As UC Berkeley students, we are immensely lucky to receive a world-class education taught by some of the brightest minds in higher academia all amidst the backdrop of our picturesque campus. But beyond these obvious pros of being a Bear, there are loads of discounts, deals and free access partnerships available to us that can make your time at Berkeley just a tad less expensive:
Activities and Entertainment
Use your Cal 1 Card to take advantage of free access to museums like the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, or BAMPFA, which houses over 45,000 items in its collection and regularly holds exhibitions, screenings and events. Feel free to bring a friend, as students have one free guest per visit. Browse through their calendar page and be sure to use your student discount if you want tickets to an exclusive screening event.
Also, check out the Berkeley Rep theater for up to 20% off your purchase of multiple tickets with the code “UCBBRT20” and receive a 50% discount for single tickets on all Cal Performances.
If the arts aren’t your thing, no problem! Left-brained thinkers can take a short trip into the hills and enjoy free admission to the Lawrence Hall of Science to immerse themselves in the wonders of scientific discovery. While you’re up there, check out the UC Botanical Garden which is free to all Berkeley students and faculty, but keep in mind noncampus affiliates are recommended to make reservations online before visiting.
Outdoorsy folks can also check out Berkeley Recreational Sports which offers a variety of extremely discounted outdoor activities such as paddleboarding, windsurfing and sailing classes down at the Berkeley Marina.
With our EasyPass Clipper cards, all AC Transit rides are free! This is an incredible way to not only avoid Berkeley’s many hills, but also a rare opportunity to explore the entire East Bay. AC transit service stretches from as far north as Pittsburg to as far south as Milpitas and North San Jose. There’s also a line that will take you straight to enemy territory in Palo Alto as well as numerous transbay bus lines that will take you directly from Berkeley to San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit center downtown. Students from any university can also take advantage of AMTRAK’s 15% student discount for riders aged 17-24. Lastly, there’s Connex UC, the UC system’s travel program accessible to all UC students offering discounts for airlines, hotels, car rentals and train services.
There are a host of software and online subscriptions that campus spends a pretty penny to provide us with, so be sure to take advantage of as many as you can. We receive subscriptions to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and although the UC Berkeley website says we don’t have access to NYT cooking, we do through the app!
We also have full access to the digital academic library JStor, Microsoft 365 and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite which includes Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, Illustrator and more. Students can also use up to 50 MB of free cloud storage on Box as well as total access to LastPass Premium, a handy password management program.
As far as online entertainment goes, students who live on campus get free Xfinity which you can use to watch HBO Max. There is also Spotify Premium Student which gives you access to Spotify, Hulu and Showtime for $4.99/month with an .edu email address. Lastly, we can’t forget Kanopy, a video streaming service with thousands of ad-free films and tv series completely free with a student university or public library login.
Services & Discounts
If you want to save a bit on printing services, head to the Open Computing Facility (OCF) in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union for up to 20 free pages a day or 200 per semester.
The Tang Center pharmacy offers discounted condoms as well as free HIV testing on the second floor of the University Health Services building three times per semester. Be sure to check online for specifics on these dates.
Pegasus Books gives a 10% discount. Larger companies like Apple and Amazon also offer student discounts and other related perks.
Lastly, the section we’ve all been waiting for: discounted food. Download Snackpass for incredible deals at tons of local restaurants and receive points and gifts with each purchase that you can send to your friends. Ike’s Love and Sandwiches offer a large discount after 3 p.m., Jamba Juice and Masa Ramen Bistro offer 10% off and Pizza Guys offers up to 20% off. And of course, Berkeley native Peet’s Coffee offers 10% off all online orders and free shipping for their products using the code “CALPEETS.”
With this knowledge now under your belt, go adventure and take advantage of these incredible deals while they last. Just remember to keep your Cal 1 Card on you, tip when you can and spread love when you can’t.