Shopping Discounts College Students May Be Missing Out On

From clothes to food, students can get cheaper stuff just for going to school.

— -- One of the occupational hazards of my job is becoming some sort of consumer know-it-all. One of the antidotes is reading others’ great consumer articles. In the October issue of Consumer Reports, my consumer colleagues surprised and delighted me with something I didn’t know: Many retailers offer special discounts just for students.

Then, when I searched around for, like, two minutes, I found other listings, like this one from Brad’s Deals.

Sure, I knew about student discounts on computers and books, but did you know about the deals on clothing, restaurants and travel? I bet lots of college students do — but their parents don’t — so here’s a primer. First of all, a company called UNiDAYS has created a clearinghouse that helps retailers know whether students really are students, so that’s one place to check for evolving discounts. Meanwhile, here are several to get you started:

APPAREL

Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft: 15 percent discount

Banana Republic: 15 percent discount

J. Crew/Madewell: 15 percent discount

FOOD

Dairy Queen: Participating locations offer a discount or a “Student Meal Deal.”

IHOP: Participating restaurants offer student discounts on a local basis.

Pizza Hut: 10-20 percent discount, depending on location.

TRAVEL

Amtrak: Save 10 percent with the Student Advantage Discount Card, which costs $22.50 a year and contains many student offers.

Greyhound: 20 percent discount with the same student discount card.

General Motors: Discounts on Buicks, Chevys and GMCs through the GM College Discount Program.

Have you heard of other great student discounts? Better yet, have you tested them out and scored a success? Then, by all means, “share with the class” in the comments section below!

Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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