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What Can College Students Get for Free?: Find Student Discounts and Free Services

Written by Jaeme Velez
Updated: June 12, 2024
13 min read
Deadline19 days left to apply
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Pathward®.

As a college student, I've realized many free services go unnoticed or unused. In addition to student discounts, things like mental health support, legal advice, or even subscriptions or food are great benefits students can take advantage of.

These services are more than just nice-to-haves student beans. They can help you build your future while you save money while attending school. By tapping into these hidden resources, you will be able to learn and transform your college experience to optimize your time as a college student while benefiting from free stuff.

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College Students Free Services

Creating a memorable college experience doesn't need to add expenses on top of your cost of living and tuition. You can have fun while building a community and expanding your network and still find free resources and discounts for students, such as school supplies, exclusive discounts, free food, or even popcorn from your local movie theater.

Your student ID offers student discounts and campus services on and off campus. All you have to do is stay informed so you don't miss any of the perks of college students.

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How to Find On-Campus Events for Free

Free campus activities can include free drinks, food, concerts, film screenings, and workshops, often with free admission. With these few steps, you can plan and stay informed about free events, services, or groups to enhance your social life for free and overall well-being.

Step 1: Visit your university's official website or student portal to explore event schedules and notifications by searching for the calendar.

Step 2: Find and stay connected with the university's social media profiles for the latest updates on forthcoming events.

Step 3: Become a member of student associations and groups to receive updates on their events.

Step 4: Register to receive newsletters or email notifications from the university's event management or student affairs department. You can ask your advisor for guidance.

Step 5: Be vigilant for posters, handbills, and announcements on campus bulletin boards or communal spaces.

Step 6: Ask and connect with your classmates. Word of mouth is still one of the most relevant ways to find help and resources. 

campus events

Tutoring and Academic Resources

I recommend checking with your specific institution to see which services are available on your campus. You can check with your school libraries, the writing center, or university partnership programs.

Offerings students can get can vary from one college or university to another, and sometimes, these resources aren't highly promoted since their availability can be limited. Still, these resources can make a big difference in elevating your academic performance, which can help you get more scholarships, access better jobs, or apply for graduate schools.

Peer Tutoring: Many institutions have peer tutoring programs where fellow students who have excelled in specific courses or subjects provide free tutoring to their peers.

Academic Resource Centers: These centers offer free tutoring services in various subjects, including mathematics, writing, science, and foreign languages. They may provide drop-in tutoring, scheduled appointments, or both.

Writing Centers: Writing centers help students with writing assignments, essays, research papers, and more. They offer guidance on improving writing skills and revising written work.

Math Labs: Math labs or math resource centers assist students with math-related coursework. They provide support in areas such as algebra, calculus, statistics, and more.

Subject-Specific Centers: Some universities have subject-specific tutoring centers for disciplines like science, engineering, business, or languages. These centers offer specialized tutoring in those fields.

Online Tutoring: Many institutions offer online tutoring services, which can be especially helpful for students who need assistance outside regular business hours or prefer remote access.

Study Groups and Workshops: Colleges often organize study groups and academic workshops to help students collaborate, review material, and prepare for exams.

Supplemental Instruction (SI): SI programs provide peer-facilitated group study sessions focusing on challenging courses and concepts.

Academic Advising: Academic advisors can guide students on course selection, study strategies, and time management, offering valuable academic support.

Library Resources: University libraries may offer research and citation assistance and access to academic databases and resources to aid in coursework.

Multilingual Support: Some institutions provide tutoring and support services for non-native English speakers to improve their language skills.

free health services and gym memberships

Free Health Services and Gym Memberships

Health Centers

These services often include on-campus clinics with medical professionals who can provide primary care, vaccinations, and treatment for common illnesses such as the flu, allergies, or mild infections.

Most importantly, students can also access counseling and mental health services to address their emotional and psychological needs. No matter how big or small the issue can be, mental health providers can help you with coping with stress, trauma, relationships, or even learning new techniques to navigate life during and after college.

