Your Guide to Money Etiquette
Q: Can I use my student ID to get discounts even though I’m no longer in school?
A: Like many alums, you may look back wistfully on all those half-price pitchers of beer and cheap museum tickets you scored during college, courtesy of your student ID. Who can blame you? But no matter how much you miss those deals, it’s not ethical to pretend to be someone you’re not. Student discounts are designed to serve a demographic that typically lacks extra spending money. By trying to save a few bucks as a graduate, you run the risk of hurting actual students in the process. Proprietors that discover their policy is being abused may change or eliminate it altogether, denying it to those who need it, says Jen Day Shaw, an assistant vice president and a dean of students at the University of Florida in Gainesville. If you really want a bargain, just ask for one. “Say, ‘I have this ID, but I’m no longer a student. Would you be able to give me a lower price, anyway?’ ” says Robert Steele, a professor of journalism ethics at DePauw University, in Greencastle, Indiana. With any luck, the merchant will cut you a (price) break, regardless of your enrollment status.