Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

The term “starving student” is a popular one. It refers to college students who have left the nest to attend college with a very low living budget. Students spend a lot of their time studying to earn their degree. This leaves little time for a full-time job that offers good pay.

There are exceptions to the rule, but the average college student only earns $5000 per year and spends nearly $4000 in living expenses. Students need to find a way to lower their expenses every way possible.

Since auto insurance makes up a huge portion of the student’s annual budget, shopping around for every discount is a must.

The first step to saving money on car insurance is to compare quotes and find the best one. Enter your zip code above to begin comparing.

Here’s how being a good student could turn into lower rates:

How are you rated on an insurance policy when you’re in high school?


It’s common for teens to get their permits and their licenses while they are still in high school.

Since most states make drivers eligible for licensing at 16, students start to study the driver’s handbook and take behind-the-wheel classes before their 16th birthday. When there’s a graduated licensing program, the teen must get a permit first.

It’s ideal for parents to have the opportunity to monitor their child’s driving while they are still a minor. Unfortunately, that means that the teen also has to be listed on their insurance.

Luckily, most companies will cover a teen driver for free until they get their unrestricted license. After that, the teen can either be listed as a primary or secondary driver. All newly licensed teens fall into a high-risk driver class.

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Can you stay on your parents’ insurance when you graduate?

When you complete high school and you’re off to college, you probably don’t have to go shopping for your own insurance immediately. It all depends on who is paying for your schooling and where you’ll be living.

If your parents are supporting you in any way or their home is still your primary residence, you have the right to stay on their insurance.

College students who get their own apartments and buy their own vehicles aren’t so lucky.

If you decide to become entirely independent and you’re classified as an independent student, your parents’ carrier probably won’t allow you to combine your coverage any longer.

You’ll have to branch off and buy separate insurance where you’re the named insured.

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What is a Good Student Discount?

Most insurance companies offer their clients an entire menu of discounts that will help the policyholder save money.

Discounts are available to all households that qualify for them. One of the more popular discounts for younger drivers who are still in school is the Good Student Discount or GSD. Only inexperienced drivers under 25 can get the GSD.

A driver qualifies for the Good Student Discount when they are are attending high school or college full-time and they receive acceptable grades.

In most cases, the company wants to see that the student has a B average for the last semester or they have better than a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale. The requirements vary from insurer to insurer and are depending on the grading system of the school. Graduate students do not qualify.

How do you get the GSD if you already have insurance?


If you meet all of the criteria to get the discount, you can ask the insurer to apply the savings whether you have your own insurance or you are on your parents’ plan still.

The agent may ask that you provide your transcript, a progress report, or some other official proof of your grades for the current or last semester before the discount will be added.

How much you’ll save after you see the discount applied depends on a lot of different factors.

If you’re taking a financial hit on your premiums because of your age and your driving experience, you may see a bigger difference than a 24-year-old who has already seen their rates go down.

Insurance companies get to dictate how much they want their GSD to be. Some insurance companies that are targeting the younger driving population will offer bigger discounts than those who would rather do business with middle-aged drivers.

On average, students will save at least 15 percent off of their total premiums. Some companies give discounts as high as 25 percent off.

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Are there other discounts available for young drivers?

The best way to keep your premiums low is to drive safely. If you avoid tickets and you don’t get into accidents, your experience will work for your benefit.

That’s not to say that there aren’t other discounts that you can qualify for when you’re a youthful operator. Some discounts to try and get include:

  • You can get driver safety training discounts for young drivers can save you money for three years
  • You can get a student away at school discount when you go to school more than 100 miles away from home without a car
  • You can get a pleasure rating discount if you don’t drive your car to school or to work
  • You can get a low-mileage discount if you drive less than 5,000 miles per year
  • You can get a discount for parking your vehicle on campus with some carriers

Being a good student pays off in more ways than one. Not only can you get on the Dean’s list and qualify for more merit-based scholarships, you can also save on your insurance premiums.

If you’re earning the grades that you need to save money, tell your carrier.

You can also check the Good Student box when you’re getting online quotes to compare the premiums with other providers. Do your homework and spend less of your budget on insurance. Enter your zip code below to find the best rate for coverage.