Top 10 Student ID Benefits & Uses

One of the first things that happens when you start university is getting your student ID. But nine times out of ten, students aren’t using these handy things to their full potential. Student ID cards get access to campus facilities, like checking out books at the library or swiping for your meal plan at the cafeteria. But did you know there are a bunch of other student ID benefits beyond campus grounds?

You heard it right, your student ID is a key to saving money and enjoying many other perks exclusively for students. In this blog, Gradstar Global rounds up our top ten recommendations for making the most of your student ID Benefits.

Everything You Need to Know About the Student ID

Your student ID is more than just a card your carry around in a lanyard through college. It is your key to a world of benefits and opportunities. So, especially for those who are about to embark on their university life abroad, what exactly is a student ID?

A student ID is simply a student identification card. Educational institutions issue this ID to each student. It is proof of your enrollment and identity within the school community and your key to accessing the university’s facilities for students. It gives you access to campus facilities and resources such as libraries, computer labs, and recreational facilities. You can even use your student ID card as a form of payment for on-campus services like printing and laundry.

For readers who are already university students – do look into all the facilities and resources your university is offering that you are not taking advantage of. Your student ID could be your pass to catch the campus bus or get a discount for the campus gym membership. Use that handy little piece of plastic to get your money’s worth and more!

Outside of campus, your student ID can open doors to discounts, perks, and special benefits exclusively available to students. For starters, many companies and organizations offer exclusive student discounts.

Your student ID card may save you a considerable amount of money on clothing, food, and entertainment. So, don’t leave your dorm or apartment without it! The card serves as proof of your enrollment and identity within your educational institution. By validating your student status, you can redeem all the great deals and discounts specially for students.

Types of Student ID

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for student IDs. Your university might assign you a single ID to give you access to everything from your dorm to the library to campus buses. Others might issue separate cards for different resources and facilities. The following are the most popular forms of student IDs:

Type of Student IDGeneral Use CaseIntended Person
University Student ID CardCampus facilities access, library privileges, attendance trackingCurrent university students
ISIC Student ID CardInternational recognition, global discountsInternational students
Library CardBorrowing books and resourcesAll students
Attendance CardTracking class attendanceAll students
Discount CardDiscounts at local businessesAll students
Transportation CardPublic transportation discountsAll students
Fitness Center IDAccess to gym and recreational facilitiesAll students
Cultural Events PassAccess to museums, theaters, cultural institutionsAll students
Alumni IDContinued access to campus resourcesGraduated students

Top 10 Tips for Maximizing Student ID Benefits


Tip 1: On-Campus Uses

Everyone knows what a student ID does – or at least, we hope at this point in the article, we hope everyone does. But there might yet be some perks to your student ID you haven’t discovered yet.

Access to Campus Facilities:

Your student ID grants access to a variety of campus facilities. You might be missing out on the cool computer labs, low-sensory study rooms, and free parking you could access with the student ID. Chances are, your university offers a wealth of resources and you’re one student ID swipe away from getting to them.

Your university website, the student union, or student experience services are a great place to learn more about your student ID benefits.

Library Privileges:

You’ll learn pretty quickly that your student ID provides you with library access, working as an admission pass. This includes borrowing books of course, plus a chance to explore a wide library of digital materials. The library goes from a quiet haven to a busy hub for study, inquiry, and intellectual interaction.

Make sure you’re also using your library’s online database! As a student, you’ll get access to a rich catalogue of research papers, journals and much more, completely for free, with your student ID. These resources are typically hidden behind a paywall, so take advantage of your library membership.

You can use the ID in other cool ways to get the most out of your library. Book focus study rooms for your group discussions or access a seat in a no-noise section of the library. Get into the library café if there is one, do some printing, or loan out equipment like projector screens. Borrow single edition books you won’t find copies of elsewhere!

Again, your library website is an excellent source of info about the services and facilities you can use. Or you can also just ask at the library front desk!

Attendance Tracking:

Regular attendance is an essential part of your learning experience. Your student ID is important in this since it acts as an attendance monitoring tool. Professors use your ID to track your attendance at lectures and seminars.

