One of the best parts of being a college student—and one that you'll learn pretty quickly because necessity will demand it—is all the student discounts out there just waiting to be taken advantage of. Businesses, stores, restaurants, and bars know that college students spend money (even when they don't have it), and every one of them wants to be the one to win that business. But if you're reading this ranking, you know the value; you don't want to be taken for a ride. That's why Value Colleges wants to show you the best discount apps available for college students.
Apps for student savings and student discount
The whole philosophy behind Value Colleges is simple: college is expensive and we want to help college students find the bestreturn on their investment. That's why we rank the most affordable online programs, provide guides to getting the most for your money, and covermost in-demand, labor market-ready educations. Spending and socializing are central parts of the college experience, but the cost of living the high life on campus can add up quickly—and if you'reuse student loan moneyto do so, beware, future you.
That doesn't mean you have to live like a hermit and read library books by candlelight like you're in a Victorian romance (shout-out, English majors! You do you). It just means you have to learn to be smarter with your money: create budgets, shop for great deals, clip coupons, plan your trips carefully. And be thankful that you live in the digital age where there are mobile apps that do it all for you with minimal input from you. Lots of companies offer exclusive student discounts and there are apps to find them for you.
The Best Apps for College Students (Money-Saving Style)
The student discount apps Value Colleges suggests can help you find the best student savings in your area, help you find student discounts, and generally help you become a master saver. We make no guarantees that they'll work for you or that they'll still be there in six months (apps come and go, you know). We can promise that they work right now, that most of them are free, and that none of them will infect your phone with Russian viruses (that we know of).
International students should also refer to the International Student Identity Card to more easily prove their student status.
Apps are presented exclusively in alphabetical order; location does not mean quality.
BTW if you are actually looking for itbecome a mobile app developer, and you're wondering where all the higher educations are, check out our rankingThe most affordable mobile app development programs.
1. Around the Campus
Around the Campusis one of the most trusted, longest-running college lifestyle blogs on the web, published by Durham, NC-based AroundCampus Group. For more than 40 years, AroundCampus Group has provided information, marketing and advertising to local businesses and groups looking to connect with college students. The AroundCampus blog offers countless guides and rankings for college students, providing valuable information from fitness and recreation to finding work and getting the most out of your degrees.
Available on Google Play, the AroundCampus app gives students instant access to AroundCampus content, guides, resources and even coupons and college students from AroundCampus customers and partners. The app provides campus-specific information to users, leading them directly to the content relevant to life at their college. There are daily rankings, daily polls and daily reviews from real students about the services, businesses, entertainment and activities going on in their campus backyard and college town. Among student discount apps, AroundCampus has a lot to back it up.
2. ATM Hunter
Believe it or not, there are still many businesses that only take cash – even legal ones. And not surprisingly, many of these places are the kinds of places college students frequent, such as restaurants, food trucks, bars, clubs, and farmers markets (for the freshest vegetables, natch). There really is nothing more humiliating than getting to the end of your meal and finding you don't have the cash to pay, or, most heartbreakingly, getting to a club and finding you can't get a beer because the bar is cash. -only. You'll end up owing your better-prepared friend $20 and be labeled "the one who never has cash."
Sure, there are plenty of ATMs out there for those embarrassing moments, but they're not always in the easiest places to find. That's why MasterCard offers freeATM Hunter app. Obviously, with MasterCard being the sponsor, the app will lean towards MC, but it's a useful tool for anyone who finds themselves always needing cash at the least convenient time - after all, ATM fees can take a large part of your student savings. The ATM Hunter app shows you the nearest ATM, tells you which company owns it, and helps you find one that doesn't charge a fee. It's a simple student money saver.
3. Campus books
CampusBooks is one of the leading companies out there making college textbooks—those heavy, overpriced, instantly obsolete relics—affordable to the average student. A large part of your expenses as a university student is inprice of textbooks, but CampusBooks has a simple premise - buy, rent and sell textbooks yourself, without the hassle of the campus bookstore and the hassle of other services. It's a service that works for student savings, and CampusBooks has been covered by The Guardian, New York Times, and Fast Company as one of the smartest startups in ages.
The CampusBooks appprovides all the convenience and reliability of CampusBooks right on your mobile device. CampusBooks apps, available for iPhone and Android, help students find the lowest prices for buyers, the highest prices for sellers, and real copies nearby. In addition, you can use your smartphone to scan your book's ISBN number, so you get the right author, edition, printing – all for the really picky professors. It's a real student money saver, and can help put money back into your account - not the publishers' deep pockets.
