How the Target Student Discount Works

I never realized that there was a Target student discount until I heard about this promotion: between July 14 and September 28, teachers and college students could get 20 percent off an entire shopping trip. Of course, you’ll need to sign up for Target Circle to get this discount.

However, why wouldn’t you? Target Circle is free and offers great savings.

Anyway, with the news about the Target student discount and back-to-college savings, I figured now was a great time to write about how students and those who work in education can save at Target.

college student shopping in target
Photo credit: Target.

What is the Target student discount

There are two ways that students can get a discount at Target. One, they can take advantage of limited time offers, like the one I mentioned above.

Here is how a Target press release described it.

“From furniture, bedding and storage solutions to must-haves like backpacks and tech, we’re helping you prep for college with a one-time 20% discount on your entire shopping trip through Target Circle, July 14-Sept. 28, in stores or online. You just need a valid student I.D. to access the deal.”

Target College Student Discount

And, two, like the teachers discounts I’ve written about before, students can get verified through a third-party provider. Once that’s done, they’ll receive a promo or coupon code to use for online shopping. More about that shortly.

Discount through college registry

There is actually a third way that you could potentially get a discount at Target. If you’ve set up a college dorm registry — and you still have items left to buy on it — you get a Target college registry discount.

This is a promo or coupon code to spend on anything that remains on your registry. That discount code gives you 15 percent off those remaining items.

college dorm room target 2
Photo credit: Target.

How to get the Target student discount

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Outside of finishing a dorm registry or a one-off shopping event, you’ll need to get verified as a student in order to get that Target discount. Like many retailers, Target uses Sheer ID to determine if someone is a student (or, in other cases, an educator or member of the military).

Here are the steps you would take to get verified. Note: you have to have an established Target account to go through these steps.

Steps to verify you’re a student

One, visit, login and head to your account. Look on the top of the website page for “Hi, [your name] and click on the dropdown menu.

Two, scroll down to Settings — it has a gear shift next to it — and click on it.

Three, look for Student Verification and then click on the box that says Verify Status.

Four, fill in the requested information, which includes the name of your college or university, which year of college you are in and where you live while in college.

Five, click Verify.

Next, Target may ask you to upload more information, such as a picture of your school ID. This is where Sheer ID comes in. They’re the ones who are going to be verifying your status.

Expect to include the following (which I grabbed from their website) when confirming and verifying you’re a student:

Upload your school-issued document that shows:

  • Your full name
  • Your school
  • A date in the current school year

Acceptable examples include:

  • School ID card with expiration date
  • Class schedule
  • Tuition receipt

How to use the Target college discount

In all my writing about getting verified to use a discount, usually you get a one-time code for shopping online only. However, with Target, it’s unclear if you’ll get that code to shop at only or if you could show it on your phone in the Target Circle app and use it in-person.

So, I asked them. Here was Target’s response:

I understand you would like to know more about the offer itself once verified through Sheer ID. You are correct that this will be available as a Circle Offer that can be saved to use toward a single purchase. Once the purchase has been made the offer will no longer be available. The offer can be used in store through the application by presenting the wallet barcode once all desired offers have been saved.

Target customer service

Also, based on the summer 2024 promo of only having to show a school ID to save 20 percent, it sounds like you do not have to go through the Sheer ID verification process when shopping in store. Here’s what Target said about that.

“We will offer promotions related to the student discount periodically throughout the year. Once verified you will qualify for those as well. The student discount does not apply to every purchase, however we will announce on our website when we do offer promotions specific to the student discount.”

Target customer service

In other words, once you’ve gone through the verification process through your Target account, it sounds like Target makes a note of this. Then, when they offer those student discounts periodically, you’ll automatically be opted into them. Pretty cool, I’d say.

Using the SheerID Target college student discount

On the other hand, if you do go through the Sheer ID process and are shopping online, here is how you would apply the Target student discount online. Basically, you would shop like normal, adding things to your cart and whatnot.

Then, when you go to checkout, look on the payment page for any box that says Coupon Code or Promo Code. That’s where you would enter the code you got from Sheer ID. My understanding is that Sheer ID codes are one-time use only.

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