A Bobcat’s guide to student discounts

Like any college student, Bobcats know what it’s like to have an empty wallet (or an empty bank account, for that matter). With all of the spending on tuition, loans, utilities, rent, appliances, books, clothes and food (the list could go on) college students are often forced so scrape and scavenge for funds to get by.

Luckily, a lot of businesses out there are aware of this and want to give students a break. By students doing something as simple as giving out their school email or showing their student ID, they can receive discounts. Those small 5 and 10 percent discounts will eventually add up to saving students a bunch of money in the long run.

Students should never immediately expect to get a discount. A lot of stores and restaurants in places such as uptown Athens won’t offer student discounts because they depend on students spending money in order to maintain their businesses, however oftentimes they’ll offer various specials and sales throughout the year.

Businesses may offer discounts depending on location, even some fast food franchises and other chain stores. It never hurts to ask the age-old question: “Do you offer a student discount?”

(And remember, be respectful if they say no.)

It’s always good to know where a student can get deals on prices. Provided below is a list of businesses that offer student discounts and other specials, specifically tailored to fit a Bobcat’s needs.

Athena Cinema
The historical Athena Cinema in uptown Athens has a punch card for eager movie viewers.

“The punch card card is offered to students so that every time they come see a movie they can get it punched,” said Bill McAtee, a sophomore theater student at Ohio University and an employee at the Athena. “It has to be punched six times and the seventh movie is free.”

There’s also free popcorn on Wednesdays.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
For students who need to purchase materials for school-related projects and otherwise can hit up Jo-Ann Fabrics on East State Street in Athens. By joining Jo-Ann’s Student Discount Program, students can get 10 percent off every purchase and are eligible to receive two coupons as well.

Amazon Student
Students order a lot of stuff online, right? Amazon Student is perfect for getting things to students quickly and cheaply. By signing up for Amazon Student, Bobcats will receive a six-month free trial of Amazon Prime service, which includes streaming videos and unlimited two-day shipping. After six months, the service is 50 percent off its regular price.

Another way to get cheap shipping is through FedEx. Students can get 20 to 30 percent off for shipping packages when they show their school ID.

Microsoft offers quite a few deals for both students and teachers. One option is Office 365 Education, which is free and includes 1TB of online storage and online versions of Office. Bobcats can also buy and install the full Office 365 for their computer for $79.99. At this price, students have Office 365 for four years and is included for two PCs, Macs or tablets (the original price for Office 365 is $100 for a single device).

This is perfect for students moving off-campus. Students get 10 percent off truck rentals and an additional 10 percent if they book a one-way rental online.

Need another way home besides the GoBus? Afraid of airplanes? With the Student Advantage Discount Card, students get 20 percent on unrestricted walk-up fare or online tickets. Students also save 40 percent on package shipments through Greyhound Package Xpress.

The card is $20 plus shipping and handling, so it might only be worth it to students who frequently travel with Greyhound.

Music is an absolute must-have for the majority of college students (and people in general) worldwide. Spotify feels for student music appreciators, so they’ve provided a 50 percent discount on their Spotify Premium service for $4.99 a month.

Spotify is also free to download, but with Spotify Premium students aren’t plagued by ads and can choose which song they want to listen to on their mobile devices, which isn’t an option with the free version.

Apple Store for Education
Apple offers a lot discounts on various on products, so it’s always good for students to compare prices. Apple also offers Student Financing, which is an opportunity to build credit. Students can get a loan and spread payments over a period of 48 months, making it easier to pay for products. Students can also apply for a loan with a co-applicant (usually the ‘rents), which will ensure that the loan gets paid.

Not an Apple fan? Lenovo offers the Academic Purchase Program that requires a customer to be either a student, parent of a student or school faculty member and varies depending on the school. Customers using this program can save up to 47 percent on products such as laptops, 46 percent on desktops and 32 percent on tablets.

Phone Plans
Depending on their service provider, Bobcats can also get student discounts on phones and phone plans. Carriers that include student discounts are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Straight Talk might not offer discounts to students, but it’s a cheap alternative to regular service providers. There’s no contract, which means costumers can upgrade their phone anytime, and it operates on Verizon’s network.

Car Insurance
A lot of auto insurance companies offer discounts to student drivers. According to DMV.org, most companies require to be under 25, enrolled full-time, at least a B average (or 3.0 GPA), must be on the honor roll or dean’s list and proof of being a good student (like a report card, for example).

Auto insurance companies that offer discounts to students include State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, 21st Century and Allstate.