The perks of being a student

Students are always on the lookout for ways to save. This often includes cheap entertainment around campus. The Tampa area has an abundance of places that offer discounts for USF students. 

For many, the most important component to any plan is transportation. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) bus offers the USF U-Pass Program, which allows USF students to use HART Local, Limited Express, MetroRapid and Flex routes for free by simply showing the bus driver their student ID. The program also allows staff and faculty to ride for $0.50.

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens offers a student pass for $50. The pass is available during the fall and spring semesters. With the pass, students receive free admission to the park. However, parking is not included with the student pass and it does not come with further discounts. This also does not include admission to special events such as Howl-O-Scream or Christmas Town and further blackout dates apply. 

To buy the pass, present your student ID at the ticket window.

Student Rush

For Friday night home games, the Rays offer lower level seating for $15 a ticket. Tickets and student IDs are checked at entry. Students also receive a card outlining a 50 percent off offer for Papa John’s online orders valid for the next day. Tickets are available online.

Despite the season ending in the Eastern Conference Finals last month, during the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning offer a similar student ticket offer. Tickets are sold 30 minutes before the game starts. Students wearing Lightning gear will get wristbands and numbered to hold their place in line while those not in team gear are encouraged to wait in line. Last season, prices started at $20 for upper level seating or standing room while lower level seating was available for select games and the price increased based on the opponent. The upcoming season’s prices have yet to be released.


Several museums offer free or reduced admission for college students. The Tampa Museum of Art and the Salvador Dali Museum are free for students, The Ringling Museum in Sarasota costs $5 for students with ID and The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in downtown Tampa is $8 for students.

For select shows, the Starz Center offers discounted tickets to students with valid ID cards who arrive 30- to 90-minutes before some but not all shows. A limited number are