Also, educational resources on nutrition, sexual health, and wellness are generally available at a discount for students. By providing these free health services, institutions aim to ensure that students have the support they need to stay physically and mentally healthy throughout their college journey.

Gym Memberships

Students with a valid student ID can usually access the gym amenities without questions asked. In some cases, the school may require to be a full time student, sometimes enrolling part time can limit the free access. Check if your school offers students a discount. If they don't, they might have open gym hours for free.

Benefits of Using Free Gym Membership and Exercising

Research shows that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional well-being and lower rates of mental illness. Exercise significantly reduces the risk of developing mental illness. It serves as an effective treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety.

Exercise stimulates the release of various neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals play a critical role in regulating mood and emotions. Increased serotonin levels, for example, are associated with a better mood and reduced feelings of depression. It also promotes the growth of new neurons and the formation of connections between brain cells, improving cognitive function and resilience to stress.

Exercising can trigger the release of endorphins, often called "feel-good" hormones. These endorphins act as natural painkillers and stress relievers. Additionally, it can reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which are associated with anxiety and depression.

Physical activity can enhance sleep quality, which is essential for mental health. Restorative sleep helps regulate mood, reduce stress, and improve cognitive function.

Regular exercise is associated with better cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. If you like to exercise, you can also find scholarships related to fitness or athletes that can contribute to your freedom and overall health.

free software

Free Software Alternatives and Campus Technology Resources

A valid college ID ALSO offers students benefits from large tech companies for those enrolled in full-time or part-time education programs.

Google: As a student with a school email address, another benefit you can add is unlimited photo storage. I confirmed that Google Photos offers students this useful bonus. You can upload over 500GB of photos, videos, or files and still keep unlimited storage.

In addition, you could essentially configure Google Drive to function as a hard drive, benefiting from making file management and cross-device easy while maintaining your computer memory clear.

Remember you can continue to enjoy this benefit even after graduating, but be mindful that specific colleges and universities may deactivate your college email account after graduation.

To avoid this, make sure you take action when you're nearing graduation. Contact your Dean's office and confirm they won't deactivate your college email address.

Microsoft OneNote: Students and educators can utilize a great free option with Office 365 Education, which includes a suite of essential tools such as OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even Microsoft Teams.

It's free for eligible college students. (all you need is a valid college ID and school email address.) This package empowers students and educators to provide support in their academic pursuits and collaborative works, enhancing learning and teaching.

Adobe Discount: For creatives, the Adobe student plan offers a significant discount for the first year, priced at USD 19.99, with a slightly higher rate of USD 29.99 for the following years.

There are also other discounted subscriptions from BestBuy. However, Adobe monitors subscriptions through student email verification to prevent exploitation of the first-year pricing, so it's advisable to find confirmation from BestBuy or Adobe before purchasing after using the first-year student discount.

Amazon Prime: Amazon offers a range of enticing benefits to college students through its Prime Student program. By verifying your student status, you can unlock many advantages, including free two-day shipping on eligible items, which saves you time and money on delivery fees.

Prime Student extends its perks with some of the best student discounts available in the retail world, allowing you to enjoy significant savings on various products. Additionally, students can access exclusive student subscriptions, granting them access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and more, enhancing their entertainment options.

Prime Student offers all these benefits at a monthly fee that's lower than the regular Amazon Prime subscription.

college students maximizing benefits

College Students: Maximizing Benefits

As a college student, one essential aspect to remember is developing good financial habits that can serve you well in the future. To help you on this journey, here are some financial tools and accounts designed to help students manage their finances effectively:

Bold Debit Card: Designed for students, the Bold Debit Card offers rewards on spending, including the option to redeem points* for student loan payments. It has no hidden fees, is easy to manage, and provides strong security.

Discover Cashback Debit: A student bank account that combines checking features with cashback rewards on purchases. This card offers a more rewarding banking experience.

