Free Stuff For College Students: The Ultimate List
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Being a broke college student can feel limiting. However, as a student, you qualify for plenty of free products and services. We have compiled the ultimate list of free stuff for college students to avoid feeling the pinch from a tight budget.
The best 6 ways in which you can get free products and services as a college student are below.
Table of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- The Ultimate List Of Free Stuff For College Students
- Related Questions
- What Are The Best Jobs For College Students?
- You can get free online subscriptions to product services as a college student.
- There are plenty of websites where you can access textbooks for free.
- Banks offer special student accounts free from any maintenance fees.
- You can dine out and enjoy free entertainment at several establishments as a student.
- Professional organizations offer free memberships to college students.
The Ultimate List Of Free Stuff For College Students
With tuition fees, the cost of textbooks, and pricey student accommodation, the list of expenses can feel seemingly endless. However, there are ways to work around a tight college budget. As a student, you have access to plenty of free products and services to help avoid burning through your bank account. We have compiled an extensive list to help you find the best free stuff for college students.
1. Free Online Subscriptions For College Students
As a college student in the 21st century, it’s safe to assume you depend on the internet for plenty. Thankfully, there are countless fun and valuable digital services that can save you a lot of money. Let’s look at some of the digital discounts you can get as a student.
- Amazon Prime Student is free for students for six months, and after that, it’s only $6.49 per month. This subscription includes free two-day shipping on millions of items, unlimited Prime movie and TV show streaming, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, and a 20% discount on pre-order and new release video games. After six months, you will automatically sign up for Prime membership at a 50% discount.
- Skillshare offers members a free month of their premium service, which allows you access to more than 20 000 professional video courses on virtually any skill you could think of. After your free trial ends, indulge in their classes for only $15 per month. Learn to perfect a new recipe, unwind while you indulge in some unfamiliar art mediums, or pick up tips to perfect your resume.
- The New York Times is undoubtedly one of the vastest news outlets available. Whether you wish to keep up to date with current events or research some niche topics, you’ll be thrilled to know that you have access to a complimentary four-week trial as a college student. After that, it’s only $1 per week for your subscription.
- Office 365 is a vital tool for any college student. Organize your monthly budget using Excel, attend online lectures using Teams, and type up your term papers using Word. Best of all, this subscription is free when you log in using your student email and password.
- Notion offers many features to help you organize your study notes, your class schedule, or even your student budget. Play around with the aesthetic settings to tailor your workspace to your style. When you sign up using your student email, you will have access to Notion’s premium subscription for free.
- You Need A Budget is a software program that gives you the tools to plan your monthly spending and limit your dependency on student loans while leaving room for a little extra pizza money. This is a must-have service for college students that offers your first annual subscription completely free.
- After setting up all your student subscriptions, the last thing you want is to forget your login details and lose your perks. LastPass is a subscription service that helps you keep track of your passwords on your various devices so that you won’t be caught at a log in page again. As a college student, you will have access to a free premium membership for six months.
2. Free Textbooks For College Students
College textbooks are a notoriously significant and essential expense for students. Fortunately, there are plenty of online sources where you can access digital textbooks for free. Although this is not always a viable option for students who need the latest editions of their textbooks, such as law students, this may be the hack that saves your bank balance.
- OpenStax is a non-profit academic initiative that offers free access to high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks. All you need is a device to access their vast collection of textbooks. What’s best is that their database carries textbooks used in most colleges and universities in the United States.
- BookBoon is a database that offers free access to a wide selection of textbooks written by academics from some of the world’s top colleges. Students have access to countless textbooks for free when they signup with a student email. However, if you’d like access to their entire library and audiobooks, you can sign up for a free trial month, after which you’ll pay between $5.99 and $8.99 per month.
- The AACC bookstore offers free digital study versions of a selection of textbooks. This allows you to download the content as many times as you’d like and utilize tools such as search functions, annotations, and highlighting tools. These digital study versions have been carefully selected by the most commonly used textbooks in North America, so you are bound to find what you’re looking for.
- The Open Textbook Library gives you free access to a wide range of textbooks in PDF format, which you can also print if you prefer to scribble down your thoughts in hardcopies. There are books available on countless subjects, so you’re bound to find what you need for your college classes.
- Merlot is another fantastic option for students looking for a vast selection of free digital textbooks. This site also offers curated online learning materials, ideal for studying for finals.
- E-books Directory offers thousands of free digital books in a variety of categories. You can submit content such as PDF books or study notes and access the seemingly endless database of educational content uploaded by other users.
