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StudentUniverse

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LAST UPDATED: December 7th, 2023

StudentUniverse is an online booking leader for students and young adults under 26 looking to make travel arrangements on a budget. It was officially launched in 2000 and remains a privately-held company. The StudentUniverse platform is made up of a network of global partners which provide discounted pricing on flights, hotels, and tours. They have proprietary verification technology which ensures that individuals accurately maintain student status since the ticket and reservation discounts are designed to benefit them while in school. The company executive offices/headquarters can be found in Waltham, Massachusetts.  

Keep reading for pros and cons, plus StudentUniverse reviews from real users.

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The Good

  • Benefits for Students
  • Business Model
  • No Fees to Use Platform
  • Discounts

Benefits for Students

While most online travel booking agencies are fighting over the same types of customers, StudentUniverse has created a platform that benefits a specific group - college students and youth. Their platform was created in an attempt to make traveling more accessible and affordable for those currently enrolled in classes. Oftentimes, students are working or having to take on a considerable amount of debt to finance school so paying for experiences abroad would normally be out of the question. With the help of StudentUniverse, thousands of students across the globe are able to take part in meaningful travel with the ability to book cheap flights.

The most beneficial aspect of the StudentUniverse platform is first and foremost their ability to provide discounted travel options to students. All air travel, hotels, and travel activities/tours are provided at a discounted rate due to the participation of popular accommodation providers. These prices make travel somewhat reasonable for the common student to see the world without taking on additional debt. This exclusive pricing on airline tickets is only available to current students.

On top of travel deals, the site helps students figure out what type of visa they will need, depending on their destination, or the location of their study abroad program.

Business Model

The business model of StudentUniverse is rather complex, but yields positive results. Their technology and strategic partnerships with third party providers allow students to take advantage of some of the best discounts and travel accommodations available. The model is broken down as follows to maximize savings:

  • Exclusive airfare deals with over 220 airline partners
  • No membership fee for students
  • Hotel accommodations through a network of affordable lodging providers
  • Tours and activities discounted for students while traveling

No Fees to Use Platform

The travel service makes money solely off of commissions, advertising sales, booking fees, and some transactions. This set up allows students to still take advantage of the cheapest deals without having to pay an additional fee simply to use the StudentUniverse website. Students can easily filter flight results to find exclusive travel deals without a paid subscription.

Discounts

StudentUniverse offers a few discounts that a customer should know about. If members refer a friend who ends up booking a flight, both parties get $20 off on their next flight. 

Members get promo discount codes sent straight to their email inbox for additional discounts on their already cheap flights. A promo code can still only be used to book student flights.

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The Bad

  • Limitations
  • No Airfare Rate Guarantees
  • Best for Groups

Limitations

Obviously, this is not a platform for everyone. In fact, this platform cannot even be used by those who are not enrolled in classes at the high school or college level. StudentUniverse utilizes a verification technology that ensures an individual maintains a student status and is eligible for the discounts. Those individuals who are not students will not be able to book travel through StudentUniverse. Occasionally, there are deals for those ages 18-25 that are not enrolled in classes but these deals are not to be expected.

No Airfare Rate Guarantees

The platform, while boasting of providing discounts on travel accommodations, has openly admitted that they cannot guarantee rates on airfare. While airline rates are typically less expensive and more reasonable for students when using the platform, it is not so one hundred percent of the time. StudentUniverse states:

  • Airfares are not guaranteed to be cheaper than retail fares
  • Fares generally available on the market may be the listing price
  • Other booking sites may have access to other exclusive airfare deals that SU does not have a partnership with
  • No comparison tool exists to find the cheapest rate

Best for Groups

StudentUniverse’s discount booking service is best utilized in a group format. That means an entire class or a large group of students booking a trip together will receive the best discounts on flights and hotels. While a person can also book their own individual travel with a student discount, the booking process is specifically designed to benefit the group trip set-up with student fare.

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The Bottom Line

StudentUniverse has created a travel booking site that benefits students with a passion for travel.  Partnerships offer student travelers discounted rates so they can experience the world without taking on a considerable amount of debt. Members who plan on using StudentUniverse to book their travel can expect the following from the service:

  1. Exclusive deals for students
  2. Discounted airfare/hotel accommodations
  3. Deals on tours and attractions
  4. Travel insurance
  5. Group travel preferred
  6. No comparison tool
  7. Only for current students
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Star Rating

4.5

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666 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

70%

4 grade

20%

3 grade

6%

2 grade

1%

1 grade

4%

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Syed Haider Raza Gillani Buenos Aires, C

The process off booking was fairly simple and the flights off everywhere at comparative good pricing all my cards and security verifications worked and the company website is trustworthy. Customer service is something that could be improved upon to make it more understanding of the changes that are done from any unforeseen circumstances

4 days ago

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Dan Gallagher Half Moon Bay, CA

This was my first experience with StudentUniverse. It has been wonderful. They found the flights we needed at very competitive prices. When I spoke with a customer service representative, he was knowledgeable, courteous and extremely helpful. I will definitely be keeping them on my go to list.

