By Idamarie Tedesco

As we all dread the end of sunny summer days, dips in the pool, and all that free time we had to go on vacation, there's nothing we can do to stop fall from hitting us like a bag of swept-up leaves.

Even though I'm dreading colder days and getting used to having homework again, the one thing I adore about fall is the fashion.

As a college student on a pretty strict budget this year, I decided to do my research on up-and-coming sales before heading out to do that "back-to-school" shopping.

I also found out that most of my favorite stores actually offer student discounts.

As sad as that may be, this was one of the most exciting pieces of news I've heard in a while.

Stores such as J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, The Limited, Ann Taylor, and Banana Republic all offer a 15 percent discount for students.

Unlike most stores, J. Crew even offers the discount on sale clothing, as well.

"I think it's a terrific way to get students into our store. Our merchandise is sometimes a bit over-priced so I totally get how it'd be hard for a student to drop a bunch of money on a pair of jeans or a purse," said Stefanie Russo, employee at J. Crew in Partridge Creek mall.

Be sure to check out Urban Outfitters, TopShop online, and Charlotte Russe for a 10 percent discount, too.

Any one person on a budget could agree that every cent saved counts.

Not only are some of the most popular retail stores offering student discounts, but restaurants, movie theaters, and websites are doing the same.

Papa John's, Waffle House, Pizza Hut, and Subway all offer student discount, as well Amazon, Blockbuster Video and AMC Theatres every Thursday.

Even select Kroger stores offer a 5 percent discount.

"Let's be honest in saying that a trip to the movies just isn't what it used to be," said DJ Wieseckel, employee at AMC Theatres in Sterling Heights. "For two tickets and some popcorn, people are spending over $20 here. I often hear a big sigh of relief when students find out a discount is given."

All stores require a proof of student identification at checkout, though, so be sure to always keep that Madonna I.D. on you at all times.

You never know when you'll get that little urge to spend some cash at Twelve Oaks in between classes.


It pays to be a student