Heading back to school? Here’s where you can use your student discount around Boston – The Boston Globe

The start of the school year is rapidly approaching, and between the cost of moving, catching up with friends over dinner, and purchasing fall textbooks, costs are likely adding up. Luckily, you already have a tried-and-true trick up your sleeve: your student ID. This handy card does more than swipe you into the dorms and the library — it can help you score discounts, perks, and even free admission to cultural centers, events, and transit options across the city. And in some cases, you only need to know your edu e-mail address to qualify. Here are more than 20 experiences where being a student can save money — while still letting you explore all that Boston has to offer.


For the academic adventurer

Greyhound has partnered with Student Advantage to offer the Student Advantage Discount Card for those looking to venture outside the city without leaving the open roads. The card costs $30 per year and grants 10 percent off tickets for all bus trips within the US, along with a slew of other discounts and rewards. (Cities like Amherst, Providence, and Manchester, N.H., can make fun day or weekend trips.) Or, if you seek to explore the seas, students can take $2 off a round-trip ride on the Boston Harbor Islands Ferry, which offers daily trips from Long Wharf to Georges or Spectacle islands through Sept. 5. (After Sept. 5, the ferry runs Thursday to Sunday to Spectacle Island only, through Oct. 10.)

For the art student

There is no shortage of art institutions in Boston, and many offer free or discounted rates to students who attend school in the area. The Museum of Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum all offer free admission to students at participating universities, in addition to discounted tickets for students of universities outside their respective programs. Harvard Art Museums — which include the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum — offer free admission to anyone with a valid student ID. And the MIT Museum, which exhibits pieces at the intersection of art and technology, is slated to reopen on Oct. 2, offering free admission to MIT students and $10 admission for students who attend other schools.


Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre hosts a variety of discounted deals for students.Photo for The Washington Post by Adam Glanzman/file

For the cinephile

Select AMC movie theater locations — including locations at Boston Common, Assembly Row, and South Bay — offer a student discount at the box office. A flash of your student ID knocks $3 off a ticket for screenings after 5 p.m. Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre hosts weekly Student Thursdays, where tickets are available for $13.25, and their signature programming — including “Rewind!” and “Science on Screen” — can be purchased for exclusive pricing as well. The Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge offers $2 off the price of admission to see a film, while the nearby Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square has $12 student tickets. Students from any university can visit the Harvard Film Archive, which screens its collection of over 40,000 films, for $8 — while current Harvard students (and staff and faculty) can catch a flick for free. Upcoming this fall are the mysterious, multilingual film “Memoria” and the suspenseful Iranian feature “Where Is the Friend’s House?”


For the history buff

Boston is a city steeped in history, but you don’t have to go back in time to afford to check all these sites off your bucket list. The Harvard Museum of Natural History, home of the Glass Flowers Gallery, allows Harvard students to enter for free, along with one guest. Those who attend other schools can purchase a $10 student ticket, which also grants admission to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, just a short walk away. For $14, students can visit both the Old State House and Old South Meeting House museums in downtown Boston. And the historic Paul Revere House in the North End charges students only $5.50 for admission to tour the space where the famed Founding Father once lived. Additionally, Brookline’s Larz Anderson Auto Museum allows students to browse a collection of vintage cars dating back to 1899, for only $7.

Students can purchase a $30 membership to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s College Card program starting in September.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

For the aspiring virtuoso

Though tickets to big-name orchestras might seem like they’d break the bank for many students, there are plenty of ways to snag affordable seats. Boston Conservatory offers $10 student tickets for most shows and students can use the promo code STU-DIS to purchase $10 tickets to any Boston Philharmonic concert through their website. Additionally, the $30 membership to Boston Symphony Orchestra’s College Card program includes free tickets for the entire 2022-23 season, and will be available for purchase starting in September.

For the theater geek

Tickets to see plays and musicals can get pricey very quickly. Luckily, many of Boston’s theater companies provide select pricing to help get students into their seats. The Huntington Theatre Company offers student tickets for $20 to see shows like the Broadway-bound musical “Sing Street” (which runs until Oct. 2) and the captivating drama “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” (opening Oct. 14) from Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson. And Lyric Stage Company will present the darkly satirical “Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine” from Pulitzer-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (premiering Sept. 16) and the critically acclaimed British comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong,” (opening Nov. 11), with student tickets for only $10. ArtsEmerson offers a variety of options to make their productions more student-budget-friendly, including $20 tickets when reserved online and $10 rush seats that can be purchased in person the day of the performance.


Maya Homan can be reached at maya.homan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MayaHoman.

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