2 weeks ago

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Carol Walsh Pound Ridge, NY

I like the ease of booking and options provided: free changing fees, 1 checked bag free etc. I also thought the fares were very competitive. But, most of all I called the Student Universe number before I booked to see the quality of their cutomer service (and if a live human answered) ,and I was pleasantly surprised that they have 24x7 customer service.

1 month ago

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Aislyn Simkins Enterprise, UT

StudentUniverse slayed so hard hooking me up with a cheap flight to the country I’m studying abroad in. Xoxo love ya’ll

3 days ago

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Madeleine Pollitzer Clemson, SC

GREAT DEALS! The website was pretty easy to navigate, but it was definitely a little slow, and I didn't know if the time of flights was in our time or Spain time. Everything else was great!

3 weeks ago

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Bob Ellis Springfield, MO

Student universe is absolutely the best way to book flights as a student. They show you all the prices for dates near the date you choose to make sure you get the cheapest flight possible. Website is super easy to use, and the service is outstanding. This website has saved me so much money on international flights. Always book through student universe!

2 months ago

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Esther WA

This is a helpful website to get ticket to see the world and I’m grateful for the one who created this to help we the students around the world.

2 weeks ago

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aisha sheikh Lahore, PB

My kids are studying from US and i preferably buy tickets from Student Universe. its refund and change policies are very good though recently you have started charging fee and deduction on refund.

1 month ago

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Febrian Moten Queens, NY

StudentUniverse always saves me money for my international travels, though you have to see which extras you need to pay for, because depending on what you need, you may end up paying more

2 months ago

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Sasuke Uchiha

Good to use sometimes as you can get good prices occasionally. No additional student discounts though! Though one cannot book flights for their family members (younger sibling; is a college student as well) which is disappointing.

3 months ago

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Arooj Naeem Washington, DC

was able to get my tickets fast and easy! paid a $48 for my flight

21 hours ago

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Tianxi Zhao Evanston, IL

It’s easy to use. The tickets are cheap. I waited a long time because the website crashed.

22 hours ago

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Riley O'Neill Queens, NY

Super cheap flights. Only complaint is I didn’t know sooner

1 day ago

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upinder gilhotra Saginaw, MI

Could be more clearer (other than the obvious name) on the mission of Student Universe so that it does not seem dubious to first time users. I trusted it and went ahead with the booking because I got redirected from a trusted site, and read a bit about it after I saw a cheap flight ticket, and everything looked in place and did not indicate anything unprofessional as most scam sites would. Also, it might be important to state/mention somewhere whether there is active verification needed for the student status of the traveler. The system did not ask me to verify my student status but many people might not go ahead thinking that it involves extra steps for verification.

3 months ago

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Aidan Jackson Anchorage, AK

It is pretty easy to find flights that worked for me, but it was devastating to see how much the prices raised during the day.

4 weeks ago

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Mackenzie Williams Atlanta, GA

I liked how easy and efficient it was to book my flight. I also liked the different options that student universe offers.

1 month ago Edited October 30, 2023

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Alvian Erwansyah Corvallis, OR

everything is just super easy, but i cant used the apps version on my iphone, it keeps closing the app once i make reservation

1 month ago

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Kristin Leasia Elgin, IL

They were able to take care of a tech issue with my booking and book me directly on to the flight over the phone. Also did this late on a Friday night

2 months ago

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Imo S Santa Fe, NM

I liked the discounts thank you. :) (@3@)

1 day ago

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Em Shubbar Fresno, CA

Great customer service.thanks for everything

4 days ago

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Corentin Melot

Very easy and useful App! I recommend it!

1 week ago

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Patricia Cross Grand Island, NY

When booking I was taken to choose my seat @ $10.00 each =$20.00. When booking was confirmed it showed seat choice failed, but I was still charged $20.00. I called & the agent I talked to said he could not assign seats for 1st flight, but could for 2nd flight. I previously attached the seat assignment along with the $20.00 charge. I also asked if I would be charged again & he said no. When I checked my credit card statement (which I also attached in original e-mail) I was charged another $20.94 from Student Universe. Aer Lingus does not charge for seat assignment so wondering why Student Universe does & why twice. Please advise -thanks!

4 months ago

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Anne Johnson Menton, 06

Yes!! Best customer service! Booked a flight for my college student, then had to cancel. Called and a friendly, competent human answered right away, and processed the refund. Above and beyond expectations and I will recommend them to the students I know!

5 months ago

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Emily Arnall Mesa, AZ

It was a very convenient and easy to use website. I booked yesterday at a great price. The only question I had was an additional charge on my credit card for about $11. I didn't expect or see that fee anywhere on the website or my invoice from my purchase. Other than the charge it was a great experience.

