For a complete list of discounts available to students, visit the online Student Handbook’s Discounts page.
Partnering with local businesses and a few international retailers and service providers, Columbia unveiled a new discount program for students on everything from computers and software to restaurants to art supplies and dance studios around campus.
“We felt that it was important for the businesses of the South Loop to work in partnership with the college to help students get discounts for goods and services,” said Norman Alexandroff, director of Student Communications. “The ultimate goal is to keep costs affordable for students who attend Columbia College.”
The program, which was officially unveiled this past February, has been in the works for almost a year now. Alexandroff began working on the concept last summer on the suggestion of Kari Sommers, assistant dean of student life, and Mark Kelly, vice president of student affairs. A list of discounts is currently available to students as part of the online Student Handbook. The discounts typically apply to faculty, staff, and Columbia alumni as well.
The program launched with about 30 South Loop retailers on this list and some significant discounts offered by Apple, Dell Computers, Adobe, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Restaurants.com. Alexandroff says they’re still reaching out to as many businesses as possible, with the ultimate goal of over a hundred businesses offering student discounts by May or June.
Alexandroff says that this program is the beginning of a much larger effort to help develop the connection between the school, the South Loop community, and some strategic global corporate partnerships.
The program benefits both students and local businesses. Pockets on the corner of Dearborn and Harrison Street offered 20% off to students, and according to Alexandroff, the restaurant was so overwhelmed with business that they moved down to 10%.
The ultimate goal is to keep costs affordable for students who attend Columbia College.- Norman Alexandroff, director of Student Communications
“Because of the profound economic impact of students and the entire college community on the South Loop, we really are the economic engine driving this community,” he said.
Edwardo’s Natural Pizza on Dearborn and Congress Parkway decided to start offering a 10% discount to Columbia students in hopes of bringing in some of that business. This is the first student discount this Edwardo’s location has ever offered, and the business hopes to use this opportunity to expand their delivery services and see more locals coming in.
“Recently we came under new management, so we’re trying to reach out to the community more,” said Marissa Kowalsky, head of marketing.