Students across America should know they carry a privileged status as consumers. They're eligible for special student pricing that nobody else can get — on computers, clothing, restaurant food and more.
Sometimes, merchants will require a student identification card or, in the case of college students making purchases online, an email address ending in .edu.
The trouble is that merchants don't always make known their student discounts, said Brad Wilson, founder and editor of deal Web site BradsDeals.com, who has researched student discounts.
"The big takeaway from doing research was, if you have a student ID, you should always ask for a discount. There's no harm in that," he said. "It really is much more widespread than the average student realizes."
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One caveat for students: Especially with online purchases, search the Internet for coupon codes, sales and other deals that might offer greater savings than the standard student discount.
Helpful online lists of student discounts have been compiled at BradsDeals.com and GiftCardGranny.com.
Here's a sampling of what you might find.
Computers and tech gear: Apple typically offers discounts to college students, teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade, administrators and staff members.
Hewlett-Packard also provides student discounts through its HP Academy site at Hp.force.com/external/hpacademy. So does Dell via its Dell University site, which can be accessed via Tinyurl.com/3lqn73a.
AcademicSuperstore.com offers a variety of discounted software and other gear, with discounts for students.
Free shipping: Amazon.com, via Amazon.com/ student, offers college students free six-month memberships to Amazon Prime, its membership program that provides free two-day shipping of Amazon goods. It also offers exclusive discounts in a variety of categories.
Event and venue tickets: Movie theaters, museums and some sporting events often have student rates that slash the ticket price.
As a general rule, if you're reaching for your wallet at a ticket window, reach for your student ID too.
Travel: A number of Web sites offer student travel deals. STA Travel (STAtravel.com) offers an international student identity card for $22. With the card, full-time students ages 12 to 26 can buy discounted plane tickets and get a year's worth of basic travel insurance, plus discounts in stores, hotels, train stations and museums worldwide.
Food: People might be surprised that many chain restaurants offer student discounts. They include 10 percent off at McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Arby's and Waffle House, according to GiftCardGranny.com. Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza restaurants might offer discounts that vary by location.
Clothing: Student discounts at clothing retailers are common, but waiting for a sale might reap bigger savings, said Wilson of BradsDeals.com. Examples of stores that have student discounts are Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J. Crew and The Limited. Discounts of 15 percent or 20 percent are common.
Auto insurance: Some auto insurance companies will provide a 20 percent discount on policies that include single students younger than 25, says Bankrate.com. Some require students to maintain a "B" average.
Another tip is for parents who have college students on their auto insurance, but the child is attending school 100 miles or more away. Contact your insurance company for a possible discount, says the Insurance Information Institute. The idea is that your out-of-town student doesn't have regular access to the family car, and you shouldn't have to pay full price for him or her.
Like discounts for senior citizens or active military, the key is to ask, "Do you offer a student discount?"