4. Wagon wheel
Perhaps no other retailer has made such an aggressive and smart play on college students over the years than Target. Target has always appealed to the fashionable young crowd, at a more affordable price point than department stores and boutiques, and for years has marketed directly to college students, from beach towels to electronics. In the past few years, Target has also rolled out special small-format stores on and near college campuses that capture their favorite demographics where they live.
That is whyTarget Cartwheel appis a valuable addition to any college student's smartphone. Part high-tech version of the old-fashioned discount card, part non-stop parade of coupons, the Cartwheel app is a useful tool for student savings. It's not exactly a college student discount — anyone with the Cartwheel app gets to share in the savings, not just students — but college students are one of Target's biggest sets of buyers. Heck, you're probably going to Target soon anyway — especially if your campus has one of the new mini-Targets.
Chegg is one of the most amazing tech startup success stories of the last decade, starting as a small Craigslist-type community board for students at Iowa State University. It was early days, but by 2005 Chegg went public and a force in higher education, providing everything from study guides and tools to textbook rentals and even online tutoring. It's a billion-dollar company that knows what college students want and need, and that includes student savings and discounts.
Chegg offers several mobile apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play, but the most important for Value Colleges is Chegg Books. ThatChegg Books apphelps students save as much as 90% on their textbooks by bringing Chegg's revolutionary textbook rental service to the mobile platform. Chegg prides itself on getting students their books on time when they need them and making returns easy; students can even choose to buy the books they've rented if they think they'll ever need them again (someday, when you're old and gray, you'll open the Calculus book by the fire and reminisce). It is a student saver that makes one of the best apps for college students.
We're going to make a sweeping generalization, but stick with us here—college students don't clip coupons. Their grandmothers clip coupons and their mothers clip coupons, but college students don't clip coupons. There's no end to student discounts, but they're not to be found in the pages of the Penny Saver or the local newspaper circular (if such things even exist). Today's college students have grown up with the Internet, and they expect everything to be instant and electronic—including student savings. If it's not online, it's not worth it.
So websites likeDealhackis a great thing for college students who want to save some money. Dealhack is a great student discount guide site that provides, they say, more than 30,000 deals on more than 4,000 brands. This means everything from clothes to car hire, furniture to flights. Dealhack's guide to student discounts is currently updated every 3 months, although new deals are constantly being added to the main Dealhack page. For college deal hunters, Dealhack is the place to start.
You use Amazon. Everyone uses Amazon. Amazon accounts for 44% of all online purchases and 4% of all retail purchases in the US – closing in on Walmart. But if you use Amazon, you know that Amazon reviews can't really be trusted—in fact, fake Amazon reviews are practically a literary genre (especially for products that are absurd in the first place). However, they are not the ones to worry about; they are the ones actively trying to rip you off and trick you into buying knock-offs, rip-offs and plain old junk.
It doesFakespotprobably the most important browser extension and app in the modern economy. Originally just a Chrome extension, Fakespot now has iPhone and Android apps that work with your Amazon account to analyze product reviews for signs of shady dealings. Fakespot looks for telltale signs of fake reviews and alerts you to how reliable they look; the more unreliable the reviews, the more skeptical you should be of the product. Never buy anything that sounds too good to be true again - use Fakespot.
8. FastWeb College-salarier
College is expensive and getting more expensive every year, and no one really wants to take out student loans that are going to haunt them for decades. The best options around to pay for college are to get scholarships and grants. There are truly thousands of scholarships out there for students, and scholarship opportunities tailored to every major city, college, profession, ethnic group, religion, and identity you can imagine, but where do you find them? Much of the time, the organizations that offer scholarships do not advertise well and can be difficult to find in random searches.
FastWeb is one of the best tools for connecting college students with scholarships that are right for them. From the biggest to the smallest, full rides or a little help, FastWeb lists almost every scholarship offered. ThatFastWeb College Scholarship Appis a newer feature offered in both the App Store and Google Play that allows students to easily search FastWeb's vast archive of scholarship opportunities on their mobile device. It's free, it's comprehensive, and as a student saving money, it's one of the best apps for college students on the market.
