It’s no secret that most college students have limited spending money. After necessities, it can be difficult for students and their families to foot the bill for other expenses. 

Luckily, a handful of departments across Illinois State offer perks and services to Redbirds. These perks are designed to help students succeed both in and out of the classroom. Illinois State University offers solutions to many obstacles that students may encounter. Here are a few of our favorite student perks.

Free computer repairs 

A student receives help from the TechZone staff.

A student receives help from the TechZone staff.

Having access to a working computer is integral for success both in and out of the classroom. However, we’ve all experienced how technology can go awry at times. When Redbirds encounter a computer problem, they are able to seek free repairs through the University’s TechZone

“Our service center is here to help students with technology issues small and large,” said Jason Link, campus sales manager at TechZone. “Students can get help connecting to Wi-Fi, configuring email, removing viruses, and significant hardware repairs at the conveniently located walk-up counter in the Bone Student Center.”

TechZone also sells accessories at a discount for students, staff, and faculty. “Our sales staff knows what each student needs based on their major when it’s time to buy a computer,” said Link. “We have great deals on laptops, headphones, video game accessories, phone cases, phone chargers, and much more.”

Free bus rides 

Connect Transit bus driving past campus. Photo credit: Connect Transit

Connect Transit offers students free transportation around campus and the Bloomington-Normal community. Photo credit: Connect Transit

Considering the short walking distance for students who live near campus, many students choose not to bring a vehicle to school. However, walking isn’t always ideal for leaving campus for work or to shop.

Illinois State and Connect Transit have partnered to provide free bus rides for students. Bus stops are located conveniently around campus and multiple bus routes cover the Bloomington-Normal area.

The Redbird Express loops around campus on a 20-minute cycle, helping students travel safely during times of inclement weather. On Fridays and Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters, the Redbird Express runs until 3 a.m. Students are able to access the bus schedule and track bus locations on the Connect Transit mobile app.

Career prep tools

Students can prepare for their professional lives at the Career Center

Students can set themselves up for success at the Career Center.

The Illinois State Career Center provides students with a variety of career resources, services, and programs. The center offers students free resume paper, business cards, and access to private interview rooms.

“Providing free resume paper and printing helps students by ensuring they have access to the quality needed to present their resume professionally,” said Susan Whitsitt, assistant director of the Career Center. “Business cards allow students to present themselves professionally in career settings where it may not be appropriate to distribute a resume.”

When applying for a job, acing the interview may be more important than a resume or business card. Considering the many distractions that college students face, the Career Center offers access to private and peaceful interview rooms. “Providing access to private interview rooms through the Career Center allows students to conduct interviews in person, over the phone, or through Skype interviews in a quiet and business-like setting,” said Whitsitt.

Ultimately, these services give students a head start in launching their careers. “Redbirds who utilize the Career Center’s resources will have a competitive edge over others applying for the same jobs,” said Whitsitt. “When it comes down to it, if an employer is choosing among multiple candidates and each has similar education and experience, the employer is going to consider one’s professionalism as the next qualifier when considering who to hire.”

Free flu shots 

During flu season, students can receive free flu shots at Student Health Services

During flu season, students can receive free flu shots at Student Health Services.

For college students, missing class due to an illness can be burdensome. During flu season, students are especially susceptible to sickness. To help students stay healthy, Student Health Services provides free flu shots to students.

“Student Health Services offers the influenza vaccine free to ISU students,” said Dr. Anne Risk, M.D., medical director of Student Health Services. “We offer a flu clinic in the fall over several days, but students can schedule an appointment to get the flu vaccine anytime during flu season with no charge for the appointment or the vaccine.”

Bone Student Center incentives 

On Fridays, students can receive discounts across the Bone Student Center.

On Fridays, students wearing Fear the Bird shirts can receive discounts throughout the Bone Student Center.

On Fridays, students are rewarded for their Redbird pride at the Bone Student Center.

“We have free giveaways and give discounts to students wearing their Fear the Bird shirts on Fridays,” said Jenna Koons, marketing coordinator for Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality. “This program is in its 13th year and is a joint initiative between the Division of Student Affairs and Barnes & Noble at Illinois State University to encourage Redbird spirit and tradition.”

The incentives include free beverages from Starbucks and McAlister’s, free chips and salsa from Qdoba, and discounts at Barnes & Noble. The incentives change each Friday, allowing proud Redbirds the chance to get the most out of their Fear the Bird shirts.

One thought on “Our 5 favorite campus perks 

  1. Excellent post! Please keep featuring free resources for students. They are so needed! (Author, and mom of ISU student.)