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6 Surprising Things You Can Buy With a Student Discount

If you're a student or recent graduate, you can take advantage of deals on new cars, clothes, and more.
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From tuition to textbooks, heading to college isn't cheap. Fortunately, businesses know that and offer discounts on everything from computers to cars.

That's right: cars. While you might expect students to get discounts on the sort of things students would use (like the aforementioned computers), some things on which students can score discounts may surprise you. With that in mind, here are the surprising deals students can get, and how to snag them.

6 Student Discounts You Might Not Expect

Now that we've established the ground rules, let's look at the most interesting deals for students.

Cars and Auto Insurance

A car — especially a new car — is a big financial commitment. But most manufacturers offer a discount for students, the most compelling of which is usually special financing, which may be easier for students to qualify for. The discounts themselves aren't bad, either, though they may not be the best you'll find, depending on current sales. Here are the best student deals for new cars:

SEE ALSO: Should You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?

While other college discounts aren't always that impressive — often in the $500 range — it's worth asking about them, because most manufacturers offer something for students or recent graduates.

And when you get a car, you'll need insurance. Most major insurers provide good rates to students or recent grads. If you're shopping for car insurance, get prices from Allstate, Esurance, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, State Farm, and Travelers.

Computers and Tablets (Including Apple)

While we all use computers, they're a real must-have for students — so it's not that surprising to see manufacturers offering deals. Still, Apple stands out because the company doesn't usually offer discounts. Though their student discounts aren't huge — up to $200 off — getting any kind of discount from the company is rare, and at certain times of year, these may be the best deals you'll find on a new Mac or iPad. (However, always check for refurbished Macs as well as sales from third-party retailers.)

If you aren't an Apple fan, there are plenty of other possibilities. Check for deals at Best Buy, Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft.

Entertainment

Students need downtime, too, which is probably why so many entertainment brands offer great student deals. So many deals, in fact, that any student is likely to be distracted from the actual work of studying. If you're a student trying to keep your grades up, you may just want to pretend this section doesn't exist.

SEE ALSO: The Best Places to Score an Awesome Student Discount

Now, just what can you get? Discounts on music, movies, and probably a lot of your local museums, sports venues, and theaters. Though you'll have to check what's available locally, several big entertainment brands offer nationwide deals for students. You can get half off Spotify Premium and Apple Music, cheaper streaming with HBO Now, discounted movie tickets from Cinemark and Regal, and likely more deals from your local brands. Just ask!

Or you can stay home and study for more savings (but less fun).

Clothes

As a student, you may not need an elaborate wardrobe. After all, why spend money on business attire when it's perfectly fine to show up to class in sweatpants and a T-shirt? But while you may not be thinking of dressing things up right now, once you graduate you may need to up your fashion game for the office. And with the number of clothing brands offering student discounts — you may be surprised to find that even high-end brands participate — it's best to start building your future wardrobe now.

Check for deals at Banana Republic, Dockers, and Express. If that doesn't sound like much, it's because the retail locations offering these discounts can vary. Your local Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, and other big national brands may have discounts, but you'll have to ask.

Some stores specifically say student discounts can't be applied with any other sales. If they can, though, then definitely shop those sales racks.

For more casual looks (before or after graduation), there are plenty of discounts to be had, too. Check out J.Crew and PacSun. If you want to go completely casual (and completely cheap), most Goodwill locations offer student discounts, but the details vary.

And be sure to see if your student discount can be combined with other sales. Though some stores specifically say student discounts can't be applied with any other sales, if they can, then definitely shop those sales racks.

Travel

Just how does a low-budget student find the cash to travel? By taking advantage of student discounts (and skipping out on those first-class tickets). This is another odd discount category involving something you might not expect students to need — but whether they're traveling back home for the weekends or spending summers playing tourist, students have plenty of opportunities to travel.

SEE ALSO: People Hate United Airlines, But They REALLY Hate Spirit

For getting around, students can score discounts on Greyhound and Amtrak for travel in the U.S., Eurail and Rail Europe for travel in Europe, and possibly discounts from local public transportation providers (though you'll have to check). For airfare, try American Airlines, Lufthansa, CheapOair, or StudentUniverse.

If you're willing to spend a little, you can also pick up the ISIC travel discount card. This program offers a ton of discounts on international travel, as well as travel insurance. It costs from $20 to $186 per year, depending on the benefits you want, but it's great if you're heading to Europe for the summer or for study abroad.

Amazon Prime

Too busy studying to get out of the house to buy clothes, textbooks, or even food? Amazon will hook you up with a six-month trial of Prime Student. This gives you many of the regular Prime benefits (like two-day shipping), but adds discounts on textbooks and other college necessities.

And when you need a break from studying, Prime Student gives you access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and Twitch Prime.

How to Use Your Student Discount

Typically, getting an in-person student discount is as simple as showing your student ID. Online, you may need a .edu email account (which you may be allowed to keep after you graduate) or a scan of your student ID. For some deals, you have to join a student discount program, like Student Advantage or Unidays. The program may cost money, but if you'll use the discounts it offers, it's worth it.

For some deals, you have to join a student discount program, like Student Advantage or Unidays. The program may cost money, but if you'll use the discounts it offers, it's worth it.

Despite these hurdles, often the hardest part of using student discounts is finding out if a retailer offers one, because they aren't always advertised. Whenever you're out shopping, ask if a discount is available (or, online, do a quick web search).

But getting the best deal isn't necessarily as simple as flashing your student ID, since your student discount may not be the best deal. Sometimes you can stack that discount with coupons or sales — and even if you can't, you should check out sales to see if you can save money.

Also be sure you aren't shopping at a particular retailer just because it offers a student discount. There's always a chance you could find a better price on similar items at another store, even without a student discount.

Readers, what are you favorite student discounts? Let us know about them in the comments!


Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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