10 Things You Can Buy With Student Discounts

Find Discounts to Slash College Costs

With the growing cost of attendance each year, student discounts are one savvy way to spend less. Parents of incoming freshmen are expected to spend $1,378 on back to school shopping with half that amount being spent on tech products and dorm room items, according to a recent study.

To curb some of these costs, here are 10 areas where students and their families can find discounts.

1. Computers

"They should start with the bookstore at the college and see what they offer and then see what they can find if it's comparable," says Kathy Ruby, director of college finance at College Coach, who says computer discounts through a university might be dependent on where they purchase their computers.

Students can also receive education discounts on computers through many technology brands, such as Apple Inc. and Dell, to name a few.

2. Clothing

Whether it's to reinvent a wardrobe at college or buy a suit for that first job interview, there are several ways to cut apparel costs with retail discounts.

Many major retail chains -- American Apparel, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Club Monaco, The Limited, to name a few -- offer between 10 to 25 percent price reductions with a valid student ID card.

3. Software

Although a student's first stop for software might be at the campus computer store, experts say to shop around. "Don't settle on the first price you see," says Jodi Okun, a financial aid adviser and Discover student loan ambassador.

Software companies Adobe and Norton Software offer reductions to students that slash up to 50 or even 60 percent off the regular price. In some cases, students might be able to use free open source software instead of purchasing a program, college experts say.

4. Furniture

Parents of incoming freshmen expect to pay $324, on average, for dorm room supplies, according to the 2016 study on back to school shopping.

But there are some national home store retailers that offer discounts for students to deck out their college room. West Elm offers 15 percent savings with an .edu email account along with a student ID. Pottery Barn Teen offers a similar deal.

5. Transportation

"If students live in a metropolitan area, some colleges offer a semester pass to use public transportation at a discounted rate," says Okun, the financial aid adviser. "Some travel companies, such as Greyhound, have a student advantage discount card that will give students a 20 percent discount."

Some U.S. public transportation systems also offer student pricing. Houston's bus and light rail network, for example, offers students reduced fares at half the normal price.

6. Car Insurance

"Students who receive good grades can get discounts on insurance through companies like AllState, Nationwide and Geico," Okun, the financial aid adviser, says.

Experts say that parents can also receive reduced premiums if their student attends college away from his or her hometown and doesn't bring a car to campus.

7. Restaurants

"Restaurants, locally, in a college town, often will offer discounts to certain groups of students," says Ruby, from College Coach. "In a college town like Ithaca, there will be local businesses that offer discounts -- and it'll be clothing stores or restaurants that you may not find in a regular city."

8. Entertainment

When students have downtime between exams they can take advantage of special student pricing for entertainment options.

Students can typically find discounts at movie theaters and museums. Student cost of admission at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art is $12 compared with $25 for regular admittance.

9. Sports

For sporty students, there are a number of cost savings to be found through sporting goods retailers, fitness chains and ski resorts.

And if you want to spend part of the winter season on the slopes, there are ski passes just for college students. The College New England Pass and the Ski Colorado College Pass offer discounted skiing all season long.

10. Subscriptions

Students can also receive a knocked-down price on subscriptions for newspapers, magazines and even music streaming services. Swedish music streaming service Spotify, for example, offers students 50 percent off its premium account.

But experts say make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms of the discounts. "Students get easily wrapped into subscription services and they easily add up. So pay attention to what you're spending," the College Coach adviser says.

Find More Ways to Save During College

The search to tackle college costs with discounts shouldn't end here.

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Farran Powell is an education reporter at U.S. News, covering paying for college and graduate school. You can follow her on Twitter or email her at fpowell@usnews.com.