Pittsburgh supports college student budgets


Photo by Kelsee McHugh | The Globe

Pizza Fiesta is a popular location among students for discounted food.

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

An education at Point Park University costs students two things: time and money. As of the 2018-2019 academic year, students of the Arts and Sciences, Business and Communication Schools pay $29,980 per year, and Conservatory of Performing Arts pay $38,220, nearly $10,000 more.

As for time, students juggle classes, rehearsals, homework and plenty of extracurricular activities during their four years or less here. With thousands of dollars spent toward an education, a student may cringe at spending more than $20 in their free time.

Luckily, located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park University and its surroundings offer many affordable and free options for students to spend leisure time.

Point Park’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosts events for students to enjoy from the comfort of their own campus. CAB events may highlight local events, such as the recent St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast before Pittsburgh’s annual parade, and others recur such as monthly Point Park After Dark events or Late Night Bingo.

“Our theme is we plan the juiciest events on campus, so basically we just want to provide students with the best events possible and give them a reason to come out and participate on campus,” vice president of marketing Megan Thorpe said.

Through the university’s Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) office, Point Park students can purchase discounted Pittsburgh Pirates tickets at PNC Park and concert tickets for Stage AE, according to Assistant Dean of Students Keith Paylo.

CAB currently offers Pirates tickets for $7 each to two games on Apr. 7, and Apr. 27. Tickets are limited to four per student.

Currently, there are no tickets available for Stage AE concerts. However, the Social Scoop from Mar. 19, detailed other ticket discounts. The Conservatory Theatre Company’s “42nd Street” will be held in the Rockwell Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on March 22-25. Students can receive free admission with their student ID one hour prior to a performance.

Discount codes are offered on Pittsburgh’s Cultural District’s website for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performances.

South Side’s City Theatre also offers Point Park students and professors discounted rates. Students can use the promo code CITYPPUS for $15 tickets while faculty and staff can use CITYPPUF for $27 tickets.

Additional culture can be found in Pittsburgh’s surrounding neighborhoods as they boast unique contemporary and historical art exhibits. The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, The Mattress Factory and The Senator John Heinz History Center allow free admission to Point Park students with the flash of an ID.

“All students have to do is show their ID and sign in. It’s free of charge because of the relationships we’ve built with those places” Paylo said. “I always tell students who go to Point Park, ‘When in doubt, show your ID.’”

Aside from sculptures, photographs and paintings, flowers and greenery attract students at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for a discounted rate of $16.95. General adult tickets cost $17.95.

Students also fill sports and music venues due to generous discounts. The GNC Student Rush Mobile Alert Club sends messages to students’ phones, and if a student replies with a specific key word at a certain time, they can win two free tickets to the game or concert the following night at PPG Paints Arena. Tickets that are available for purchase are $29.00 plus additional fees, according to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) official website.

South Side Works Cinema welcomes young movie buffs for $9 compared to the full adult ticket price of $10.

The Strip District’s Cruze Bar and South Side’s Devil’s and Dolls host College Nights on Thursdays, welcoming students 18 years old and up. On average, admission costs $5, but special events can cost up to $10.

The savings continue as plenty of local eateries offer discounts to area college students.

Pizza Fiesta and R&B’s Pizza offer “College Specials” that feature a large cheese pizza, one liter of soda and a side of ranch for less than ten dollars. Genoa’s, another pizza shop on Market Street, offers a 10% discount.

Sandwich and sub shops like Bob’s Subs and the Market Square Subway also offer discounts.

“It never hurts to say, ‘I’m a Point Park student,’” Paylo said. “A lot of times [businesses offer you], but the formalized ones, we continue. Even United Student Government has backed this also of reaching out to local businesses to see what kind of discounts they offer.”

As for transportation to and from the multitude of options students can pick from, the “T’ is free and street parking on Sundays is free. On a nice day, walking never costs more than time.

“We’ve [earned student’s discounts] through relationship building…I think it’s more based on the relationships you build that are more willing because they see that this is the future, so they want you to keep coming back,” Paylo said.