One of the greatest traditions in the history of American higher education is piling into a car (preferably with at least two too many passengers) and hitting the road. Whether it's for spring break, Christmas, a weekend, or a summer-long cross-country trip, college students have been driving aimlessly since the old days of raccoon coats and souped-up jalopies, when gas was 10 cents a gallon, to now, when gas is—a few hundred times so much. These road trips aren't as cheap as they used to be.
TheGasBuddy appcan't bring back the good old days (although speakeasies are back in style), but it can help you find the cheapest fuel prices possible during your trip. A handy free app on the App Store and Google Play, GasBuddy not only offers local prices for the area you're in, but a trip price calculator (to work out how much the whole trip will cost) and a heat map to show , where the highest gas prices are likely to be (gas up before you get to the West Coast – anywhere on the West Coast). You probably won't find a gas station that offers student discounts, but it's a real student money saver nonetheless.
10. Good budget
If colleges were really doing their job — that is, the job of preparing students for real life, whatever that is — they would absolutely have a class on budgeting, and it would run all four years in a row. Now, many schools make sure that these kinds of classes and workshops are offered, but they are usually not necessary, and far too many young people (18-24 years old) do not have a strong foundation for budgeting. Thanks Al Gore for the internet and apps like Goodbudget that help do the work for you.
Good budgetis one of the most user-friendly, smartly designed budget apps out there, out of many, many competitors. Goodbudget has been out there since 2011 (forever in app time), helping users keep track of expenses, determine their priorities, and set realistic goals that they can then celebrate (frugally). Goodbudget automatically syncs across multiple devices and online so families can stay on the same page, and it's available on both iPhone and Android devices. For young people learning how to budget, Goodbudget is one of the best apps for college students.
If you're not doing at least half of your shopping online, you're behind – by 2020, statistics show that more than half of all retail sales will be online. But if you're a college student, of course you know that, and you're part of one of the biggest demographics buying online. The wonderful thing about buying everything online is the new golden age of discounts; you literally never have to pay full price for anything. Well, that wasn't enough for Ryan Hudson, the creator of the Honey browser extension.
if you don't knowHoneysearches, finds and applies the best qualified coupon codes online for every item you buy. As the story goes, Ryan came up with the idea when he was searching for a pizza coupon online with no luck. Now, with Honey, no one ever has to experience the pain and heartache of searching Google for hours to find a coupon for what they want; if it's out there, Honey will find it and put it in your basket for you. Covered by Time, Buzzfeed, Forbes and more, Honey is changing online shopping. So where is the app already?
We are not suggesting that all college students drink; we're just suggesting that drinking can be very expensive, with overpriced, fancy cocktails and local brewpubs all the rage. And you know that college students are generally on a pretty tight budget, or you wouldn't be looking at student savings discount apps. So with these facts established, wouldn't it make sense if there was an app that could direct college students to the best drink prices in town?
Why, yes, it would make sense, and there is—Loople, the app to find happy hour. Available on the App Store and Google Play, Loople directs users to all the best bar and restaurant deals in their area with helpful map and list views to find out where to go for half-price margaritas. New reviews tell users what's going on right now, and search filters can help find e.g. outdoor seating or live music. For a night out, Loople is a must for student savings.
MoviePassis one of the hottest, most buzzworthy companies to emerge in quite some time, and for good reason. With movie ticket prices steadily rising—and in some markets becoming unaffordable for most cash-strapped moviegoers—MoviePass promised something magical. For just $9.99 a month, MoviePass allows members to see a movie every day for free at any sponsored theater – which currently accounts for more than 90% of theaters.
There's been a lot of talk about whether or not MoviePass is too good to be true, and let's put it this way – as long as it works, who cares? One of tech writers' favorite pastimes since the fall of 2017 has been predicting when MoviePass will collapse, and while there was a brief bump in the road when the company stopped allowing daily movies, it's back to its original promise — for $9.99, members can watch one movie for free each day. There is also a cheaper option for a limited number of movies, but why bother? If you love movies, this is a great money saver for students.
14. Microsoft Lens
Smartphones and the smart cameras installed in them have completely revolutionized how students learn. From taking pictures of the professor's notes on the board and recording lectures to easily sharing study materials through services like Airdrop, students have pioneered how to make practical use of mobile technology. Microsoft's Lens app, available for Apple and Android, has many of the features that make it valuable for students.
