August 11, 2010

Student discount

Recently a friend alerted me to Amazon Student. If you are currently a student, and you have an e-mail address that ends in dot-edu, you can get one free year of Amazon Prime (free two day shipping, cheap next day shipping) and other discounts.

After I signed up yesterday, I ordered an audio recorder for my dissertation interviews. It will be here on Thursday. For free! Hurrah. Of course, the recorder would be here by now if I hadn't procrastinated for weeks... but since I always wait until the last possible second when I have to spend money, the two day shipping will be excellent.

Student discounts are everywhere. On Sunday, when I was paying for brunch, the cashier craned his neck to see the university ID sticking out of my wallet. I said, "Oh do you need my ID?" thinking it was a credit card thing, and he told me students get a 10% discount.

After years at my university, I discovered that many of the local cafes and sandwich shops gave student discounts. I'd see someone flash an ID and realize I could have been getting 10% off... for years... but I didn't think to ask.

Well, it's also that it feels douchey to ask if there is a special price for university students.

Because really, why are they offering these student discounts? Is it because we are poor, and they care? No. It's because university students are desirable customers. Local restaurants want to attract groups of students who irresponsibly spend money... and Amazon wants students to order expensive textbooks from them... and they all want us to become habitual customers while we're young.

These discounts are not really intended for graduate students, who are genuinely poor and headed for low-paying careers. But my student ID looks just like the undergrads' student ID. And as my university has made very clear, even though I teach classes instead of taking them, as long as my dissertation isn't finished, I am not an employee but a student. So the discount is technically for me. And you know, even though it makes me feel icky... you grab what you can get.


Post a Comment

<< Home