College Talk: How to Get Free Stuff at College

By FPL_Jenni

College is expensive and it has gotten ridiculously more expensive these past couple of years. A couple of ways to offset the cost of your degree is by taking full advantage of what your university has to offer you and what your status as a student gets you. Here are a couple of freebies that I regularly gifted myself. 

Free Food:  

Meal plans are expensive, and one can quickly get tired of eating ramen noodles... so how does one get free food on campus? Easy – go to club meetings (this is especially true during the first month of every semester). Your university will offer a plethora of club options that will try to bribe you with food, ranging from pizza to fresh salads. There was a club that offered me a full Caniac Combo from Cane’s and all I had to do was sit in on their meeting. Now, I’m not at all suggesting that you should sit in meetings for clubs that you are not at all interested in (do as I say, not as I do), however… all that food is funded by the school and you pay to go to the school so... do with that what you will. 

Many restaurants and food chains also offer discounts and free food to students in college (usually with a valid school ID and/or school email). For example, Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle give students free drinks with a valid school ID (so get that guac!). Places like Burger King, Dairy Queen and Dunkin’ Donuts also offer 10% off your order with a valid school ID. Perhaps not entirely free, but you could check out what restaurants in your area offer for birthdays as well (my birthday was every day when I was in college). 

Free Merch

Ever passed by your school’s merch store and noticed that a t-shirt was $30? Sometimes even more? As much as I loved my school mascot, I did not think that they were worth the extra cash. A fun and easy way to get some free school merch is to participate in school clubs and activities, which will almost always get you a free t-shirt. There was a Zombie Apocalypse run at my university once and I got a free hoodie just for participating (plus, it was also really fun shooting paint balloons at strangers!). If your school has a career fair, or a club fair, a housing fair, or any type of fair, GO! Not only are you guaranteed free stuff, but you could actually end up participating in something worthwhile! 

Free Gym Access

Cancel your gym memberships! You will most likely have a free 24-hour gym (possibly more than one, like mine) that will always be readily available to you as long as you have your student ID. My school has multiple gyms and athletic centers readily available to students (like volleyball courts, swimming pools, football fields, etc.), so don’t waste your precious coin on a “premium” gym. I promise, the machines all function equally, and the weights all weigh the same! 

And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting free things in college! Do your own research and check what major companies offer discounts and deals exclusively to students (a couple of companies that come to mind include: Best Buy, Apple, and Spotify). Yes, college is incredibly expensive, but with a little bit of creativity and research, you could earn deals that no one else can! Good luck!