Group buying is certainly on the rise these days, with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offering deals and escapes for half off or more provided enough people purchase the deal. Campus Special is an app that tries to bring deals to money-starved college students by teaming up with local retailers and restaurants in college towns across the U.S., but its scope and reach is lacking in both the number of colleges it covers and the kinds of deals it provides to students.
First of all, the app only covers a little more than 100 schools out of the over 5,000 universities in the U.S. My own alma mater, UC Santa Cruz, somehow did not make the cut. Some of the schools on the apps list of colleges aren’t “live” yet and deals have not kicked in for the upcoming school year. I picked a random college to check out some of the deals that were offered (Chico State because my good friend lives in Chico), and while there was a good range of services (everything from food to tanning and real estate), I didn’t find too many more deals than those already available on other group buying sites.
Campus Special’s selling point is that no money is required up front, you simply tap on the deal and show your phone to whoever is at the cash register to redeem. It’s an innovative concept that I’m sure will be popular with students who are lucky enough to have access to the app, but for now its limited reach within the gigantic U.S. student population will be a major hurdle to overcome.
AppPicker Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
Pick It Up in the App Store: Campus Special