Your regular attendance helps you in your academic progress. It also develops a strong relationship with your professors. Thus, your student ID becomes a mark of your dedication to your academic work activities.
This is also a reason to keep this card on you at all times – you may never know when you need it.


Tip 2: Socializing and Networking with Your Student ID

You’d be amazed at how a single card can help you connect, socialize, and establish a professional network. It can serve as a gateway to important connections and experiences reaching well beyond the classroom.

Connecting with Peers:
The student ID is an easy identifier of your fellow cohorts when you’re in a non-campus setting. You’d be surprised where you can run into fellow students – they might be working part-time at your bank or the café you like to haunt.

Attending Events:
Your student ID often acts as your ticket to campus events. Never hesitate to attend lectures, workshops, and festivals by utilizing your Student ID. It will broaden your horizons and help you meet like-minded individuals.

Building a Professional Network:
Your student ID is your entry pass to career fairs and networking events. Connect with potential employers, alumni, and industry professionals at professional events to kickstart your professional journey.


Tip 3: Enjoy Online and Local Discounts

Keeping an eye on your savings while studying abroad is a challenge most international students go through. Your student ID benefits lighten that financial load. After all, it’s not only about surviving; it’s also about enjoying your college years.

Online Discounts:
Many online businesses are aware of the financial constraints of students. Which is why you’ll find many companies offering student discounts. Your student ID can turn into a ticket to discounted pricing for everything from online shopping and entertainment to important study-specific like design tools and productivity suites.

A few examples of great deals for students online include:

  • Amazon
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Evernote

And much, much more. Whether you’re studying in the UK or Australia, or anywhere else for that matter, take advantage of the local discounts! If you’re in the market for a subscription service, some online shopping, or a study tool, don’t be shy to ask or look into it yourself.

Local Savings:
Businesses often enjoy the foot traffic and patronage of students in campus areas, and student discounts are a popular way of attracting this. Look into the neighbouring businesses that provide student discounts. Whether it’s your neighborhood café or bookstore, show your student ID and score big savings on regular purchases.


Tip 4: Score Travel Benefits in Student Discounts

One perk we didn’t mention in the tip above is the travel benefits of your student ID. For international students, this tip is a big enough perk to merit its own section!

For commutes to classes and work to travelling for fun, your student ID can greatly improve your mobility in a foreign country. This includes transforming your academic experience into work and play with a series of low-cost vacations!

Public Transportation Discounts:
You might be able to take the bus, train, or subway with your student ID. This becomes more economical as the fare for students is comparatively low or half than actual fare. In some cases, it’s completely free for valid student ID holders! Thus, you can make your daily commutes or weekend explorations lighter on your budget.

Student Travel Cards:
Always consider exploring specialized student travel cards. These cards go beyond discounts on public transportation, offering additional perks such as loyalty rewards and exclusive deals. This will provide unimaginable benefits for you if you are a frequent traveler. In the USA, for example, you can get special transport discounts for Amtrak.

Budget-Friendly Flights:
If you are dreaming of flying to new destinations or going back home for semester break, you can also enjoy student ID benefits. Some airlines offer special student discounts. This makes air travel a much more budget-friendly endeavor. Having the option to fly from your Canadian university campus to your childhood home in India without breaking the bank, for example, is a huge plus.


Tip 5: Avail Student Budget Entertainment and Cultural Benefits

Hanging out with friends over fun activities is invaluable among the chaos of college life. But the enjoyment frequently fades when the money starts to decrease. Don’t worry, though – your student ID card can extend that fun.

  • Keep an eye on exclusive deals at local theme parks, museums, concerts, and more
  • Track the limited-time deals on apps and websites at your local stores
  • Get free or discounted cinema tickets and pay exclusive prices for cultural excursions

Before your next get-together with friends, have a look at what deals are available. Look for discounts on concerts, events, and even online gaming subscriptions. Your student ID goes from a simple card to a magical wand that permits you to ride the fun train for a bit longer.


Tip 6: Get International Recognition as a Student 

Being an international student and having an international student ID can get you recognition worldwide – especially when deals and discounts are in the picture. It won’t ever confine you to local borders; it’s a global adventure. Your student ID is your passport to international recognition with a world of opportunities.

