Being a college student this day and age has many financial drawbacks such as impending student debt. However, student discounts are one positive aspect that provides an ease on expenses. Since Starkville is a college town, one would think there would be a wide variety of local eateries which acknowledge student’s scholarly statuses by granting little discounts along the way.
Even though it is a college town, many students are not aware of the benefits they may reap by simply flashing their student IDs prior to paying the bill for a meal. I took the liberty of checking in with various places along the Highway 12 strip and in the Cotton District to find a few restaurants which offer student discounts. Unfortunately, of the 41 eateries I checked in with, only six of the restaurants offered student discounts. However, even though the restaurants with student discounts were few and far between, it definitely pays—or in this case, saves—to know which ones do.
For those overzealous wing fanatics, Wingstop offers a 10% student discount from the entire purchase upon showing the cashier a student ID. If one prefers fried chicken in the form of strips, both Zaxby’s and Slim Chickens can satisfy this prerequisite all while servicing students with a discount. On Mondays through Thursdays, Zaxby’s takes 10% off the total purchase while Slim Chickens has a $5 Chick’s Meal. A normal “Chick” at Slim Chickens is $6.99 without tax, but with a simple flash of the student ID, one can get all that is included in a Chick’s Meal (three chicken tenders, fries, medium drink and buttered toast) for a discount of more than $2. Slim Chickens’ student discounts deviate from the typical 10% seen at the other restaurants, as their $5 Chick’s Meal is roughly 28.4% less than the regular price.
Not only is a student discount beneficial for students, but it keeps businesses bustling with satisfied student customers. Antwon Shoto, general manager of Slim Chickens, can attest to this.
“We love seeing the student atmosphere; it is a great way for us to draw revenue and a great way to keep the students coming back and give them a great deal,” Shoto said.
These chicken restaurants are not the only locations in Starkville with student discounts. If you are craving a burger and some ice cream, Dairy Queen’s menu offers a variety of food items for a 10% student discount. Waffle House also offers a 10% student discount for a hearty breakfast in their old-fashioned, made-to-order scenery. For those who prefer classic sit-down Southern deli meals, students may also present their student IDs at McAlister’s Deli for 10% off of their meals.
After taking advantage of the powers the student ID has to offer and indulging in these six Starkville eateries, students can use the little bit of extra cash these discounts spare and spend it on other necessary items like textbooks, groceries or gas. Every little bit along the way makes a great difference.
Despite Starkville’s small percentage of restaurants with student discounts, there are those few which acknowledge the financial struggle of college.
Students such as Valinsia Mays, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, believe student discounts are an important way to support the student population.
“We are college students, and not all of us have jobs,” Mays said.
Laura Lyons, a sophomore majoring in industrial engineerings, also thinks businesses should make an effort to include student discounts.
“I would say student discounts are important because students tend to have a lower or no income. I think in general it’s easier to reach college students when businesses do offer a discount because the majority of them are very aware of the money they spend,” Lyons said.
Lyons added particular locations she would like to see take on this challenge.
“I wish that grocery stores and local restaurants offered some sort of discount for college students. I find that is where I spend the most money every week,” Lyons said. “I also think that local coffee shops could be competitive in college towns by offering discounts since they are pretty popular places to study.”
The small markdowns may not substitute for the college debt one may acquire, but the little perks of a couple dollars off some chicken nuggets and nacho baskets at least make the financial struggles a little more bearable.