Chase College Checking Account: This account comes with a free debit card. However, it is specifically tailored for students aged 17-24. This account by Chase Bank facilitates banking for college students, making it convenient and accessible since it has many branches all over the U.S. Yet, it is crucial to consider and review the changes in your student account perks after you graduate. 

Apply for the Bold Debit Card today!

Public libraries

In addition to all the benefits from your college libraries, you can also benefit from the public libraries of your college, which offer a wealth of resources, including print and digital subscriptions.

You can walk in, find a spot, and access free wifi. Other benefits you can use for free are library cards, borrowing books, and free wifi.

In the U.S., public libraries are open to the public, and you can use facilities like computers with time limits when busy. Fees may apply if you don't return items on time, but it varies by library.

Local parks and nature reserves

Many National Parks offer discounts, occasional promotions, or special programs that may provide free or reduced admission during certain times or events.

Check the official National Park Service website that you are trying to visit or contact specific parks directly to inquire about any current discounts, promotions, or programs that may benefit students.

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free for students

Student Discount: How to Save Money with a Valid Student ID.

Some additional great ways to save money with student perks that sometimes might not be frequently known are:

  1. Public Transportation: Cities offer discounted public transportation fares for students. With a valid student ID, you can access buses, trains, and trams at reduced rates, making commuting to and from campus budget-friendly. You can ask your school to provide a public transportation card.
  2. Discounted Movie Tickets: Enjoying a night at the movies is more affordable with your student ID discounts. Numerous theaters, such as AMC, provide reduced ticket prices for students, allowing you to catch the latest blockbusters without breaking the bank.
  3. Student Travel Discounts: Take advantage of student travel discounts, including reduced fares on flights, trains, and buses. Many airlines offer promotional fares and discounts to students who book their flights early. Consider using online travel agencies like StudentUniverse, STA Travel, or CheapOair, which offer discounts to students and young travelers.
  4. Streaming Services with Student Discounts:  Platforms like Pandora Premium Student and Apple Music provide access to an extensive library of music and content at reduced rates, guaranteeing you can enjoy your favorite music.

Verify Your Student Status: Access Exclusive Deals

Education discounts and student deals: Aside from all the common savings opportunities, from discounted car insurance and student subscriptions to an attractive fast food restaurant offer when you are in a rush,

Student ID card benefits: Remember to leverage the power of your student ID card. Always ask if they have or offer student deals and discounts before you pay. A student ID can open doors to perks such as exclusive local restaurant deals and noteworthy shopping discounts, and it also offers insurance discounts

University partnership program perks: Explore the hidden treasures colleges have through university partnership programs. You can contact the office of your university student affairs for guidance to find out about discounted event tickets, free trials, and special student deals tailored specifically for students.

Smart Choices for Students: Enhancing Your College Experience

Making smart choices as a student can make a difference while saving money and helping our planet. Consider these options while creating your college budget. By doing this, you will not only improve your college experience but also will help the generations to come:

  1. Tap water and reusable water bottles: Embrace eco-friendly habits by opting for tap water and reusable water bottles. You can eliminate the need to purchase bottled water, reducing expenses and plastic waste. 
  2. Biking and walking: Prioritize your well-being by cycling or walking whenever possible. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing transportation costs can make a difference to your health and your wallet.

Local agent consultations for insurance student discounts: If you have to deal with health, apartment, or car insurance, ensure you're getting the best student discounts and deals on necessary services. Consult with a local agent specializing in student policies to get discounted car insurance rates and find cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs.

college students

Frequently Asked Questions About What College Students Can Get For Free

What are the hidden benefits college students can access for free?

College students can tap into various free services and discounts, including mental health support, legal advice, subscriptions, food, and more. These resources can help save money while enhancing the college experience.

How can college students find free on-campus events and services?

Students can discover free campus activities, workshops, and events by checking their university's official website, staying connected with social media profiles, joining student associations, subscribing to newsletters, and watching for announcements on bulletin boards.

