Broke. College student. Three words college students everywhere wish were mutually exclusive. We pinch our pennies or lack thereof, in hopes to buy that scrumptious sandwich from Folklore or chow on some General Tso’s chicken at the Panda Buffet. However, fear no more. Thanks to Elizabethtown College’s participation in the smartphone app Around Campus students’ impoverished plight is made easier. By using Around Campus, students can obtain and use coupons for products and services from 79 local businesses throughout Elizabethtown, Mt Joy and Hershey.
Around Campus serves over 300 colleges and universities across the country. The idea originated when recent college graduates wanted to make saving money for college students easier. According to the Around Campus team, “We used to sift through welcome packs, day planners, directories and campus papers in search of ways to save money.” Therefore, they teamed up with University Directories and created an organized space to catalog various discounts and coupons near colleges and universities.
Senior business major Mike Stobbe has affiliated the smartphone app with the College. Wanting to “get his foot in the door” of marketing and sales, he attended an on campus job fair and applied for an internship with Around Campus and University Directories. After applying, he received an internship with Around Campus. Though he didn’t know they were affiliated, he ultimately used the company’s connection to the advantage of Etown students. All of the coupons and discounts he attained for the app were used in the 2012-2013 College directory. Throughout the summer, he worked closely with Around Campus and the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications to gather coupons from local joints. “Don’t throw your directory away! It has coupons and numbers you ought to have handy,” Stobbe said.
Stobbe traveled to hundreds of businesses to see who would be interested in participating in the app. “I went into almost every business in Hershey, Mt. Joy and Etown cold. More than half of the time I had to go away and come back and reassure them that this was a solid investment.”
The businesses included in the app are not limited to food. There are nine categories, including entertainment, health and beauty, shopping and travel. “[Local businesses] really value the College as a market for them and really want to help [the college students] out,” Stobbe said.
Around Campus is free and it uses your current location to determine which campus you are near. Visiting family and friends can also use the app unless a coupon specifies otherwise.
Students are already utilizing the coupons and discounts offered by the app. Junior Kyle Schutz said, “This app is awesome. Sometimes there is confusion over what businesses offer discounts, but this has a list of all the places I can save some bacon.”
No longer will extreme couponing skills be necessary to receive a decent discount around campus. Just download this free app and start saving at popular Etown restaurants and businesses. Just maybe the next time your parents come to town for dinner, you can say “It’s on me.”