Where to Get Student Discounts in Seattle

Get those discounts, dawgs 🐕

Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Kane Hall

Published November 2022 | Updated October 2023

The best part about being a student—apart from the whole education thing—is the sweet, sweet student discounts, on everything from museums to gardens, from the bus to the opera. It’s like your birthday at Baskin-Robbins, except every day. Now that school’s back in session, it’s the right time to consult this curated checklist on where to take your shiny new student ID.

So many museums!

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Check before you buy 🎟️

Lots of arts organizations in Seattle offer student discounts. Indie cinemas, like Northwest Film Forum and SIFF, definitely do. They’re not always the biggest discounts, but they help.

The venerated Seattle Rep

155 Mercer St

Seattle’s biggest nonprofit theater offers tons of discounts on all of their performances, to groups including active-duty military personnel, Native-identified people (to whom tickets are FREE!), arts-and-culture–industry employees, seniors, and yep, students. You have to present your student ID, and you can get a pretty hefty discount depending on the show. All student tix are $18, and regular prices can range between $20 and $73, so like. You could really save some cash here.

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Rush day-of-performance tickets at Seattle Opera

363 Mercer St

This is pretty interesting. Students, seniors, nonprofit workers, educators, and a few other categories of people are eligible for rush tickets to the opera, which means you can buy one $25 ticket per student on the day of the performance. Tickets normally start at $35, for the very cheapest seats, so that’s a decent discount! This included the recent run of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, which was a total banger honestly.

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Seattle Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum

1075 Lake Washington Blvd E

A crown jewel within the glittering crown that is the Washington Park Arboretum, the Seattle Japanese Garden is within walking distance of the University of Washington—don’t sleep on it! The SJG is one of North America’s most highly regarded Japanese gardens, with its dreamy koi ponds, flowering trees, 16th-century-style bridges and lanterns, and guided tours led by kimono-clad docents. Admission is normally eight bucks, but students can get in for four. If you feel like splurging with the money you saved, you can opt to direct those four bucks toward the exquisite tea ceremony at the Shoseian Teahouse, on site, which costs ten dollars for adults and seven for youth under 18. 

A heavily subsidized ORCA pass!1075 Lake Washington Blvd E

This isn’t a thing to do as much as a way to get to the thing—or just to class—but college students are now eligible for ORCA LIFT passes, which is just an ORCA pass that charges you way less. This enchanted card makes the bus cost a buck. This is a massive discount as a regular adult fare on King County Metro buses is $2.75. What costs a dollar anymore? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Apply for your ORCA LIFT pass here.

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CLEAR access at any participating U.S. airport

17801 International Blvd

Oh, my god, CLEAR is like a magical wand got tapped on your little head. For only $60 a year (it’s normally $189), you can skip the TSA line at any of 50+ major airports and just head right up to the ID check. You still have to go through the TSA check after that, but it feels like a freaking miracle happened, to behold a giant line snaking through the concourse and then get escorted right to the front. Once you’ve tasted this luxury, you’ll never do commercial air travel any other way, we swear.


Meg van Huygen

The daughter of a King County Metro driver and a Space Needle waitress. Meg was born on the Hill, grew up on Queen Anne, went to school in the CD, and presently haunts the U District. Her writing has appeared in Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, Eater Seattle, Curbed Seattle, Atlas Obscura, Mental Floss, and many other publications. She sometimes backs up drag queens on the accordion and hosts drunken spelling bees.

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