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20 Financial Life Hacks for Budget-Conscious River Hawks

By Staff Writers

UMass Lowell students know a good deal when they see one. In fact, many of them say they chose UML because it’s a great value.

And while most college students are on tight budgets, those who are resourceful can save on entertainment, transportation and dining. They can even find a few freebies.

Here are some financial life hacks for River Hawks — ways they can stretch their dollars on campus, in the city and beyond.

On Campus

Use your UCard for free admission to any River Hawk Division I sporting event. Whether it’s hockey at the Tsongas Center, basketball at Costello Athletic Center, field hockey on the Wicked Blue Turf or baseball at LeLacheur Park, there’s always something for students to cheer for.
Who needs Netflix when you get Kanopy for free? The UML Library provides the streaming service, which has hundreds of movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from. (Popcorn not included.)
One of the perks of being a UML student is the free software that’s available through the Office of Information Technology. From Photoshop and Illustrator in the Adobe Creative Cloud to applications for data management, statistical analysis and research, there’s plenty to keep the laptop humming. 
Students also have free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers more than 16,000 online courses to sharpen those in-demand technology and soft skills.
For an out-of-this-world experience, head over to the Schueller Observatory on South Campus and peer through the lens of the high-powered Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The observatory hosts public observing nights throughout the year, and students can also arrange a private visit.

In Lowell

Lowell is home to an amazing food scene, with restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world. UML students get discounts at nearly two dozen eateries with their UCard, including 15% off at Athenian Corner and 10% off at places such as Big Poke, El Potro Mexican Bar and Grill, Panela and Viet Thai.

Students can catch a performance at the acclaimed Merrimack Repertory Theatre for $15.

If you’re in the mood for a movie on the big screen, bowling or axe throwing, Showcase Cinema, Bowlero and the Axe Shack all have discount days for college students.

Over at the Luna Theater at Mill No. 5, students get $2 off their movie ticket. UML’s Philosophy Department also hosts a free monthly film series at the Luna. Arrive early to get a good seat and stay for the thought-provoking discussion with a philosophy professor after the show. 
At the highly regarded Merrimack Repertory Theatre, students can purchase $15 tickets to any performance. Present your student ID to pick up your tickets.
The Whistler House Museum of Art, just a half-mile walk from University Crossing, is the birthplace of James McNeill Whistler, one of America’s premier 19th- and 20th-century artists. Students save $3 on a guided tour.
Need a new outfit? UML students get a 10% discount at several boutiques in the city when they flash their UCard. 
And if you need a ride to one of these spots around town, students can hop on any Lowell Regional Transit Authority bus for free with their UCard.

Boston and beyond

If you’re looking to escape a dreary winter day, try sitting in the courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Built in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palace, the museum’s enclosed garden will transport you to another time and place. You can view masterpieces by Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent and Whistler among other artists and learn about the infamous Gardner heist. UML students save $7 on admission with their UCard.

Buy a student discount ticket to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and transport yourself to a 15th-century Venetian palace.

Meanwhile, UML art, design and history undergraduate students get free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum is home to nearly a half-million pieces, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, Nubian arts, French impressionists and the world’s largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan.
UML students also get free admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston’s Seaport.
Want to hit the slopes? River Hawks can get discounted lift tickets, rentals and ski and snowboard lessons at Pats Peak, which is located just an hour north of campus in Henniker, New Hampshire. Vouchers are available at the UML Outdoor Center and Bike Shop.
Join the Outdoor Adventure Program for a spring break trip to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York March 3-9. You’ll experience ice climbing, skiing, biking and hiking and visit Lake Placid, where the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Russians in the “Miracle on Ice.” The trip, which includes van transportation, food, lodging, gear and UML guides, would normally cost $1,400 but is available to students for $900. 
If indoor rock climbing is more your speed, discounted membership rates are available for UML students at MetroRock in Littleton, Massachusetts, and Central Rock Gym in Stoneham, Massachusetts
And if you just need a road trip, UML students can get a Zipcar membership for $35 — a savings of $55. Amtrak also offers students a 15% discount on tickets purchased one day in advance of travel.