community College
Snead State Community College
South Carolina State Univesity
Southern Union State Community College
Spring Hill College
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)
The University of Tampa
The University of West Alabama
Trenholm State Community College
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
University of Mobile
University of Montevallo
University of New Orleans
University of North Alabama
University of South Alabama
University of West Florida
Wallace State Community College
Wallace Community College Selma
Note: Some colleges and universities will also waive application fees for students who demonstrate financial need or other requirement. Reach out to the admissions department of your chosen school for more information on application waivers.
Amazon Prime College Student Discounts & Perks
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 college freebies out there. After your trial, remember to cancel the subscription or you’ll pay a student rate of $69 per year, or $7.49 per month. The membership gets you:
Free 1-day delivery
Early access to deals
Subscription to Amazon Music Prime
Amazon photo storage
You need to be enrolled at an eligible college or university to take advantage of the perks.
2. Use your Amazon Student account to score even more freebies.
Amazon also offers free subscriptions to a few services for a limited time. Just be sure to cancel before the free trial ends. Here's what you can expect:
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 (a $69.99 value).
StudentUniverse: This free membership provides up to 10% off flights and hotels.
CourseHero: One month of free 24/7 homework help. Then it’ll be $9.95 per month (normally $24.99 per month)
Check out all the Amazon Prime member benefits that await you.
Free Subscription for College Students
3. Manage your money for free with You Need a Budget (YNAB).
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 learn better spending habits, saving, and more.
It normally costs $14.99 per month, but You Need a Budget offers their software to students for 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.
Student Tech Freebies
4. Students get an Apple gift card (worth $100 to $150) with the purchase of a Mac or iPad.
Before every new school year, expect to see special Apple student discounts pop up.
Typically each back-to-school season, from June to October, students can get Apple’s Higher Education Back-to-School offer of either a $100 or $150 Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Apple product such as an iPad, iMac, or MacBook Air.
Related: You can get 30% off Samsung products with the Samsung student discount.
5. 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 for creating Word documents and Excel spreadsheets? Microsoft offers this suite of programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more) for free to college students on their website.
All you need is a valid school email address. As long as you’re a qualified student, your plan won’t expire, but they can re-verify your eligibility at any time, so heads up about that.
With the freebie plan, you’ll also receive 1 TB of free OneDrive online storage. If you’re new to the Microsoft Suite, they offer training tutorials to get you started.
6. Gain access to free 3-D design software with Autodesk.
If you’re a college student studying engineering or architecture, or you simply want to get into 3-D 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 student 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 also the option to renew as long as you stay eligible.
Free Coupons for College Students
7. Sign up for Unidays for the best college student discounts at retailers.
Unidays is a free verification platform that assembles a ton of the best college student discounts in one place. To get verified through Unidays, 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:
Related: We can point you to even more retailers that offer discounts with your student ID.
Free Career Development Services for College Students
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. You can earn certificates and learn skills.
Many websites exist to help you continue your education and develop your professional skills. These offer some of the best student discounts:
Coursera: You can take several select courses for free. If you want unlimited access to the site, it’ll cost you $399 per year.
Skillshare: You’ll also get a one-month free trial, so there’s no downside to signing up. If you continue past that month, it's 50% off a premium membership. So students will pay $8.25 per month instead of $15.
LinkedIn Learning: While LinkedIn no longer offers a “student discount” you can get a free month-long trial, and afterward, it costs $40 per month.
There are lots of free online and in-store classes, too!
11. 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 freebies to the tenth power.
Here are a few of the employers who 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). You must be employed for 90 days.
Starbucks pays 100% of 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 if 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 who work at locations owned by Papa Johns. You need to have worked at least 60 days and 10+ hours a week through the Dough & 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.
Related: We’ve got the full list of companies that will pay for your college.
12. 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 groups that college students can join for free:
Free Stuff for Student Financial Needs
13. As a student, you can get a free checking account.
Take note: there’s absolutely no need to pay a monthly fee for a checking account if you’re a student. For example, 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 account and even get paid to sign up.
Dining Freebies for College Students
14. Show your student ID for Chipotle freebies.
Chipotle will give you a free drink with your order. Be aware that only participating locations will hook you up, and most of them will ask you to show your student ID.
Plus, we found many more ways you can save on dining by using your student ID.
15. 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 John’s 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 Freebies for Travel
16. Ride public transit for free in select cities.
Check with your university to see what kind of transportation they offer. Plenty of colleges also offer some kind of free shuttle service for students from campus to residential areas.