June 25th, 2012

7 Deals for College Students

With the escalating costs of a college education and the looming threat of student loans, students are seeking any way to save a few pennies here and there. Those pennies soon add up over the course of a year. Here is how to save big by saving a little.

1. Rent e-textbooks

Have a Kindle? Then you can take advantage of this very savings friendly offer from Amazon’s textbook rental service. It offers textbook rentals at 80% off their original retain print price. Other e-book reader manufacturers are in the midst of launching similar programs.

2. Discount textbook sellers and student store stuff

Purchasing books and other student products at the college book store can become ridiculously expensive. With a bit of planning, a student can usually located all their required books at one of the many online sources for used textbooks. The amount of savings is often 80% to 90% off of what you would pay normally at the college store. College libraries often have lender copies too. Watch out for back-to-school sales at the local box lot store too.

3. Many banks and credit unions cater to students with free special services

You can find local banks with many free services to students, including free checking and savings accounts. Many such accounts offer a specific number of free checks. Also, online access to watch your accounts is always a good idea. It’s very easy to lose track of balances. Debit cards often continue to work even if you are overdrawn. Those overdraft fees can get expensive fast. As always, follow the dollar. While you’re at it, check to see if they have very low rate interest fee credit cards. If you need a credit card for an emergency, the lowest interest rate you can find is the way to go.

4. Computer specials for students

Many computer stores offer student savings and purchase incentives. Every year, there’s another big rebate offer. Many manufacturers, like Apple and Microsoft offer very helpful computer-related discounts for students.

5. Discount and bulk-buying stores student membership incentives

This type of store sometimes offers student membership incentives, usually free gift cards. Additionally, one membership may be shared by several people, making the cost of the membership cheaper when purchased that way. Other membership organizations, like automobile clubs and travel groups, offer travel-related discounts to students.

6. Cell Sales

Most major cell phone services offer student discounts. It’s even possible to pit them against each other in a bidding war. The price usually doesn’t change, but it’s possible to get extra services for the same price. There’s often a way to get a free basic cell phone in the deal bundle. And no, you really don’t need a cell phone that takes pictures of your BFF’s new navel tattoo to post it on social media networks.

7. Other membership discounts

There are many membership businesses, such as fitness clubs, that offer dramatic student discounts. Often these are grouped around certain times of the year, such as back to school days, but the discounts often last for the duration of the student’s undergrad academic life.

Alexis is a freelance writer who specializes in education topics. You can find more of her work over at www.OnlineCollegesGuide.com.

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