As you may have heard from the commercials, being a good student could save you and your parents a good deal on car insurance. Aptly titled the "Good Student Discount", it is offered by many major auto insurance carriers and has a variety of ways to qualify.
Who is Considered a Good Student?
A “good student” may seem like a subjective term, but each company that offers the discount has the same requirements.
- Age: 16-25
- Full Time Enrolled High School, College or Home Schooling
- B or 3.0 GPA or Top 20% in Your Class
- Rank top 20% on either ACT, SAT, PSAT, TAP, PACT, California Achievment Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills
How Much Does Being a Good Student Save You on Your Auto Insurance?
Allstate claims up to 20%, State Farm says up to 25%, but we find it can be anywhere from 1% to 39%. It depends on where you live and who you are insured with. Not every state, and not every company even offers a good student discount. We studied four large college towns throughout the country as a sample: College Park, Maryland, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Boulder, Colorado, where discounts ranged between 1% and 17%.
On average, the largest discount came from Boulder where rates were 17% cheaper across all insurance companies when high schoolers and undergraduates qualified for a good student discount. In Chapel Hill however, rates barely changed, and were a minuscule 1% difference between qualifying and non-qualifying students. Large companies such as GEICO, State Farm and Allstate did not even offer Good Student Discounts in North Carolina.
Different companies had greater discounts as well. We used data from College Park and Boulder and found that State Farm had the most generous Good Student Discount in those two cities. The company even surpassed its touted "up to 25%" offer. The table below illustrates that certain companies can have greater discounts than others.
|Good Student Discount|
Progressive Insurance did not have any discount at all in this subset of cities. In other cities, GEICO may offer the best Good Student Discount. The best thing to do would be to shop around between the major insurers in your area and see who rewards students with lower costs.
How Do You Get The Discount?
It is actually quite simple and does not require any extra effort outside of your typical quote application process. If your insurer offers the discount in your state, they will simply ask you if you are currently a student with a GPA over a B or 3.0, or rank in the top 20% in the tests mentioned above. When everything is being finalized you will be asked to prove your grades which can usually be done with an official transcript--both proving your full time enrollment and GPA. If you are using a standardized test, then an official print-out of your score and percentile will suffice. If you are a freshman in high school you may have to wait for a report card, but essentially anyone else should be able to apply anytime during their schooling. The standardized tests may not be the best way to prove yourself, since companies will generally ask you to submit proof every 12 months.
Things are also a little trickier for home-schooled students. Allstate lists in their Good Student Discount section that kids who are homeschooled qualify for the discount. There is no mention of home schooling from GEICO or State Farm however. Those who are home schooled will have to ask their company directly and see if they have any specific requirements. If not, a standardized test may be the only way for homeschool students to get the discount.
For some companies such as State Farm, you do not even have to be enrolled in college. If you completed a two or four year degree and are under 25 years old--you will just need to get your cumulative transcript from your school that shows you meet the minimum requirements. Furthermore, if you are married you generally will not qualify for the good student discount because rates for married people are already discounted compared to single drivers.