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StudentUniverse

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LAST UPDATED: May 22nd, 2024

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

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4.6

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782 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

70%

4 grade

20%

3 grade

6%

2 grade

1%

1 grade

3%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Bashayer Alharbi

I wanted to know a bit more the reservation code that I could use in the airline. I had to send an email to check on that. Otherwise everything was perfect

6 days ago

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Sarah

The website is very easy to navigate and the process of buying tickets is very simple. I found the perfect flight at the perfect price and I got a confirmation email from my whole booking and itinerary just a day later. Very fast service and lots of important information provided from the website.

2 weeks ago

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Foo Shi Wen

not bad , cheap prices. Process is a little long-winded and unclear though. Did not realise I need to confirm that I received a booking confirmation and almost got my flight cancelled

6 days ago

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Gene Evans

I liked the fact that the agent recognized my flights by the dates and destination provided, and I did not have to provide much more information. He was patient, courteous and understood my needs. As I had never used StudentUniverse, I hope my forthcoming experience will motivate me to use them again.

1 month ago

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Barbie

I was told about this site but was skeptical so i went ahead and tried it! To ky surprise it easy to use and straight forward on prices and other services. Found same flight fares as other sites but CHEAPER!!! Will use this site again for sure!! First Customer but I'll be a returned customer for sure.

2 months ago

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Tran Nguyen Chicago, IL

I just have the first booking on Student Universe, scared as the first time because im not sure is it real or not, the flight actually cheaper than other website with the good choice. But I still dont get the e-ticket, may take longer to get the email.

2 months ago

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Christina Cain

I spent days and multiple hours on those days trying to find a reasonably priced international flight without multiple stops and without ridiculously long layovers. I finally found exactly what I was looking for (including a direct flight home from Italy to the US) on Student Universe for a reasonable rate!!

3 months ago

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Amani Patel Harrisonburg, VA

Very good deals and easy to book! Will be sure to use it in the future again! Made booking my last trip so easy and stress-free. I've recommended it to my other college friends, as well as post-grad friends. I have found it to be very affordable and helpful!

3 months ago Edited February 12, 2024

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muhammad adil

The process was very easy and smooth. The overall experience was very good.

2 days ago

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Lily Wirth

Student Universe helped me get a really good deal on a flight

1 week ago

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KerryLee Adams

I wasn’t aware of StudentUniverse before making this reservation. Your site came up when I was searching for flights on Hopper. The site itself is very intuitive and user friendly. I had no problems making our reservation, understanding, and choosing our options including seat choice, flight insurance, and baggage protection. I don’t fly very often and I was dreading finally needing to look online… so much easier than I hoped. Thank you!

4 months ago

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Grace

Easy and cheap! The site was straightforward and made things easy to navigate. Also found really really great prices.

3 weeks ago

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Emmanuel Ufuah

It took a bit longer than usual to find flights which I thought was strange. The person over the phone kept going back and forth to confirm that my flight was there.

1 month ago Edited May 8, 2024

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Julia Sze Long Branch, NJ

This is the first time using StudentUniverse. I find the site easy to use and the prices are good. Purchased my first flight ticket with them - more to follow.

2 months ago

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Damni Advani

I still havent received my ticket! It would be helpful if you vould work on that!

3 days ago

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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

5 months 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.

6 months 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!

8 months ago

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Lakshitha Ramanayake Mudiyanselage Piscataway, NJ

VERY GOOD AND EASY SERVICE. LOVE THE PRICE COMPARISON DISPLAYED MAKING IT EASY FOR US TO BOOK THE BEST OPTION AVAILABLE.

2 months ago

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Ebow Manso

Best support and easy usage of the system

1 week ago

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Christina Decker

Great and really easy to use. I would recommend

1 week ago

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Fredrick Omondi

I was able to book my ticket. It was a good experience.

1 week ago

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Akshat Patel

great discount on otherwise expensive flights

1 week ago

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Allison Brooks

Student universe gave me the chance to travel again!

1 week 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.

6 months 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.

9 months ago

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Faith Strina

Just some confirmation on my itinerary but once contacted they responded right away and gave me the proper information.

1 month ago

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Jalene Royeca

all good so far! They send the confirmation to my email as soon as I am done paying it.

1 month ago

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Dave Meckfessel Stockton, CA

I had previously booked a one way, non-stop flight to Europe for the end of July with StudentUniverse. For my return to the US, I was looking for a flight back from Europe from a different city. With some patience, I found one with a reasonable cost and short layover on StudentUniverse. They offered better choices and costs than my usual flight website. I am especially concerned with being able to have my checked baggage already paid for with my original ticket, the cost of the flight and if there are short lay-overs or non-stop. I have been able to find flights with these parameters with StudentUniverse.

1 year ago Edited January 23, 2024

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Genaro Bustos Portland, OR

Great website I don’t use many just because of the mixed reviews but these prices are too good to miss out on.

2 months ago

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evav Bergen, 46

We thought this site was great, love student pricing and all. BUT when a problem comes up, it is clear that you are on your own and this company will not resolve it or is only going to resolve it for a list of fees - cute trick. The issue that occurred at the airport that caused the missed flight was resolved over the phone with the airline and they gave a green light to rebook at no cost (thank you KLM, you’re the best), but the third party agency needed to call in, seems like a simple step… That was 9 hours ago. Divanni, who is 18 years old, was stranded for 11 hours in the airport waiting for 'an email' that has still never came, though updates were promised. There were two flights today that he could have been rebooked on. NO COMMUNICATION FROM SU. this is shockingly bad customer service, because flight cancellations and changes are obviously urgent situations, and airlines typically resolve it as quickly as possible. student universe seems perfectly fine with stranding students, young adults, in precarious situations and trying to get more fees out of a desparate situation. We called at least five times because there were no emails or return calls. Called again this evening, and immediately after we see that the reservation has been deactivated and cannot be opened. Interesting. We are keeping documentation of all of this, and will work with KLM to report this to consumer protection authorities. DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY!!! THEY WILL ABANDON YOU WHEN ANYTHING GOES WRONG EVEN IF IT IS EASILY REPAIRABLE.

4 months ago

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Likhith Nalla

The entire experience was really pleasant. I have been using StudentUniverse for quite some time now and I get some of the best deals alongside google flights here.

5 months ago

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Ritu Babani

good! will again book through student universe

1 week 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!

6 months 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

7 months ago

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Samuel Martin

Nothing much just the prices. I like the discounts

2 weeks ago

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joan cruz

First time user. Selection of available tickets and price were reasonable

2 weeks ago

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Gerbungis

everything is nice so far and i like it so much!

2 weeks ago

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Raban Brunner

Very good. Satisfied. Good service! Easy.

2 weeks ago

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Vivek Ranjan

I got desirable tickets on time with less travel time.

2 weeks 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.

9 months 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!

10 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!

10 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.

11 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

11 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

11 months ago

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Steven Burgess

I got my ticket with ease, I just did not think that the student discount was really present.

1 month ago

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Natasha Hingorani

I love how accommodating they are. The price difference was significant too!

1 month 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.

1 year ago

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Jack Bozick Long Beach, CA

It truly seems oriented for students and people trying to make the most of a small budget.

2 months ago