Top 20 Back to School Deals for College Students

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According to a recent survey by SheerID, 32% of students are interested in discounts of 10%, over 80% of students report that a discount needs to be at least 20% to get their attention.

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“Verification that a customer is eligible for our student discount is what allows us to go deeper with our discounts” says Andy Stroman, CEO of Campsaver.

As summer winds down and the first day of the fall semester draws near, many college students and their families turn their attention to back to school shopping. Students who are looking to stretch their dollars this back to school season can take their pick from a wide variety of special offers including cash back, exclusive discounts, free shipping, and free gifts with purchase on everything from electronics to apparel. “Starting in July and August, student discounts are out there in a big way. Generally, the best ones are those that require students to prove that they are currently enrolled in classes,” says Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID. “Many brands are willing to offers deals as deep as 50% in order to engage with this valuable demographic, as long as they can protect themselves from fraud by verifying student status.”

As retailers scramble to get a share of the $53.5 billion dollars back-to-college shoppers are projected to spend in 2012, the number of sales, student discounts and special offers out there can be overwhelming to students and families. Every year brands are trying new tactics to win students’ business, and as a result students have come to expect a certain level of discounts especially on big ticket items like computers and electronics. According to a recent survey by SheerID, 32% of students are interested in discounts of 10%, over 80% of students report that a discount needs to be at least 20% to get their attention.

To assist college students and parents who are looking for the best deals available this back to school season, SheerID has compiled a comprehensive guide of the twenty best back to school bargains that are only available to college students. Not surprisingly, every offer that made the Top 20 list does require some form of student status verification. “Verification that a customer is eligible for our student discount is what allows us to go deeper with our discounts,” says Andy Stroman, CEO of Campsaver. “We want to develop a lifelong relationship with our customers, so reaching out to college students with an exclusive discount and a great shopping experience is an important marketing strategy for us.”

Of particular interest this year is the fact that three companies are offering free Xboxes with the purchase of a computer. The real differentiator between these three offers is the customer experience. 42% of college students have abandoned their cart mid-purchase because an offer was too difficult to redeem. 72% of students report that they would take advantage of special offers more frequently if the redemption process was easier. “In a competitive market, the customer experience can be as important to consumers as the offer itself,” explains Weatherly. “The free Xbox offer is the perfect example. If you’re not already loyal to a certain brand, and you’re getting a free Xbox either way, why wouldn’t you purchase from the company with the simplest verification process?”

20 Best 2012 Deals for College Students

1.    Amazon
Students are eligible for a free Amazon Prime membership which includes free 2-day shipping, instant streaming for movies and TV shows, and access to thousands of Kindle books.

2.    Apple
Receive a $100 iTunes gift card with a PC purchase, or a $50 gift card with a iPad purchase.

3.    Best Buy
Best Buy has a variety of student deals to choose from. Qualified students can choose from a free Xbox 360 with a laptop purchase of $699 or more, a free $50 gift card with an iPad purchase, or a free $25 gift card with Microsoft Windows 7 purchase.

4.    Campsaver
College students save 20% on any regularly priced item with the code student20.

5.    Columbia Sportswear
Save 15% on sportswear and apparel, and receive 4% cash back from StudentUniverse.

6.    Dell
Choose from a free Xbox 360 or a $200 gift card with the purchase of select PC's from Dell University.

7.    DirecTV
Subscribe to DirecTV and receive $55 cash back from StudentUniverse.

8.    EF College Break
Save up to 20% on student tours to Europe and other travel destinations through StudentUniverse.

9.    Footlocker
Students receive 20% off athletic shoes and performance gear at Footlocker by registering with StudentUniverse.

10.    Getaroom
Get up to 40% off discounted hotel rooms and accommodations through StudentUniverse.

11.    HP
With the purchase of a PC valued at $699 or more, students are eligible for a free Xbox 360.

12.    J Crew
Students can get 15% off in store purchases with a student ID.

13.    Lenovo
Buy a computer or tablet from Lenovo through StudentUniverse and save up to 35%.

14.    Microsoft
When students buy a PC for $699 or more, they get an Xbox 360 for free.

15.    Netflix
Sign up for a new Netflix account and get $20 cash back from StudentUniverse.

16.    Reebok
College students save 25% on shoes, sportswear, and workout clothes at Reebok through StudentUniverse.

17.    Sony
Sony offers a free PlayStation to students who purchase select VAIO computers.

18.    Sprint
Buy one Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch for $99, and get a second one free. Sprint also offers monthly service discounts to eligible college students from select universities with a valid ID or .edu email address.

19.    Staples
Receive a $100 VISA prepaid card with select laptop purchases at Staples stores.

20.    UnderArmour
UnderArmour offers students free shipping and 5% cash back from StudentUniverse on their innovative high performance apparel.

About SheerID
SheerID is the creator of the technology used to transform existing, protected private data into a service that benefits commercial enterprises and the public, while still keeping the information safe and secure. By acting as a bridge between secure databases, SheerID allows commercial enterprises to accurately, instantly verify whether or not their customer qualifies for a special discount like a student discount or offer- protecting the discount and eliminating fraud. SheerID’s verification plug-in can be configured for any e-commerce website, internal customer sales system, mobile application, or POS.

For more information on SheerID’s services call 855-SheerID to speak directly to a representative, email info(at)sheerid(dot)com, or visit

SOURCES: SheerID, National Retail Federation

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