All college students know the struggle: after tuition, books, rent, and food, the wallet seems pretty empty. Even for the students who work, saving money is an important aspect of college. Fortunately, many businesses, both large and small, feel the same way. While most advertised discounts are “limited time only!” there are many unadvertised discounts that students can take advantage of, both online and in stores. Here is a list of nine student discounts that every Pilot can benefit from:
- Local Business Discounts with the Pilot Experience Card:
University of Portland Alumni Office and the University Park Business District have paired up with some Lombard staples, such as Christie’s Restaurant, Anna Bananas, and even the Twilight Room to offer student discounts of up to 20 percent. The Alumni office offers the Pilot Experience Discount Card for current students for free, but even those who have already graduated can enjoy the discounts. They are available to alumni for $10 a year. “I didn’t even know we had that! But that’s really awesome,” said UP senior Joseph Claveria. “Plus you can support businesses that are close to home. That’s always a good thing.” The University Park Business District’s website has a complete list of what North Portland businesses accept the Pilot Experience Card.
Now that you have your Pilot Experience Card, how are you going to get to the restaurants and shops that offer discounts? The University of Portland and Zipcar have teamed up to offer UP students discounts on Zipcar rentals. Student, faculty, and staff can take advantage of a Zipcar rental membership for $15 a year instead of the standard $60 a year. With a car pick up location on campus, Zipcar is easily accessible, especially for students who live on campus.
Zipcar and University Park Business District are not the only ones to offer UP community discounts. AT&T has also paired up with the University of Portland to offer up to a 10 percent discount on phone services for UP students. The rest of the UP community can also take advantage of a discount. Faculty and staff get up to 15 percent off.
Student discounts are not limited to places in Portland. Students can save money when shopping online as well. Amazon.com will recognize you as a student if you have a .edu email and give you 6 months of student discounts for free for the first six months. This large online shopping site offers discounts on items such as computers, dorm room essentials, and school supplies. For those months, Amazon also offers students free 2-day shipping on certain items, video streaming, and unlimited online photo storage. After those months though, students can upgrade to Amazon Prime, a version with many of the same discounts as the initial student account, for half the price of the standard membership. For a non-college student, a subscription to Amazon Prime costs $99 a year. For students, the first year is $49.
A personal computer is an increasingly vital tool for university students. This expense can cost well over $1000, especially for name brand systems. Some of those brands, however, are willing to help a student out. According to Apple’s website, a basic Mac Book Pro costs $1099, but with the student discount it comes out to $999. For those who do not need a new laptop, there are other options to save money on Apple products. For example, students can save $20 on a new iPad at Apple stores.
- PC computers (Dell, Sony, HP and Lenovo)
Not everyone is an Apple-user however. For those who prefer a PC, various computer brands offer discounts for student laptops. Sony offers a 10 percent discount for students, Dell has a variety of deals, Hewlett Packard offers up to a 20 percent discount through their HP Academy program, and Lenovo has various options for UP students.
- Best Buy:
The discounts that you get from Apple and the PC brands only apply when you buy the laptops directly from the company. Best Buy also offers discounts for students on laptops, camera, tablets and other devices. With an .edu email address, Best Buy will send student coupons for various products as well as free shipping on certain items.
It is important to get discounts while on campus, but students also can take advantage of discounts when traveling back to their hometowns. Five times every year, UP students have a break in which they can travel home; Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break and Easter. While not all students live a train or bus ride away, the majority of students at UP, 54 percent according to the UP institutional research website, are from either Oregon or Washington, making a train ride a convenient way to get home. For those students, Amtrak offers students 10 percent discounts on tickets through the Student Advantage Card. However, unlike the Pilot Experience Card, the Student Advantage card is not free to students. It cost $20 a year.
If the train does not go where you live, you can always take the bus. Using that same Student Advantage card that students can use on Amtrak, they can also get discounts on the Greyhound busses. Greyhound gives students a 20 percent discount on bus travel, as well as a 40 percent discount on shipping packages through Greyhound Package Xpress. -Nicola Plate 1/27/2015