Get your Columbia ID out for discounts this fall

By Myer Lee, Staff Reporter

Photo/Steven Nunez, Illustration/Savanna Steffens

In high school, freshman filmmaking major Emily Teitelbaum did not have many options for student discounts and said she often paid full price for any purchase she made.

As a new college student now managing her own finances, she said one of her first priorities on campus was to ask about student discounts, while also checking out fun activities Chicago has to offer.

There are more than 30 discounts for Columbia students, 15 for faculty and staff and eight for alumni, listed on the college’s website. The discounts include restaurants, shopping, entertainment and more.

According to a Sept. 3 email from Senior Director of Communications Keisha Cowen, Columbia’s digital team updates the page of discounts as soon as they receive new information from businesses.


Photo/Steven Nunez, Illustration/Savanna Steffens

Local restaurants like Subway, Epic Burger, Harold’s Chicken, Yolk, Pauly’s Pizzeria and Exchequer Restaurant offer students discounts of up to 10%.

Angelica Valentin, supervisor of Epic Burger, 517 S. State St., said around five to seven college students and faculty use the restaurant’s 10% discount per day.

Subway, Harold’s Chicken and Himalayan Restaurant also offer a 10% discount for students.

Jessica Oh, a 2020 graphic design alum, said she would often eat at restaurants like Himalayan Restaurant, 606 S. Wabash Ave., Subway, 166 N. Wabash Ave. and Harold’s Chicken, 612 S. Wabash Ave.

It was not until after Oh graduated that she learned of the discounts, but she still has access to some as an alum.

Pizza City USA, an organization that provides walking and riding tours of various pizza restaurants around Chicago, offers students the 10% discount code “CCC.”

But Steve Dolinsky, food reporter at ABC7 News Chicago and co-founder of Pizza City USA, said his business has seen fewer guests this year because of the pandemic.

He said it would be great to have young adults attend the tours he and six other staff members lead because most of his guests are typically older.

“Anything we can do to get any segment of the population to come would be helpful,” Dolinsky said. “It’s really been a challenge.”


Photo/Steven Nunez, Illustration/Savanna Steffens

Students can also receive discounts shopping for electronics, fashion apparel and art materials.

Senior filmmaking major Luke Moss was not aware of the college’s discount list until recently and said he would have selected differently when shopping or attending shows had he known about the student discounts.

Businesses like Lively Customized Water Bottles, Frye Apparel, Jugrnaut and 312 Elements Headshot Photography offer students discounts between 10% and 50% off.

Moss is ready to use the 20% discount for Blick Art Materials, 42 S. State St., to buy pens, pencils, notepads and paper. He said he likes to draw and make collages using different materials he buys at Blick such as colored pencils, crayons and white out.

Wil Velez, general manager of Blick Art Materials, said students must be Preferred Customer card members to get the discount, but that the membership is free. Students can sign up in-store when they check out or apply online.

Students will be eligible for more discounts with the Web Match Rebate, a program that discounts the total cost of products bought in-store if the total cost of the products is cheaper online, Velez said.

Velez, a Northeastern Illinois University alum, said he has had his Preferred Customer membership since high school and can relate to college students looking for price markdowns.

“I know [what] it’s like to be a student in art school,” Velez said. “That discount is something that helps and alleviates some of the financial stress for students.”


Before the pandemic, many music and performance arts venues offered student discounts. However, for the time being, a good deal of those locations are closed to visitors.

However, there are a few activities available this fall for students at a discount.

The Art Institute of Chicago offers free entry to Columbia students. The Field Museum has up a 17% student discount for its all-access and discovery passes and a 20% student discount for general admission. The all-access and discovery passes allow visitors access to general admission exhibits, all ticketed exhibitions and a 3D movie.

The Museum of Science and Industry offers free admission to Illinois residents on specific days every month and $5 off for adult Chicago residents. The museum has a calendar of its free days.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago located at 1306 S. Michigan Ave. will not invite any in-person audiences to view performances or participate in activities during the fall semester as reported by the Chronicle on Aug. 14. All events will be held online.

Ellen Chenoweth, assistant professor of instruction at the Dance Center, said all events from the center are free this fall for students with the code CCC-Current-Student when they register for events.

Oh said all Columbia students should take advantage of the perks before they graduate and make the most of saving money, while they still can.

“I feel a little bit robbed knowing I could have saved money. I was a broke college kid. I would’ve done anything to save money,” Oh said.