Student discounts, where art thou?

By in Opinions

Tracking down student deals can be tough. Sure, there are tons of promotions during Welcome Week — mini donuts, for example — but after the food trucks and prize wheels have been tossed from the Bowl, it’s much harder for students to save a buck.

While companies are often poor at advertising their student discounts, a quick Google search yields some interesting results. For instance, students save 10 per cent on their Bulk Barn bill every Wednesday, and Sobeys offers the same deal from Tuesday to Thursday, so plan your grocery trips accordingly.

Also quick to appear in the search are offers for reduced monthly rates from popular subscription services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and news sources like the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

For you techies out there, Adobe offers discounts on software to full-time students, Apple gives some minor savings on eligible products when you log in through their Apple for Higher Education Individuals portal and Best Buy boasts a Student Deals program, which lists limited-time deals offered only to students.

Perhaps the best deals of all come from SaskTel, which saves students 10 dollars on their monthly mobile plans and more than 50 per cent off regular price for their internet and TV packages! What’s the point of going to university if you can’t procrastinate with a little help from feuding couples on House Hunters or reruns of Friends?

If you just don’t have time — between studying, socializing and having existential crises — to source out student deals, then consider investing in a Student Price Card or an International Student Identity Card. Yes, they cost 10 to 20 dollars, but sacrifice two or three Pumpkin Spice Lattes this season, and you can afford a card that saves you money on all the essentials, like clothes, books and travel expenses.

It’s a shame that sourcing student deals has to take a toll on your wallet or your time. After doling out horrific and ever-increasing sums of money for rent, tuition, books and a sophisticated meal plan of strictly mac and cheese dinners, student discounts are the silver lining to a life of near-poverty. Why, then, are they so difficult to find?

Perhaps businesses hope that by hiding their promotions, they will remain under the radar for the majority of students, who are too strapped for time to dig around for discounts from every single store they shop at. That’s where having an SPC or ISIC comes in handy — these card companies provide you with a comprehensive list of applicable deals. However, you still have to be willing to pay a fee in advance.

Although you may be hesitant to do so, the best way to secure a discount really is just to ask for one. In the end, most companies will be more than willing to give you a student deal and will respect you for having the courage to ask.

Megan Fairbairn

Graphic: Jina Bae