It's no secret that college students are often strapped for cash, and with good reason. If you're currently in school or know someone who is, these ideas may help save some money.
Free Software Programs for College Students
Software is essential for you schoolwork and even your everyday life.
Office 365 Education
Turn to Microsoft Office's free student option (also available for teachers) that you can sign up for as long as you have a valid student email address ending in .edu. Office 365 Education includes online versions of your favorite MS Office products, including Word, OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Teams.
Autodesk gives students free access to its design software, apps focused on creativity, and learning resources. They specialize in programs that help people create 3D design as well as engineering and media projects. Get a completely free educational license to use many of their products as a college student. Some products are eligible for free for up to three years with verification of your student status.
Prezi is an innovative presentation software program free for college students. Choose the Basic EDU option and sign up with your college email address to create, store, and share beautiful online presentations. While you won't get access to some advanced features, you still get unlimited presentations, privacy control, and revocable share links.
Github offers a special Student Developer Pack free for college students. This pack includes 21 different programs coding and developer tools, data analysis, collaboration and training, Cloud hosting, and more. Sign up for access to all the tools and learn firsthand with high-quality programs.
Free Subscriptions for Services
Find no-cost options for things like keeping your passwords safe, budgeting, and buying what you need with free shipping.
With your valid student email address, you can have six months of free access to LastPass, a helpful and secure password management system that can be used with your browser extension on your PC as well as with your mobile devices with their app. They offer use on unlimited devices and two-step authentication to keep your information and data private.
You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is an online budgeting website that has tons of helpful features for students, including goal tracking, debt pay down, bank syncing, and support (including a forum, podcasts, and weekly videos). While this does normally come at a cost a yearly subscription fee of just under $85, the company provides a free one-year subscription to the service for free. Proof of student status (like your student ID) is needed to get your free year along with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazon Prime Student
Amazon Prime Student is a program that provides college students with a completely free Prime trial for six months, and then a discounted rate of about $6.50 per month after that if you continue with the service. The program provides free two-day shipping on Prime eligible products, exclusive deals on school supplies and electronics, discounted textbooks, and select ebooks, videos, and music for free.
Look for organizations affiliated with your major or future career. A few places that offer no-cost student memberships include:
National Society of Professional Engineers: They offer free membership for full-time undergraduate or graduate students that includes access to their job board, scholarship opportunities, newsletters, and networking opportunities.
Society of Petroleum Engineers: Students in an eligible related program can get a free membership (paid by sponsor Chevron) that offers things like mentoring, scholarships, and contests.
American Institute of Public Accountants: If you're a full or part time student, you can get a membership here and find scholarships, industry news from major publications, and discounts on conferences.
American Planning Association: Open to any students actively enrolled in college, this membership provides additional learning opportunities and career services as well as planning industry news and resources.
College Freebies That Depend on Your Location
Other opportunities for college students to get free products and services often depend on your local area. Check in your city to see if any of the following are available to you:
- Public transportation: Free bus or trolley service is available in some major cities for college students. Free bike rental may also be an option or your city.
- Health services: Your college or university may offer free student healthcare. You may still have to fill out a form to request it. If free student health is not available, watch for fliers or advertisements for free flu shots or checkups that may periodically be available to everyone on campus.
- Boston Museum of Fine Arts (free to New Hampshire and Maine college students), New York's Museum Gateway (includes the Museum of Modern Art and others free to NYU students), and San Antonio-area museums (including McNay Art Museum and the Institute of Texan Cultures) free to students in the Alamos Colleges District.
- Sports tickets: You may be eligible for free tickets to sporting events at your school with a student ID.
- Free food and drink: While some national chains offer free items (for example, Chick-Fil-A will give students a free drink with student ID), you can also look for free food events on or near campus with an app like University Lunchbox.
Be Savvy and Save
In addition to the freebies mentioned above, there are also numerous discounts that are available to students, on everything from reduced-price movie tickets to percent-off discounts at clothing stores. When in doubt, always ask if a student discount is available, and keep your college ID handy just in case.