Microsoft Lensallows students to take photos or scan with their phone's camera, trim and adjust those photos, and turn them into PDFs, Word documents, and more—right on their phone. But Microsoft Lens isn't just useful for classes, lectures and meetings – it's also a handy way for students to keep track of their expenses. With Microsoft Lens, you can scan your receipts and save them for the future, keep track of expenses, prepare your taxes and much more. It's not the most exciting app ever, but it has the potential to save students money.
15. That they
There are those of us - we won't name names, but you know who you are - who constantly go over their data limit and have to swallow excess charges on their bill every month. And those fees can add up, especially for college students who are already living on a very tight budget — or for their parents, who are tired of spending extra for their adult child's carelessness. "But it's not my fault," you (the data overlord) might say; "I don't know how much data I'm using!"
Since 2010 (the ice age, in the history of mobile apps), Onavo has provided a unique solution to the data overage problem. Available on the App Store and Google Play, Onavo compresses active background data to help users control how much data they're using at any given time. Onavo monitors data usage and sends users notifications when a background app is using too much, so users can turn it off, restrict it to wifi, or delete it. With Onavo, you never have to wonder how much data you're using, and avoiding overage fees or switching to a lower price plan is a real student savings.
16. RoverTown Studierabatter
One of the first things you learn as a college student is that there are some sweet student discounts out there. Cinemas, museums, concerts, products - all kinds of companies and businesses offer discounts to get the highly sought-after 18-24 year olds away from the competition. RoverTown Student Discounts finds them all and gathers them in one useful place - discounts from Amazon, Apple, Sam's Club, Best Buy and dozens more.
TheRoverTown Student discountapp takes all that and goes one better – or two or three. Downloading the RoverTown app for your iPhone or Android not only gives you access to all the discounts, but gives you all sorts of extra convenience features, such as the ability to follow companies offering discounts (to catch new deals instantly), to display coupons on your phone (so you don't have to print), and even to store and display your student card on your phone. You can even earn bonuses for using discounts, making RoverTown a great student money saver.
Scoutmobis an innovative Atlanta-based startup created to give independent artisans access to a wider audience. With their curated offerings, Scoutmob points customers to handmade products and the skilled artisans who make them, from leather goods to ceramics to jewelry. All kinds of high-quality gifts (for your loved ones or for yourself) are at your fingertips - all handmade goodies handpicked by Scoutmob's expert eye.
The Scoutmob mobile app, available on iPhone and Android, is a perfect choice for college students because it aggregates local deals and events that students will be very interested in. The Scoutmob app offers college student discounts to restaurants and bars, and overall acts like a helpful expert in everything that goes on in your area, everything in your pocket. Keep in mind that the local deals are only available in a handful of select locations right now, including Atlanta and Austin, Dallas and Denver, and several other non-alliterative cities.
Speaking of offers and discounts,ShopKickis another consumer app with some unique and innovative approaches to online shopping. Founded in 2009, ShopKick has partnered with companies like Target, Starbucks, CVS and many, many more to offer their customers deals and discounts. For college student bargain hunters, ShopKick may not offer special student savings, but its gamified approach to shopping makes buying essentials fun.
The feature college students may like best is ShopKick's "kicks" system — the reward points shoppers earn for gift cards to their favorite businesses. ShopKick offers reward points for all sorts of activities, from entering a store to scanning certain items to viewing ads – and of course buying things. It's a model that works—more than $2.5 billion in sales proves that people love a rewards program on their smartphone.
19. Student prayers
Every student discount app has its own gimmick or hook, whether it's a rewards system or a local focus or exclusive brands. Student Beans is one of the most popular sources of student discounts for a simple benefit that is not a gimmick - there is a Student Beans for not only the US, but Canada, the UK, France, Germany and most of the rest of the European Union (sorry, as usual, Luxembourg). It gives students in 14 nations access to all the student discounts they have when they come to them.
TheStudent Beans app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, brings all the Student Beans discounts to your smartphone (or iPad, if you're one of those people who walks around with an iPad all the time). Plus, students get a digital student ID (for those moments when you don't have your real one on you) and alerts when a new discount from your favorite retailer comes out. Best of all, Student Beans charmingly tells users to show their vouchers "at checkout", just like they say in all those entertaining British TV shows.