What academic resources are available for college students for free?

Students can get access to academic resources such as peer tutoring, academic resource centers, writing centers, math labs, subject-specific tutoring centers, online tutoring, study groups, workshops, supplemental instruction, academic advising, library resources, and multilingual support.

What free health services are available to college students on campus?

College students can access on-campus health centers offering medical care, vaccinations, counseling, mental health support, wellness resources, and educational materials on nutrition and sexual health to promote their physical and psychological well-being.

Do students get free gym memberships?

Students often receive free or discounted access to gym facilities on campus with a valid student ID. The availability of free gym memberships may vary based on enrollment status and specific university policies.

How can students maximize their financial benefits and savings?

Find student discounts from financial institutions. Students can maximize their financial benefits by using tools like the Bold Debit Card, which offers rewards and the option to redeem points* for student loan payments. They can also explore cashback debit accounts and specialized student checking accounts offered by banks like Discover and Chase for more rewarding banking experiences.

Are public libraries free for students, and what services can they access?

Public libraries are generally open to the public, and students can access various resources for free, including borrowing books, using library facilities such as computers and free Wi-Fi, and participating in library programs. While there may be fees for late returns, public libraries offer valuable services to students.

How can college students verify their status to access exclusive deals and discounts?

College students can verify their student status by presenting their student ID cards at participating businesses, restaurants, and stores to access student discounts. Additionally, they can register with online platforms that offer student discounts and provide proof of enrollment through their school email addresses.

Note: Some places may require a sticker for the school year to access discounts or benefits. Still, usually, it's never an issue if you don't have one.

How can I benefit from free gym memberships and health services? 

Regular exercise plays a vital role in improving mental health and reducing the risk of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. It stimulates the release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters and improves cognitive function.

Students can access free mental health services on campus, offering counseling, emotional support, sexual health, stress management, and coping techniques that will contribute to their overall health and the people surrounding them. Remember, you can also find discounts for students in many sports and well-being centers.

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Jaeme Velez
Content Writer

About Jaeme

Jaeme Velez is an exceptionally dynamic writer, researcher, and avid enthusiast for science and technology. He brings a deep understanding of securing scholarships, obtaining student loans, and navigating the transition from community college to university.

As a first-generation college student, Jaeme began pursuing the dramatic arts and made a significant transition to pursuing academic studies at L.A. Valley College, focusing on Communication and English. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Creative Writing at Columbia University in the city of New York. His academic excellence has been recognized through the Casdin Family Scholarship Award and his membership in the Columbia University Honor Society.

Jaeme's academic path is marked by a profound passion for literature and storytelling, particularly in exploring the confluence of diverse cultures and languages while addressing social disparities. Alongside his literary interests, Jaeme maintains a keen curiosity for science and technology, actively engaging in research and projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Design, and human-computer interaction.


Balancing work and full-time studies as a first-generation college student has endowed Jaeme with a wealth of experience and insights. In his role as a Content Writer at, Jaeme shares invaluable wisdom and advice, drawing from his personal journey to provide the guidance he wishes he had received at the start of his academic journey. 

His work is fueled by the desire to equip the next generations of students with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate their unique academic paths. From financial literacy to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Jaeme strives to contribute to the ongoing discourse on education and support the next generations of scholars, regardless of their age, background, or current stage in life, as they traverse the complexities of higher learning.

Since joining the team in 2023 as a Content Writer, Jaeme has employed his distinctive background as a first-generation student alongside his familiarity with scholarships and student loans to guide students through the intricacies of academic life, emphasizing that every student's journey is distinct and worthy of recognition. 

Through his writing and advocacy, Jaeme leverages his personal and professional experiences to provide comprehensive support to students. He is dedicated to empowering students and addressing the challenges they encounter in their pursuit of higher education. 

Quote from Jaeme

“Who is the person? What's their problem? Do your research. Offer solutions.”

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