Opinion: Student discounts are a must

Any form of recreation while in college such as simply going out to eat or going to the movies always requires second thought. Saving money is a top priority for many students in order to make ends meet while in school, and everything hinges on whether or not the business they’re at offers student discounts.

While discounts for youth, veteran or elderly populations make sense — as these groups are often financially strained — student discounts are often hard to find. While larger businesses are capable of offering this benefit without facing a financial crisis, most businesses don’t see students as a group in need, but rather just another potential market with money to burn.

This places students at a crossroads: eat with your study group or wait until you get home? Buy new clothes or subsist on hand-me-downs until they wear down to the threads? Fix a minor engine problem or wait until your car breaks down? Whether you like it or not, if you pay out-of-pocket for college, chances are the smaller decisions suddenly have a heavier tag — not in price but in priority.

Student discounts do have a minor cost, especially for small businesses. Reducing the cost for such a large subset of the public sphere can have an effect on profit. Nontaxable items that are subject to a further discount could be a drain on net profit for a business if the inflow of money isn’t strong enough to sustain said product. However, a small business could gain a positive reputation or a greater inflow of customers to offset the costs of student discounts, while alleviating the pressure of their student customers at the same time.

Most businesses would benefit if they offered student discounts. For a small cost, many businesses could profit from the student-oriented attention and receive praise for supporting students’ needs. Furthermore, businesses could call to attention the issues students face such as tuition costs and the lack of sustaining work for students that is compatible with pursuing a higher education. What’s not to love?

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