A lot of places offer student discounts, ranging from online stores to supermarkets to tourist attractions. These can be a great way to save money, but the problem is if you don’t happen to be a student then you aren’t eligible for the discount.
But there is a way to become a “student” for a year and access most or all of the student discounts you would get. This is entirely legal at time of writing, and though it has become quite a popular trick there are no signs of a rule change. And if you’re wondering, it does not require you to hand over £9,000 for a year’s tuition fees.
Becoming a Student
The key point to consider is that many student discounts are, more specifically, special offers available to people who hold a National Union of Students or NUS Student Discount Card. Fortunately for the frugal, you do not have to be attending university in order to qualify for the card. They are available for £12 for a one-year card to people studying just about any course at a wide range of institutions, including most online learning providers. Even if your course only lasts a few weeks, you will be able to keep using the card to get disocunts until it expires at the end of the year. So to become a student and be eligible for the card, all you need to do is sign up for a cheap online course from a provider. Usually, these courses are advertised at around £200 each but are frequently made available on special offer or through daily deal sites like Groupon and Wowcher for a fraction of the price. For a course that could cost as little as £9 plus the price of the card, for a total expense starting at £21, you could get a whole year’s access to some quite significant discounts. To double check whether a course will qualify you, you can start the process of ordering a card and see if the provider comes up on the list.
Do I Have to Study the Course?
With the kind of online course providers that usually offer their courses at these prices, you don’t strictly need to even study the course. There should not be any negative consequences for never attending the virtual lectures, reading course materials, or completing the assignments apart from the fact you will not get your certificate at the end. That being said, it seems sensible to try to pick a course you might actually be interested in so that you can get your money’s worth by actually studying it, but of course that is up to you.
Is it Worth It?
Some of the discounts you get with an NUS card can be quite generous, so it is entirely possible to save much more than you spend on the course and the card itself before the year is through. You might want to take a look at what discounts are actually available, though, as this will help you assess how many of the offers you are likely to take advantage of and get an idea of how much you could save.