SEATTLE, Aug. 31, 2009 — Kristi Beem was in a bind. After her husband lost his job this summer, the mother from Glen Rose, Texas, worried about the expense of sending her three kids back to school. "Our oldest daughter starts college in New York this fall," she said. "And we promised her a new computer."
They found the solution online. Using their daughter's college registration receipt, they purchased a student-discounted airline ticket for her flight to New York. Another website gave them a $100 deal on the laptop the daughter wanted. "We had to scramble all over the place," said Beem, "but we got her there."
The Beems aren't alone. As household budgets across the U.S. continue to shrink, more and more families are taking advantage of their child's student ID card to make ends meet. Traditionally thought of as "just for school," student discounts are hot for families.
"It's the biggest secret out there. Parents qualify for student discounts too," says Cyrus Shepard, president of GlobeStudentDiscount.com (http://globestudentdiscount.com), a new website aimed at helping families connect with student deals. "As long as the parent is purchasing for their children, they save." The Seattle-based website provides all the top student discounts in one place online.
And discounts aren't just for kids. Kelli Hamblin, an elementary school teacher from Marshalltown, Iowa, purchased her new iPhone using an AT&T educational discount. "I look for deals whenever I buy airline tickets or software. I'd be crazy not to."
Corporate America has caught on too. Eager to attract loyalty from young customers, companies like Apple, Adobe and JetBlue all provide discounts for students. JetBlue offers 11% off for youth who purchase a special card, while Adobe slashes the cost of its popular software up to 80%, saving college students hundreds of dollars.
Shepard recommends first comparing discounts from several different companies. Software, travel and computer purchases are the best bets. He urges families to use websites like GlobeStudentDiscount.com to search for offers. "The US has over 70 million students, not including their parents and teachers," he notes. "And every single one of them qualifies for discounts."
About the Author
After spending nine years in college while enrolled at three different universities across the U.S., Cyrus Shepard became known as a professional student. By paying for almost a decade of education on his own, the lesson he learned best was "living cheap." After he finally graduated, Globe Student Discount was born. (http://globestudentdiscount.com)
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