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Get The Best Bang For Your Buck With These Student Freebies

College is expensive, there’s no easy way around it. For most students on a fixed income, $200 textbooks and an open bar tab three nights a week can run a bank account dry. These expenses often leave students asking for whatever’s cheap, or better yet, free.

What you may already know is that Penn State’s tuition costs are second only to the University of Pittsburgh for public universities. What you may not have known is that the state of Pennsylvania has the third-highest student debt in the nation. Needless to say, monetary-wise, Penn State students don’t have it easy when paying for college.

Fortunately, our beloved university realizes the struggle and attempts to lend us a helping hand. With so many things to pay for like tuition, beer, and textbooks, Penn State offers some fairly expensive coursework necessities for no charge at all (except your tuition payment). So without further ado, here are the essentials you can get any time on campus (technically) for free:

Microsoft Office

The best and most essential tool for any serious writer, engineer, or ordinary student. Penn State offers Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013/Office for Mac 2011 for both Windows and Mac users respectively. The software is an obvious necessity for anyone in college as this package includes Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you live in Pollock, you may want to think about this considering that your computer lab has some serious issues.

Windows 8.1

Along the same lines as Microsoft Office, Penn State also offers the Windows 8.1 operating system. This is useful software for anyone looking to upgrade their current one or even for those who are building their own computers and don’t want to shell out $100+ dollars for an expensive one.

The New York Times

Surprisingly, you’re able to get free access to the New York Times with a Penn State ID. If you ever get tired of USA Today, you can use your ID to receive a free subscription. If you’re too lazy to punch in the numbers, you can always pick one up on campus as well.

Computer Repair

Countless students have experienced Macbook troubles ranging from water damage to software issues. If that’s the case, you’ve probably also experienced a feeling of hopelessness and maybe a mild form of depression. Luckily, our friends at the ITS Service Desk are here to help. With only the cost of replacement parts, the ITS Service Desk will repair your laptop just as well as any of the stores downtown, if not better. Along with these simple repairs, they can pretty much help you with anything from data transfers to virus removal, and even connecting you to Penn State’s WiFi.

Notable Discounts: Spotify & Amazon Prime

Students enrolled at any accredited university can enjoy Spotify Premium for a discounted $5.99 a month. For an endless playlist of songs and artists, it’s well worth the investment. Plus, you can listen to our Music Monday playlist without having to deal with those pesky ads.

Amazon Prime is nothing short of a godsend with its two-day shipping, especially when you need the textbook for that one class you never attended at the last minute. If you don’t want to pay the annual fee of $49, you can get your first six months of Prime for free as long as you use your PSU email address.


If you don’t take advantage of at least one of these freebies, you may have to reevaluate your decision-making process. If you’re already paying thousands of dollars for tuition, why spend the extra $100 on a simple software upgrade? It just seems silly. Now go put that tuition money to good use and don’t look back.

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About the Author

Steffen Blanco

Steffen is a senior majoring in Criminology & Sociology and hails from East Stroudsburg, PA (Poconos). When he's not taking photos, you can find him at either the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, taking long walks with his Pokemon, or playing video games (League/Overwatch) Just follow him on Twitter/Instagram (@SteffenBlanco) or shoot an email to [email protected] if you have any questions.

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