The Georgetown University Student Association is distributing some 1,500 discount cards good for deals at local shops and restaurants. The cards are to be issued primarily to low-income students in an attempt to make daily student life more affordable.
As reported by The Hoya, students with the GU$Avings cards can receive discounts and promotions at 21 local clothing stores, restaurants and entertainment options near around the Georgetown campus. All members of the Georgetown Scholarship Program and all students eligible for Pell Grants are entitled to the discount card, while some 600 cards will be distributed to other students at the discretion of various academic departments.
One caveat to the discount card initiative, however, is that all Georgetown students already have access to a swathe of special offers around the community thanks to a separate piece of plastic already sitting in their wallets — their student ID. The primary critique of the discount cards is that many of the special offers represent no more of a deal than what Georgetown students already receive from their GOCard. In fact, some of the discount cards’ offers are identical to those already established via the campus card.
Other critics of the new discount cards have begun to question the true value of the program, highlighting that many of the discount offers at local businesses for the card are paltry, and many are for non-essential luxury items and services.
According to the Hoya report, the student association contracted with Student Government Perks, an internet-based service that compiles discounts, to print the discount cards at an estimated cost of $2,000. The cards were paid for with funds from the university’s Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Advancement.