5 months ago

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Lucas Bornhoeft Fort Collins, CO

pretty cool that this company got me such a good deal on my plane tickets. at first I was worried it was a scam because I was charged the full amount but then a deposit was made to my account for the discount. thanks a bunch you guys

5 months ago

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sri kompella Ames, IA

I like the discounts applied to some flights during checkout. The only part that I would improve on is the fares. The fares provided for the flights are almost similar for students and other working professionals. Providing additional discounts to students would greatly help students travel easy and frequent

5 months ago

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Marie Gunter Emeryville, CA

Clear presentation of information, and timely email updates are among my top kudos. Excellent service. That said, and for transparency - it would be good if you separate your intent for customers to confirm their bookings, from your request for customers to leave a review - that always requires one to sign-in by creating an account with a third party. That part-not so cool.

6 months ago

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Susan Wanjiru Kigali, 01

I loved the fact that I could book a flight at a cheaper price. Also, the site is easy to maneuver. Thanks

1 month ago

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Matty Mendlowitz Stony Point, NY

The booking confirmation was sent to me almost immediately, although I am still waiting for more information about the flight/E ticket

1 month ago

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Sydney Herbruck Cleveland, OH

StudentUniverse made it very easy for me to book my flights for my study abroad trip coming up this Spring!

1 month ago

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anna koh Amherst, MA

was very easy to use. depending on how easy it is to check in closer to the travel date, i will be able to see if i'd use studentuniverse again.

2 months ago

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Nina Tran Buffalo, NY

Have discounts options for some fights that help students out. I wish there could be more options in the future open up!

2 months ago

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Hoàng Trần Vũ Ho Chi Minh City, SG

I think the process is quick and easy to follow. Although, I can't change my provided passport number and has to reach out to help desk. It's not too bad, just hope I can make the change myself.

4 months ago

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Shaneila May Kingstown, 04

Quick response and confirmation of booking . A reasonable price. I like that I could use the different codes to check booked flight. I am still waiting for information on confirmation of seating and allowed pieces of luggage( I believe it's economy so for now it may be the standard allowances). Overall a good experience so far.

4 months ago

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Adi Andreeva Sofia, 22

I like the idea, the deals and definitely the smooth navigation. However, it was really hard for me to see which ticket option included additional baggage and that would be a nice add on (maybe to be written in the Details section if possible). Otherwise I'm extremely pleased.

5 months ago

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Amit Kanojia Mumbai, MH

The flights are much cheaper than the actual prices on the airline site, especially British Airways. I was looking for a flight to Boston at a reasonable price but due to the fall season all airlines fares were off the roof. Studentuniverse ticket fares were a great relief to me

5 months ago

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Sandra Johnson MN

Was easy to schedule. I didn't get an immediate email confirmation though so worried that maybe my reservation didn't get scheduled correctly. I did receive next day confirmation.

5 months ago

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Edita Balaz Dyer, IN

Booking was easy, confirmation arrived less than 24 after completing the booking. First time user, appreciated how fast I was able to navigate the website, I have gotten the app since.

5 months ago

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Lydia Prince Columbia, SC

Great prices! Super easy and convenient to use!

1 week ago

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marla schwartz North Miami Beach, FL

Very easy & quick to get the best price.

1 week ago

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Arham Farman Islamabad, IS

First off, I actually found a flight on discounted rate. Secondly, the whole booking process was really straightforward and easy. I had some queries about the flight itinerary so I called the customer care, they were super friendly and helped and understand the details. Overall, it was a great bargain and a good experience.

7 months ago Edited April 25, 2023

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Linh Nguyễn Granville, OH

When I booked my flight, it asked me for an extra $8 tip, and I accidentally pressed it. Although the service is very good, you can add 1 step that after pressing they can still cancel instead of going directly to confirmation.

7 months ago

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Felise Milan Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

While I did ultimately receive my booking confirmation, it was a very frought process. Initially I made it all the way thru payment and then got a message that they couldn't complete my reservation. I tried it again and then got a message that I would have to call. I called and was told that during the time I chose the flight and finished filling out the info on the website, the price had gone up and if I wanted her to book it for me at the new higher price it would be more than $100 more and she would be charging me a few for booking it. I chose to go back on and was ultimately able to book the flight at the original price. But this all took a long time and was very frustrating.

8 months ago

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Elizabeth LaFlamme Anderson, SC

Everything was easy to use and as I checked out, the price kept getting lower and lower… like more and more coupons were found than before and the ticket was much cheaper than expected and saved me so much money. AND they responded to my emails within the hour which helped me book my flight quicker.

8 months ago

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Thomas Anthony McGuigan Samut Prakan, 11

Everything was perfect, the price of the flight was very reasonable. Thank you

3 weeks ago

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Katherine Estrada New York, NY

It was easy to book and the customer service was extremely quick!

3 weeks ago

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Dowthyak Sai Corpus Christi, TX

Found cheap flight possible . It was a good experience overall. As I am a student it helped me.

1 month ago

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Tamar Goren Chicago, IL

Loved the simplicity and quick approach and experience and the price! Didn't like there isn't chat function, clumsy to get advice from the company

1 month ago

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Tanya Atkinson Halifax, NS

Never heard of this app until 2 days ago. I booked my first flights with no issues and at decent price.

1 month ago

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Olivier Massicot Champaign, IL

I have to log into the website to find something that looks like my ticket, but I would rather have received a simple email with the ticket, just like what happens when you book with an airline.

2 months ago