3. Free College Student Bank Accounts
After drawing up a seemingly endless list of expenses, the last thing you need is to add bank fees to your college budget. Luckily, several banks offer college students free savings, checking, and credit accounts.
- The Bank of America offers a selection of checking, savings, and credit card accounts specially catered to students under the age of 25. These accounts have no monthly maintenance and overdraft fees, which helps you stay within your budget. Furthermore, these accounts offer several flexible payment methods, so you can tailor your banking to suit your needs.
- Chase Bank offers students between the age of 17 and 24 years a Chase College Checking account that waives monthly service fees for up to five years. Alternatively, you can avoid paying bank fees when you make direct deposits each month or if you have an average end-of-the-month balance of at least $5000.
- Regions Bank offers a LifeGreen Checking account for students under 25 years. Although you will be required to pay a $50 opening deposit, you will be free of any monthly bank charges. Furthermore, you can online and on your mobile device and earn cashback rewards for banking on these platforms.
- TD Bank offers its Convenience Checking account to students between 17 and 23 years of age. What’s best is that you will not be required to pay monthly fees, and there are no minimum balance requirements for this account. Alternatively, if you are under 24 years old, you will not pay monthly payments on a Simple Savings account.
- U.S. Bank offers a Student Checking Account to college students. You will have access to online and mobile banking and avoid monthly maintenance fees. However, there is a $2 fee for paper statements unless you use their electronic statements feature.
4. Free Meals For College Students
Your college budget likely won’t leave much room for eating out. Thankfully, you don’t need to commit to eating ramen noodles for the entirety of your college years. Several restaurants offer free meals and rewards programs to students who show their student ID. Likewise, there are apps that you can download for free meals and student discounts.
- Chick-fil-A gives you a complimentary drink with their food if you show your student ID when paying for your meal. Furthermore, you can download Chick-fil-A’s rewards app, One, which allows you to earn points when you purchase meals through this app. These points can be exchanged for free food.
- Similarly, Subway offers a rewards program, MyWay Rewards, that gives you tokens when ordering food from Subway. For every dollar you spend, you will receive four tokens. When you have earned 200 tokens, you will receive a $2 reward that can be used for free meals. Download the MyWay Rewards app on your mobile device to conveniently scan your barcode when you use your tokens to pay for meals.
- Pocket Points is a mobile app that rewards you for being studious. The app gives students points for limiting their mobile screen time which can be redeemed for free meals and discounts from several restaurants, including Pizza Hut, Krispy Kreme, and Panda Express. Furthermore, you can earn bonus points when referring your friends to the app.
- FoodFinder is a web and mobile app that uses your ZIP code to help you find food pantries where you can get free meals. By enabling the app to access your location, you can find the name and addresses of food pantries near you.
- Omaha Steaks offers a rewards program, Steaklover Rewards, that allows you to earn points when purchasing meals at their restaurants, watching their recommended videos, and referring friends to their app. These points can be redeemed for free food. You will have access to rewards such as free desserts on your birthday when you earn enough points.
- Burger King has a rewards scheme that allows you to earn points when purchasing meals from Burger King. These points can be redeemed for free food and drinks.
- IHOP offers an eClub that rewards you with free pancakes when you sign up for their program. What’s best is that you can get complimentary pancakes on your birthday and every anniversary of your signing up. This will also make you eligible for special offers.
5. Free Entertainment For College Students
Your busy study schedule will have to make time for some relaxation. However, finding fun activities on a college budget can be tricky. Thankfully, there are plenty of free and discounted options to keep you entertained.
- College students can get free entrance to many museums. If your college or university has a museum, there will likely not be an admission fee for students. Similarly, some universities have initiatives that provide students with free admission to local museums.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Carnegie Museum of Art and National History, The San Antonio Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art are just several examples of museums that offer free admission to students when they present a student ID.
- Many colleges provide free tickets to upcoming sporting events to their students. In some cases, they will even bus you to the stadium. To take advantage, contact your college’s sports department or visit the official website online to see if there is any information available, as each college is different. A quick Google search can also be helpful.
- Campus events are a mecca of student discounts. Your college invites a diverse range of renowned lecturers, performers, activists, and others to campus. These events are entirely free. Take advantage of these opportunities while you are a college student. Check your campus’s events calendar or pay attention to posters around campus.
- Several websites will reward you for relaxing. These sites pay you for watching videos, playing games, and doing some online retail therapy. The money is sent to your PayPal account, or you can redeem your earnings for gift cards to stores such as Amazon, Target, or Starbucks.
Drop, Swagbucks, InboxDollars, Panel App, Qmee, and QuickRewards.net are just a few websites that you can visit to get paid for kicking back.
