Getting a great deal on educational software

4 Secrets to College Software Savings

by Burlingtina Vines

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It's the first day of the college semester and your teacher, or syllabus, tells you that you need some software for your assignments. You know that this software could set you back lots of money. Before you shell out that cash, check to see if you can save some money on your college software essentials. I've been there before, and worrying about software costs is no picnic. Let's look at four secrets to saving money on college software.

There are some things you will need before you start bargain hunting. The main thing is proof of academic status. In other words, these companies want to know that you are a college or university student. Don't stress about this one. You most likely already have the proof you need. This varies from different software companies. At a minimum, you will need copies of your student identification from your current semester or school year, course schedule, and/or letter of enrollment on your school's letterhead. Now that you have your verification materials, let's move on to the actual savings.

  1. Buy directly from the manufacturer. If you're looking for specific software, go straight to the source. That's what I did when it was time to get Microsoft Office for my classes. After visiting Microsoft's Student Store, I was able to find exactly what I needed at a great price. This applies to students in many disciplines. For graphic design students, Adobe also has a student area of its store to save you money. So, make sure you check out the software manufacturer.

  2. Buy from online stores made just for college students. There are many online stores that give discounts to college students. JourneyEd and Studica are two stores that I found had great discounts. There are many more, so make sure you look for them.

  3. Try your campus bookstore. Yes, I know it's not the first place when you think of software. However, many campuses have deals with software companies to get students the best prices possible. So, while you're browsing for the books you need for class, check out the software too.

  4. Use online and open source alternatives. There is one final way to save even more money if your school allows you to do it. You can use the online or open source alternatives to many software packages. A good example of this is Microsoft's online version of its Office suite that is part of its SkyDrive cloud storage. Although it does not have all the features, you can use it for free to create school assignments until you get the full version of Office. On the other hand, if your school allows it, you can use open source alternatives, such as Libre Office. Most open source software is free of charge to use. There are open source alternatives to many different types of software. The best place to find these would be

With all of the options available to you as a college student, there is no reason to pay full price for software. I have used all of the options above for different assignments during my time in college, and it really helped with my budgeting. So, try out these methods when it's time to buy some new software for class.

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