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Best Places to Shop Near Columbia if Your Parents Aren't Footing the Bill

By Amy Zimmer | August 9, 2013 5:00pm | Updated on August 12, 2013 6:50am
 Where to shop near Columbia if your parents aren't footing the bill.
Where to shop on a budget
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MANHATTAN — College students on a mission to start their semester at Columbia in style — without the help of their parents' cash or credit cards — don't have to worry about paying top dollar.

DNAinfo.com New York has collected a host of city stores offering student discounts and other wallet-saving tips, so you can stretch your cash — or whatever you can wheedle out of your folks — as far as possible.

Where to Fix Your iPhone:

Sometimes there are things that students need to buy and they don’t want their parents finding out. Matt Nathanson, co-owner of Fix My iPhone (1501 Broadway at West 47th Street, 12th floor; 100 Church St., near Park Place, 8th floor), sees his fair share of Columbia University students with broken iPhones from a night of partying.

 Cool places for college students on a budget.
Places to go when you're on a budget
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“It’s mostly people going out and getting drunk on Amsterdam [Avenue],” he said. More than 80 percent of repairs are for cracked screens.

“We’re able to fix everything except water damage,” he said. “That has an 80-percent success rate.”

It takes 30 minutes to fix an iPhone 4 (cost: $75) and 5 minutes to repair an iPhone 5 (cost: under $140). Students with a valid student ID get $10 off.

Where to Get Furniture: There are two Housing Works Thrift Shops on the Upper West Side (2569 Broadway, between 96th and 97th streets, and 306 Columbus Ave. at West 74th Street) stocked with an impressive array of quality vintage pieces. Housing Works' 96th Street location gets “tons of foot traffic” from Columbia students. Because the shops have become a destination for college kids, they now offer “super Tuesdays,” a weekly sales promotion where students get 20 percent off their entire purchase with a valid student ID. Plus, it’s shopping for a good cause: Proceeds are used to help homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Where to Get Clothes:

Thrift shopping tends to be more plentiful Downtown. But Columbia students aren’t too far from a couple of New York department store institutions that cater to shoppers hunting for designer duds at big discounts. Loehmann’s (2101 Broadway at West 74th Street) — famous for its communal dressing rooms — may be a favorite for the chic gray-haired set, but it’s also stocked with surprising finds for fashionistas. Century 21 (1972 Broadway at West 66th Street) attracts hordes for a reason. You never know what high-end threads for cheap you can uncover, though it’s usually dependable for staples like underwear, socks and tights.

Where to Get a Haircut:

Hop on the No. 1 train and head down to TriBeCa if you want a $25 haircut that looks like you just spent more than $100. The student stylists at Arrojo Studio (180 Varick St.) are always looking for hair models for their classes, which are held five days a week from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The salon’s top-notch professionals guide the students closely. (Call ahead to get an appointment.)

“The city’s student community make up a large portion of the clients and models in our student salon,” school director Gina Arrojo said. “It's a great way for our students to meet young, like-minded future clients — and a great way for those on a budget to get connected to one of the world's most renowned hairdressing brands."

Where to get some culture:

The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 W. 125th St. ; $3 for students and free every Sunday) is mounting a big show, “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art,” co-presented with NYU’s Grey Art Gallery (100 Washington Square East). It's the first comprehensive survey of more than 50 years of performance art by black visual artists and will feature an array of live performances and public programs. The show will be on view Nov. 14, 2013 to March 9, 2014 at the Studio Museum.