It’s no surprise that college is expensive. Between tuition, books, housing, and more, it seems like everyone has their hand out to take your cash.
Fortunately, there are many discounts and freebies for college students. Your student ID can help you get anything from free software to discounts on meals.
Our guide shares a few of the best ways to get free stuff as a student or find discounts in order to save money in college.
Best Freebies Available for College Students
Saving money while on campus is essential for most students. Here are the top discount offers and free items to take advantage of while in school.
Best Discount for Students
While there are a lot of deals available, there is one that stands out among the others. Better yet, it’s terrific for Amazon fans.
1. Amazon Student
Amazon Student is free for six months for all college students. This offers you all of the benefits of a Prime membership, including:
- Free two-day shipping
- Textbook rental
- Unlimited photo storage
- Free two-hour grocery delivery, where available
After the six months ends, students qualify for 50 percent off Prime. This costs $6.49 per month.
Free Financial Accounts for Students
If this is the first time you’re managing your money, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Here are the top deals for college students when it comes to financial accounts.
Robinhood is a stock trading app that charges no commission to students who are enrolled in college. You can start investing with as little as $1 and buy partial shares of stock.
The investing app is compatible with both Android and iOS-based platforms.
3. CIT Bank
Saving small amounts of money is essential for anyone, and CIT Bank is an excellent choice for college students.
The bank doesn’t have a devoted student plan, but you can open a money market account with as little as $100. It operates like a savings account with the same FDIC protection.
The account currently pays 0.45 percent on your cash balance.
Budgeting may seem unnecessary if you’re in college, but now is the perfect time to start. Even though you have minimal income and expenses, you still want to stay on top of your finances.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is free for college students. It’s one of the top budgeting apps and a great way to manage your money.
Simply provide proof of enrollment, and they will give you a free plan.
The last thing you want is to pay for something you no longer use, like a gym membership. Trim is an app that analyzes your spending to find subscriptions you no longer use.
After identifying savings opportunities, they cancel the service for you. It is free to use, and they keep 33 percent of any savings they win for you.
Copper is a free checking account for teenagers up to age 18. You only need $10 to open an account, there are no fees, and you can automate savings.
Copper even allows you to establish rules to save a certain amount of each deposit you receive.
Goodbudget is another helpful budgeting app that offers a free plan for college students. It uses the envelope method, where you set aside cash from each paycheck to pay for your necessities.
*Related: New to writing checks? Check out our guide on how to properly write a check for step-by-step directions.*
The free version has limited features when compared to the paid service, but it’s still an excellent platform to manage your finances.
With EveryDollar, you give each dollar a purpose so you can avoid debt. Like the other apps, it’s available for both Android and iOS-based devices.
9. Bank of America Student Banking
Student banking is a big deal for many college attendees. Bank of America Student Banking is a good resource for those in college.
They offer checking and savings accounts. Additionally, they waive all monthly fees for college students.
10. Chase College Banking
Chase College Banking is another solid choice for free checking for students. Those ages 17 to 24 get monthly fees waived for up to five years of college enrollment when they open an account.
The bank also doesn’t require a monthly charge to link your account to overdraft protection services, making this account one of the best freebies for college students.
Top College Student Discounts on Tech Needs
College students depend on technology to get homework done. Here are the top deals to maximize savings.
11. Computers with Causes
Laptop computers are expensive, especially for students that come from low-income families.
Computers with Causes gives free refurbished computers to qualifying individuals, including students.
Consult the website to learn if you qualify for a free laptop.
If you hate managing your passwords, LastPass lets you sync and manage passwords across all of your devices and browsers.
All you need is a .edu email address to qualify for six months of free service.
13. Windows 10 Education
Windows 10 Education is a good resource for students that use the Windows platform. You receive access to games, work-related resources, and other freebies for college students.
If you need a device, Windows also offers discounted deals for qualifying students.
14. Microsoft Office 365 for Students
Microsoft products are often a necessity for coursework needs. A Microsoft Office 365 subscription typically costs $70 per year, but students receive it for free.
The package includes:
- Microsoft Teams
If you need access to other Microsoft programs, you also receive them for free.
15. Apple Student
Discounts for college students aren’t as prevalent with Apple, but they do offer some deals. Qualifying students can receive what Apple calls “education pricing” on certain devices.
Apple also offers 20 percent off on AppleCare+ for students.
Software for engineering, architecture, and design can be expensive. Autodesk provides a free three-year license for students to use various programs.
This includes programs like Autocad, Inventor Professional, 3DS Max, and more. Just provide verification of enrollment, and you can use the platform for free.
