Podcast: George DeMartino on ethics for economists at The Economist
Debating the Insanity Defense

Lying to Get Student Discounts

Mark D. White

Thanks to Annie Lowrey, I found this recent New York Times article, "Getting a Student Rate When You're Not a Student," which advises youngish people, typically former students, on how to take advantage of the discounts that retailers and other merchants give to current students. The discussion of the ethics of this practice is predictably underwhelming:

To be sure, there are clear ethical and dishonesty issues with asking for a student discount when you’re not a student. But Mr. Dachis [who has a blog promoting this practice] argued that many students don’t actually need these discounts until after graduation.

“College students aren’t necessarily stricken with poverty or will be more so after finishing their education,” he wrote. Student discounts, he went on, “might actually be better applied after a student has graduated.”

While I personally have never lied about being a student, I can see how an argument could be made that graduates should be able to get that discount if they are still paying off student loans — in other words, dealing with the consequences of being a student.

"Might actually," "should be able to"--but aren't under the terms of the deals offered by such businesses. Of course, ex-students are more than welcome to propose these arguments to discounters and request that their offer be expanded, but I suspect they rarely do--much easier to rationalize your unethical, dishonest behavior.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)