6. Free Memberships For College Students
Joining a professional organization while in college opens doors to job boards, mentorship, and networking events. This is an essential strategy for setting up opportunities once you graduate. The best part is that joining these organizations often won’t cost you a cent.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the largest membership accountant organization globally, with over 400,000 members. Joining the AICPA as a Student Affiliate member is completely free. This allows you to access an expansive accounting network, scholarships, and expert mentorship.
- The American Planning Association is a large membership organization of professional planners that offers free membership to students. Furthermore, student members receive two years of discounted membership fees after graduation. You will gain access to a vast network of employers, an expansive knowledge base, and the opportunity to hone your leadership skills.
- The National Society of Professional Engineers is a membership organization for engineers that allows students to apply for scholarships, attend seminars, and contact potential employers.
Now that you have uncovered some ways you can benefit from being a student, it is time to learn how to manage your money in college expertly. As you take your first steps toward becoming financially independent, living within your budget may seem like a daunting task. However, there are numerous ways you can enjoy your college years without burning through your bank account.
How Can I Save Money In College?
Staying within your college budget is no simple task. Rising tuition and living expenses make it increasingly difficult for students to maintain a budget. This doesn’t mean that you have to struggle through college. There are plenty of fantastic ways to save money as a student.
You should try to avoid buying new textbooks. Textbooks can put a significant dent in your bank account. Before visiting the campus bookstore, try to borrow books from another student or use the university library.
Alternatively, you can buy or rent used textbooks from Amazon.com. You can rent textbooks from Chegg or Barnes & Noble’s textbook services or order digital textbooks from sites like iFlipd, which operate on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Cars can be a considerable expense. Parking, gas, insurance, and unexpected car repairs add up quickly. If you need to travel further, you can always take public transportation, borrow a friend’s car, or use a Zipcar. Uber and Lyft are also inexpensive options when you need to go off-campus.
If you decide to get a credit card, opt for one with the lowest interest rate possible and charge only what you can afford to pay off every month. This will help you avoid paying late fees and expensive credit card debt while building good credit for the future.
Try to limit eating out. Use your college’s meal plan, which is a cheap alternative to cooking for yourself. Aside from student discounts, the costs of eating out can quickly add up. Consider investing in a reliable coffee maker instead of spending money on lattes every morning.
Keep an eye on how much time you spend on your phone. My Data Manager and WhistleOut.com will analyze your cell phone bills to ensure you’re on the best plan. They will also notify you if your monthly data limit is exceeded. Make sure you understand your phone’s settings. A weakened Wi-Fi signal can force your phone to switch to data mode when you’re not expecting it.
Begin investing as soon as you are able. If you have any extra cash, talk to your parents or family about opening a high-yield savings account or putting it into a Roth IRA. Making your money work for you will allow you to save even more money during your college years.
Be sure to stay on top of application deadlines. Some scholarships are renewable year after year. If you decide to reapply, make sure to submit your forms and letters of recommendation on time. Scholarships can help you save money in college by covering a larger portion of your tuition and living expenses.
What Are The Best Jobs For College Students?
Working a part-time job during your demanding college years is difficult, especially with busy class schedules. Employers offer little flexibility in shift changes, with some only offering full-time, salaried positions that may not be conducive to school schedules. Fortunately for students, there is a wide range of jobs available that offer night and weekend hours to employees.
Nanny jobs are popular among college students because they provide a great deal of flexibility. Depending on how old the children are, some nannies only need to work in the afternoons, whereas others who care for babies are fortunate enough to work on their term papers during nap times. As a bonus, some families are willing to trade room and board for childcare services.
Many college students can build significant savings by putting on a headset and working at a call center. Many companies require employees to have free evening and weekend availability because it is their mission to get their customers to pick up the phone, a schedule to which most college students can easily commit.
The virtual assistant is the twenty-first century’s answer to the personal assistant, an administratively savvy associate who assists busy professionals with daily tasks, scheduling, IT, and more. This is an ideal job for any organized college student, a computer whiz, and, preferably, has prior administrative experience. The best part is that all work can be done remotely and, in some cases, at any time of day.
If you’re an animal lover, you could work as a dog walker or pet sitter. Those willing and able to host doggy daycares and overnight pet sits can earn twice as much as dog walkers. Of course, if you have experience working with nontraditional pets such as farm animals, reptiles, and horses, your income could be even higher.
Waiting tables to pay your way through college may sound cliche, but there’s a reason why serving, bartending, slinging espresso drinks, and washing dishes are such popular student jobs. Aside from the flexibility, many food service workers benefit from extra income in the form of tips, particularly during peak holiday seasons when school is not in session.