We all know how costly graduate school is.  We also know how little it pays (if anything) to be in graduate school.  I can certainly say from personal experience, that I know the financial hardships of being in graduate school.   Through these experiences, I have learned a thing or two about the art of being frugal and saving a dime or two.   The internet is filled with ways to save money and seemingly impossible stories of people getting

$300 worth of groceries for 67 cents.  I don’t know about you by I have neither the time nor the interest to cut coupons, buy in bulk, or drive all over town to save a few bucks, but more power to those of you who do.  I have, however, learned to take advantage of an often over-looked money saving trick: The Student Discount.  In this blog miniseries, I will outline some of the best places to get a student discount, ranging from electronics to entertainment to (my personal favorite) shoes and clothes. 

 Technology and Software Discounts

These days, technology and software are no longer a luxury for graduate students; they are a necessity for nearly every student and retailers know this.  If you are looking for a new laptop, you can use your student discount to save money on new Apple computers (you can also save on iPads and iPods, but it’s harder to make an argument that those are necessary for success).   If you prefer Windows over Mac, many PC dealers also offer substantial discounts to students, including Dell, HP, and Sony just to name a few.   Each of these stores offers varying discount amounts across products, but for most of them, you can find their education store online.

Beyond just the cost of hardware needed for school, the cost of software has gotten exponentially more costly over the past couple of decades.  This can become especially costly for those of you pursuing an advanced degree related to graphic design, marketing, web design, etc., where a single piece of software can easily cost over $1,000.  Luckily, the manufactures of these software products often understand that students cannot afford them and, as such, many offer special licensing options for students or even a reduced student rate.   My two favorite websites to view software with my student discount are JourneyEd  and Academic Superstore.  Both of these websites offer great deals on software from a variety of publishers including but not limited to Adobe, Microsoft, IBM SPSS, and Rosetta Stone.

You may have heard of some of these discounts before, but did you know that you can actually save money on your cell phone bill as a student?  That’s right, many major cell phone providers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon, have special contracts with universities and institutions that offer students substantial reductions on their monthly cell phone usage bill.  Furthermore, some of these companies actually go one step further and give you a discount for a new phone.  These offers and packages vary based on school and region, but to check if you’re eligible you should contact them direct.

You will need some of the latest technology and software if you want to survive your graduate program, but you don’t have to let the high cost max out your credit card or eat up your entire financial aid.  Check out these stores and shop around to help find the best bang for your limited graduate student buck.  Stay tuned for more blogs in this series.  Coming up next, I will talk about some of the best uses of your student discount on entertainment.  


  1. Thanks for posting this, John! Right before I graduated, I order some software using my student discount. If people are really wanting to stretch their student discount after graduation, they can technically still order software on some websites while their student email account is still active. Not sure if it’s ethical or not, but it’s possible.

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