20. Student Edge
Student Edge began as a membership group for Australian high school and university students, founded in 2003 by four teenagers from Perth. Their insight: that high school students needed better resources to choose their classes and career paths, including learning important life skills, money management and all the pitfalls of adulthood. For 15 years now, Student Edge has delivered that content to more than 900,000 young people worldwide.
TheStudent Edge appis a useful tool from Student Edge that points young people to the best student discount and student savings in their area. The Student Edge app is available on the App Store and Google Play and includes all the offers and great deals that the Student Edge website features, as well as a clear and simple map feature that can literally lead them to the closest money-saving businesses and deals. It's one of the best student discount apps out there, for Australia and beyond.
The University Network (TUN)is one of the largest and most comprehensive guides to college students on the Internet, and that's saying a lot. This New York-based, global media company for college students delivers a vast amount of content aimed at helping college students get the most out of their experience, from encouraging news on technology developments and advocacy, to advice from thought leaders, for job and internship listings.
TUN is of course also a clearinghouse for student discounts and student savings, which collects tons of good offers and special offers from well-known brands. The TUN Student Discount app helps students find all the local discounts in their area. More than 13,000 businesses across the US list with TUN offering exclusive deals, and the TUN app rewards system lets students earn reward points for free stuff. A real student money saver makes TUN one of the best apps for college students.
It might be a stereotype, but we're going to go out on a limb and say that college students love nightlife - bars, clubs, restaurants, stargazing (maybe not stargazing). And the nightlife is, among other things, expensive. Nothing hits college students' pocketbooks harder than 2-drink minimums, overpriced appetizers, parking fees and all the other incidentals of going out. If only there was a way to find nightlife deals and discounts!
You know where this is going - of course there is. it isUConnection, the app that gives college students exclusive discounts, student-centric reviews of nightclubs and restaurants, and so much money in savings you'll — well, probably just go out more. UConnection was originally concentrated in North Carolina, but when it was bought out by AroundCampus in 2016, it went national, allowing students from the North, South, East and West to get student discounts on appetizers from one of the best student discount apps out there. there.
UNiDays, a global "affinity company" for college students, is one of the leading names in content marketing for the newest wave of students. Specifically targeting Generation Z (which includes current college students and all the digital natives born in the dot.com era), UNiDays maintains a massive lifestyle blog for young people with information and tips on fashion, food, technology and other topics. UNiDays also offers many exclusive student discounts from their brand partners.
TheUNiDays: Student Deals appbrings all UNiDays student savings to any iPhone or Android. This student discount app provides exclusive content, offers, great deals and advice and is also available in many international versions. In addition to online deals, UNiDays also offers in-store discounts from many consistent brands like Urban Outfitters and Ray-Ban. A half-price Apple Music Student membership is one of the perks that sweetens the deal in a field crowded with competing student discount apps.
Venmodidn't invent mobile money transfer, but it sure changed the playing field. Starting in 2009, when the first version sent money via text message, Venmo made transferring money much simpler than other products. But where Venmo really revolutionized money transfer is by incorporating a social media aspect to payments, allowing users to treat the app like a social media feed; all transactions are stored in the feed, which simultaneously makes the payments a record of a social interaction.
Venmo has become a basic necessity for college students, who can use the app to pay each other back for dinner, send birthday gifts, or make purchases at select businesses. Setting up Venmo groups can help roommates divide up supplies and pay bills, for example. Payments can be made publicly, between friends, or privately, making Venmo a kind of Twitter payments. Heck, you can even use emojis. It's become one of the best apps for college students and a lot easier than chasing that roommate who won't pay his share of the electricity bill.
25. WiFi Finder
It seems like a simple thing - there's wifi everywhere, right? But when you're lost in a new city, your data is draining, and you know there's going to be a big, fat overage charge on your next mobile bill, finding a Wi-Fi hotspot can feel like a life-or-death crisis. Free, open Wi-Fi can be hard to come by in an urban environment, but save yourself the drama – if you're a cable customer,Time Warner Cable/Spectrum WiFi Finder-appwill take you directly to the nearest hotspot.
If you're a cable customer, you can download WiFi Finder, save your username and password, and automatically connect to any Spectrum WiFi Hotspot in the area. The app also has a search function that shows users where to find a hotspot and even to request that TWC put a new hotspot in a specific area. Users can even track how much they save by avoiding 3G or 4G data usage when using wifi. If you're always on your phone, it's a real student money saver.
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