Everybody wins with student discounts

Kelly Mills

Special incentives save students’ cash, drive retailers’ sales

The AMC Plaza Chapel Hill 8 movie theater offers all college students a discount on admission. General Manager Jeff Rinehart said the discount has had a positive effect on business.

Credit: David Irvin

Students can receive discounts on everything from haircuts to movies to dinners using their student identification, an advantage for both the student and the business.

Many area retailers offer discounts as a price break for the college students, who often do not work full time while attending school. These discounts vary from business to business, depending on the company’s policy. 

Eonya Bedilion, assistant general manager of Damon’s in Kent, said the restaurant offers a number of specials for anyone with identification from Kent State or NEOUCOM, including students and faculty members.

FLASH Cash Facts

What is FLASH Cash?

FLASH Cash is a prepaid purchase plan that works like a debit card.

Flash Cash carries over yearly and can be refunded.

While not a discount, FLASH Cash makes buying goods off campus easier for students.

Where can I use FLASH Cash?


Burger King

China City

Damon’s Grill

Domino’s Pizza

East of Chicago

Eldorado’s Pizza Pie

Europe Gyro Pizza

Guy’s Pizza

Mike’s Place

Papa Johns

Pit Stop Pizza

Sorboro’s Italian Kitchen


Susan’s Coffee and Tea


Acme Food & Pharmacy




Dubois Bookstore

Sign Shop



The specials Damon’s offers include 25 percent off meals, free appetizers and desserts and deductions from the total bill. The specials vary by day and time.

Most area retailers offer one special for students, regardless of day or time. AMC Plaza Chapel Hill 8 movie theater offers a special to any college student, but it only makes a different for non-matinee movies.

“With a valid college ID, we have a student rate of 5.50, which is our matinee price,” said Jeff Rinehart, general manager of the theater. “If they use that at night, they save $2.

Heather Meloy, assistant manager of Great Clips in Ravenna, said any Kent State student receive one dollar off a haircut. Great Clips only offers the discount to Kent State students and restricts other universities or area high schools from using the discount.

Many retailers offer discounts to not only help students, but also to increase sales.

Student business drives local retail sales

Driving sales is the reason behind many discounts offered by retailers. Area businesses that offer student discounts are no exception.

Many of the businesses near the Kent State campus offer students discounts as a way of bringing them off campus to patronize their businesses. While some managers agree that the effect is minimal, they do see a difference in their businesses.

“I wouldn’t say the difference is huge,” said Jeff Rinehart, general manager of AMC Plaza Chapel Hill 8 movie theater. “It’s definitely made a difference, though.”

One problem with relying on student discounts is the seasonal nature of college populations. Many area retailers see a decline in business during the summer months. Main Street Coney’s closes its doors during the summer because of the slow selling.

Heather Meloy, assistant manager of Great Clips in Ravenna, said a majority of the customers are college students. The increase in sales during the school year by offering student discounts is balanced by the summer, when fewer students are at Kent State, she said

“Students come and go,” Meloy said. “As soon as the year is over they go back home.”

Rinehart said the discount is worth the fluctuation and the theater does see a lot of business from Kent State students because of the discount, even though it is farther than other area theaters.

“Students would opt to save a few bucks and drive a little farther, he said. “Sometimes students come up and find out about the discount and they’re pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely a benefit.”