Sending the kids off to college can be expensive. However, there are some great discounts out there if you know where to look. Kelli Grant, Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, explains how you can save some big bucks with a student I.D. and a little research.
Student I.D. discounts aren't limited to small things like pencils, pens and calculators. Grant suggests heading straight for the big ticket items like computers. "Every college student needs a computer these days, and thanks to manufacturer's education discount programs, the savings can be really significant - up to 10%," says Grant. "On an Apple MacBook Pro, for example, that's about $200.00."
Grant also suggests looking locally for student discounts. Certain schools have partnership programs with the local community to offer discounts to its students. So, that weekly Friday night pizza could be discounted if you identify yourself as a student when you order. "It really adds up," says Grant.
While almost every student is on a tight budget, sometimes it pays to splurge on paid memberships. Grant suggests joining organizations like International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) or Student Advantage. "Both offer memberships for about $25.00, but for that cost you're getting even bigger savings," says Grant. You could save 40% off movie tickets or 15% off Amtrak tickets. According to Grant, the savings are even greater if you travel abroad.
If you are traveling, be sure to look out for student fares. "You want to book your own fare," says Grant. That way, you can take advantage of reduced fares. Unfortunately, the days of mainstream student airline fares are long gone. However, students can find discounted rates through student travel brokers like STA Travel, Student Universe or Travel Cuts. According to Grant, you can save "easily 15 or 20 percent."
Finally, be sure to hit the books... hard. Good grades aren't the only payoff for all those extra hours you'll be spending in the library. "Good grades really have some fantastic financial rewards," says Grant. "You can save on auto insurance... and if you have the right credit card... you will get extra bonus points just for getting good grades."
For more information on student discounts, as well as other personal financial advice, click here.
By Erin Petrun
Copyright 2007 CBS. All rights reserved.