Say, for example, you have the ISIC Student ID card. ISIC offers access to the international student community along with hundreds of deals globally.

Through this student ID, you can connect with students from around the world through international student events. Simply apply online and provide the necessary proof of your full-time student status. ISIC will verify you and deliver your international student ID.


Tip 7: Secure Accommodation and Bank Transactions

Your student ID can help secure accommodation discounts and simplify bank interactions. From finding a place to stay to managing your finances, your student ID is a key to making your life as an international student easier.

Student Housing Formalities and Discounts:
Your student ID might be your key to accessing your on-campus housing. When you are looking for off-campus accommodation, your student ID may be acceptable as proof of residency. Landlords frequently value the confidence that a student identity card provides.

Your student ID might also qualify you for discounts from housing providers. Thus, you can enjoy low-cost housing alternatives that will make your student life more affordable.

Student Bank Accounts:
To open a student bank account, you must have your student ID. You’ll gain access to customized financial services and frequently discounted rates just for students. During financial transactions, your student ID serves as a reliable means of identification confirmation. With the extra layer of student ID benefits, you can guarantee an effortless and safe banking experience.


Tip 8: Health, Fitness, Dine-in and Mindfulness Benefits

You can use your student ID to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. This will keep you active and healthy, and staying at your physical and mental best is key to making the most of your college life.

Health and Fitness:

Student discounts are available at many fitness facilities and gyms. Show your student ID to get a discount on subscriptions. Put your health first without breaking your savings.

Dine-in Delights:

Some campuses have done away with the cash exchange delay at cafeterias and dining halls. You can redeem your meal plan points or deduct an amount from your student wallet by simply swiping your student ID card. As a result, there are fewer lines, you’ll have more time to eat, and you don’t have to fumble with bills and credit cards.

Mindfulness Benefits:

You can take part in health programs and meditation if your institution provides any. Participate in mindfulness exercises that enhance mental health. Look for mindfulness apps on your phone that provide premium features at a discounted price for students.


Tip 9: Access Learning Resources Beyond Campus

Online Certifications & Courses:
Several online learning systems provide students with student discounts. With the use of your student ID benefits, get access to premium educational platforms and enhance your learning process. You can collect certificates from top-notch courses that match your academic interests. These certifications are handy if you’re building skills and knowledge outside of your degree field!

Programs for Professional Development:
Universities and other providers offer these kinds of programs and career assistance frequently. Use your student ID to receive access to workshops, seminars, webinars, online skill development courses, and networking events.

Your student ID could even grant you access to materials specifically for your career if you work in a specialist profession. This way you stay up to date on the most recent advancements. Earning certifications for completing professional courses can add weight to your resume.


Tip 10: Long-Term Benefits of Student IDs for Alumni

To get continuing student ID benefits, make sure your university correctly recognises your alumni status. This ID is a link that connects you to a network of other graduates and a bunch of benefits that come with it even after you graduate.

Alumni Networking:
Many universities offer exclusive alumni networking events. You can participate in those events by using your student ID as an entry ticket. Attend gatherings, reunions, and professional meet-ups, connecting with fellow alumni and establishing valuable post-graduate relationships.

Access to Campus Facilities:
Some universities extend access to campus facilities for their alumni. Whether it’s the library, fitness center, or specific events, you can continue to stay connected with the alma mater.

Career Services:
To keep in touch with the career services provided by your former school, you need your alumni ID. This ID could help you advance professionally long after graduation. You can have access to job advertisements, career training, and counseling services offered by your school, etc.

Rounding Up

Your student ID is one of the first things you receive upon starting a program at your university. And it is something you will hold on to right until the end. Make the most it by securing your student ID benefits for the duration of your time at your college and beyond! Alongside access to campus resources and facilities, this one card can open up opportunities aplenty to make your life as an international student easier.

Date Published: Nov-02-2023

Our Dream Makers are expert listeners, educators, career consultants and student supporters. They co-design your study abroad experience with you to empower you to reach for the stars. Because dreams deserve a helping hand.

About the author

This blog was written by Gradstar Global Education.