Github is a must-have for people learning to code, and they offer one of the best college student deals. As a student, you receive access to their Student Developer Pack.
This provides free access to over a dozen programs to help students learn how to code.
18. Best Buy
If you need to buy a new device or computer, you want to save as much money as possible. Best Buy is a good resource to maximize savings.
The discounts vary, so visit their site or a store to learn about the student deals that are currently available.
19. Adobe Education
Adobe Education is another choice for free software for students. They provide free courses to learn how to use programs as well as discounts on products.
20. Intel Free Software Tools
Intel Developer Zone provides free access to students for various software development programs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a part or full-time student. Just provide a valid .edu email address to get access to the software for free.
If you’re on your own for a phone plan, Verizon could be an option for your communication needs. They offer discounts for college students of $10 savings per line per month.
Read our guide on the top phone plans for college students for other options.
If you need a new device and are a fan of HP products, they offer discounts of up to 35 percent for students.
To qualify, just provide a valid .edu email address.
Free Food for College Students
Who doesn’t like free meals? Here are some of the top restaurants that offer freebies for students.
Chick-fil-A restaurants offer college students a free drink with a purchase. Just show your student ID and ask to receive the free drink. This is easily one of the best freebies for college students.
Like Chick-fil-A, Chipotle offers a free drink when you purchase food. Just show your ID to receive your free item.
*Related: Looking for other ways to get free food? Read our guide on the best free food apps here to learn more.*
Discounted Entertainment Options
School isn’t all work. Sometimes you need time for entertainment. Here are the top discounted things for college students to enjoy in their downtime.
You may not have a lot of time for TV, but you want to save as much as possible on what you do watch. Hulu is an excellent option thanks to their ad-supported plan price of $1.99 a month for students.
Simply verify your enrollment, and you get the pricing for as long as you’re in college.
Groupon is a terrific way to save money on local deals. These can vary from restaurant promotions to events.
As a student, you qualify to receive an additional 25 percent off deals for the first six months you are enrolled in the free service. After that, the extra discount reduces to 15 percent.
27. Amazon Music Unlimited
This isn’t the same as what you receive as a Prime member. Amazon Music Unlimited is an add-on that’s available to college students for $1 per month.
It’s normally $7.99 a month and is one of the best music streaming services available.
If you’re not an Amazon fan, Spotify Premium Student is a good alternative. It includes Spotify Premium plus Hulu and Showtime for $4.99 a month.
This represents a savings of up to $21.98 per month. You can cancel at any time.
You don’t need a bike to use Peloton since they do various types of exercise. As a qualifying student, you receive a 50 percent discount on monthly plans.
This makes it $6.99 a month instead of $13.98.
30. New York Times
Do you like to keep up with the news? New York Times offers discounted student plans for just $1 per week.
This is reduced from $3.75 per week and allows you to read unlimited articles on any device.
31. The Wall Street Journal
If you like to keep up with the stock market, The Wall Street Journal is a necessity. The WSJ sells discounted student plans for $4 per month.
Simply provide proof of enrollment, and you can read unlimited articles on any device.
How College Students Can Save Even More
When saving money using discounts and freebies for college students, there are some ways to stretch your money even further. Here are some strategies college students can use.
Always Ask for Discounts
Free things are an excellent way to reduce spending, especially as a student. However, not all retailers make their discounts or freebies public.
To truly take advantage of all opportunities, ask for a discount when making a purchase. You can show your valid student ID to verify that you’re enrolled.
A lot of businesses, especially in small college towns, offer discounts. Be sure to ask since you may never know what’s available otherwise.
Know the Conditions
Not all deals for college students are equal. Some retailers will give out discounts or freebies with minimal requirements. Others will have certain conditions you may need to meet.
This can vary from spending a certain amount to receive the offer to upgrading to a full membership when your discount expires.
It’s best to set a calendar reminder to keep track of the latter and avoid overspending to receive the former.
You don’t want to lose money on the deal, so clearly understand what you’re signing up for and receiving.
Combine with a Side Hustle
Saving money is a necessity for many college students. Those who pair it with a side hustle, such as delivering for DoorDash, put themselves in the best possible position.
The savings plus income will help you stretch your budget even further and reduce the need to depend on student loans.
Read our guide on the best ways to make money in college to identify opportunities to earn that won’t hinder your studies.
There are many discounts and freebies for college students. Don’t overlook asking friends or professors what deals they know about to help you stretch your money.
If you combine that with being purposeful in your spending, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save.
What are some other ways to save money in college? Have you heard of any free things for college students not covered on our list?