Most people know that college students can get discounts at various stores. But not everyone knows where -- or even how -- to ask for student discounts. With your student ID in hand, however, you might be surprised at just how many places will cut you a deal. Because, after all, who couldn't use a little help managing their money while in school?
1. Major electronic stores. Major electronic stores, like Apple, particularly target college students. They hope you'll like their products so that you'll continue to buy them after you graduate. In the meantime, they'll also cut you a deal so you'll get used to using their brand. Whenever you buy anything electronic, like a laptop, software, or even a jump drive, ask the store if they offer a college student discount.
2. Major online retailers. Some online retailers offer special programs and benefits to students. Amazon Student, for example, offers free 2-day shipping (for 6 months) as well as deals and promotions specifically for the college crowd. Be wary of programs that cost money to join, but definitely keep an eye out for any discount programs you can join simply because of your student status.
3. Major clothing retailers. Most students don't think to use their student IDs when shopping for clothes. J.Crew, for example, offers students 15% off full-priced items whenever you show your ID. If you aren't sure if a store offers a discount, ask. The worst thing that can happen is that they'll tell you "no" and you'll know not to bother to ask (or shop there) again.
4. Entertainment venues. From your local movie theater to online ticket retailers, entertainment venues of all sorts often offer student discounts. Ask, of course, before you buy your tickets so that you're not stuck trying to figure out their program limitations while all the good tickets are being snatched up by smarter, faster students.
5. Restaurants. While some major chains offer discounts to student diners, you're much more likely to encounter discounts at the local restaurants in the neighborhood around your campus. Many of them don't advertise too much, however, so simply ask next time you stop in. Make sure to tip, however, on the full price of the bill and not the discounted one ... especially if a fellow student is your waiter or waitress.
6. Travel companies. While you might be able to secure a great deal online, you might also be able to secure a great deal using your student ID with an airline, bus company, train company, or good, old-fashioned travel agent. American Airlines, for example, offers deals specifically for college students; Amtrak and Greyhound do, too. Before you book anywhere, check if there's a discount. (Additionally, make sure to check out the About.com Student Travel site for a ton of great resources, all in one place!)
7. Anywhere else you visit regularly. The nearby coffee shop, the store that sells classic posters, and even the copy shop across the street might all offer student discounts, but you'll never know until you ask. Many students feel shy or awkward asking about a discount, but which is more foolish: Asking about a discount that isn't available, or paying more money than you need to because you were afraid to ask a simple question? You're paying a lot to have the privilege of earning a college degree, so don't be afraid to take advantage of all the benefits that come your way because of it.