Best deals, discounts and freebies for students in 2021

There’s no shame in trying to save money where you can at any point in your life, but especially as a student these days. Fortunately, a lot of companies really want you to use their stuff, so they offer pretty good discounts on so many products and services.

For example, with a valid .edu email address or proof of enrollment (via a validation service such as SheerID or Unidays), you can score impressive deals on Microsoft Office, Spotify and Hulu subscriptions and even Amazon Prime.

We’ve rounded up all of the best opportunities in this article. Be sure to check with your school’s housing department and student bookstore as well, where you might find certain streaming services for free or cheap, and extra discounts on devices and software. For more information, see the best apps for college students to save money and time and the best student credit cards

Read more: Best laptops for college in 2021

Student discounts on fitness and entertainment

These popular music and video streaming services give you breaks on subscriptions. And Peloton just got in on the act as well.

César Salza/CNET

You don’t need a Peloton bike in order to take Peloton classes, which include not only cycling, but also HIIT, running, strength training, yoga and more. The Peloton app offers all that via phone, tablet and most streaming devices.

The regular subscription price is $14 a month; verified students can get it for half that. Additionally, you get the first month free if you’ve never tried Peloton before.

Apple

Apple’s streaming service is already fairly affordable at $5 a month, but if you sign up for an Apple Music student subscription (see below), you’ll get Apple TV Plus at no extra charge. Students can also get Spotify, Hulu and Showtime bundled together for $5 a month, as described below. Decisions, decisions!

Apple/Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

In addition to hardware discounts (see below), Apple offers its Music subscription service at half price for students. That subscription nets you access to some 50 million songs and it’s accessible on all your Apple devices. You also get Apple TV Plus.

YouTube

Normally $12 a month, YouTube Premium is a two-fer: You get ad-free YouTube videos (including the option to download them for offline viewing) and unlimited access to YouTube Music, which is basically YouTube’s answer to Spotify.

Just want YouTube Music? That service is $5 a month for students (regularly $10). Both options allow for a free one-month trial if you want to test the waters first.

Amazon

Not to be confused with the Prime Music benefit, which is included with an Amazon Prime subscription, or Prime Student, which you can read about below. Music Unlimited is Amazon’s full-on, massive-library music service, which rivals the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. Anyone who has a Prime Student subscription can get Music Unlimited for just $1 a month — by far the cheapest music-streaming option anywhere.

Angela Lang/CNET

Arguably the best student deal in the history of student deals, Spotify offers a $5 ad-free plan that includes both Hulu (ad-supported) and Showtime. Nonstudents pay a minimum of $10, $6 and $11 a month, for a grand total of $27. That’s an awful lot of entertainment for $5.

If you already have a premium account, it’s easy enough to convert to the student version. If you’re part of a family plan, however, check if it would be cheaper for the family to keep you on the $15 plan.

Just want Hulu? Keep reading.

Hulu

If you don’t need or want Spotify or Showtime, Hulu proper now offers a dirt-cheap deal for students: Just $2 monthly for the standard plan (meaning with commercials), $4 off the regular price.

As with most other such deals, you just need to prove your eligibility. Thankfully, this offer is good even if you’re already a Hulu subscriber. It’s not just for newcomers.

Student discounts on money management

If there’s one thing most students could use a hand with, it’s managing money.

You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget offers a wealth of tools and classes to that end. It normally costs $84 a year, but as a student you can get the first year absolutely free. But be warned, unlike a lot of other digital services the only way you get this discount is by submitting physical proof of enrollment to the company.

James Martin/CNET

Financial institutions may offer student deals as well. Bank of America, for example, will waive monthly fees if you do all your banking through its banking app and ATMs.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers a similar deal to Bank of America’s and will waive monthly fees for students 17 to 24 years old.

Student discounts on apps and software

While you may be able to get software at a discount through your school’s bookstore, you won’t do any better than free.

Microsoft

Microsoft sells Office Home & Student for $149. But you can do better than that with the free Office 365 Education, which gives you access to the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams (the latter potentially useful for organizing and executing group projects) and other Office apps for free. All that’s required is a valid school email address.

Evernote

Evernote gives students 50% off the premium version for a year. That works out to $4 a month for industrial-strength note-taking. After that first year, however, the price goes back to the regular $8 monthly.

Student discounts on shopping and tech

From Amazon to Groupon, you can save up to 50% on services and devices.

Read more: All the latest coupons from Amazon, Best Buy, Groupon, Lenovo and Microsoft.

Amazon

With an Amazon Prime Student membership, you can all get the benefits of a Prime subscription for half the price of the regular service. The student program includes free one- and two-day shipping, video streaming via Prime Video, Prime Music and unlimited online photo storage through Prime Photos.

Prime Student starts with a free six-month trial and then goes for $59 a year (half the cost of a regular Prime subscription). You can participate for four years. Plus, if you rent or buy or sell textbooks through the Amazon textbook store, you can get free two-day shipping.

Apple

Apple has long offered price breaks for students, including a half-price Apple Music subscription (see above) and discounts on iPads and Macs. One deal that’s available now: Buy a Mac (at education pricing) and get free Apple AirPods. Students can also save 20% on an AppleCare Plus warranty program.

Best Buy

Best Buy offers student savings on a wide variety of products, from laptops to TVs to mini fridges. To get the discounts (which in some cases can be applied to existing sale prices), you need to create or sign into your My Best Buy account, then sign up for student deals. Thankfully, you don’t need an .edu email address, and in fact you don’t actually have to be a student; parents of college and K-12 students can sign up as well. 

Groupon

Groupon’s program affords college students an extra 25% off food, drink, activity and other local deals. That’s for the first six months. After that, you save 15% for as long as you remain an eligible student.

Angela Lang/CNET

Students, teachers and administrators can all score an extra 5% off Lenovo’s laptops and that’s on top of any existing sales or bundles (with a few exclusions, of course). You’ll have to provide verification at checkout.

Adorama’s new program promises exclusive discounts on video, audio and photography gear, from brands like Sigma, Sony and FujiFilm. To sign up, just set up an Adorama account and then use Sheer ID to verify your student status.

Have you found any other great college deals to share? List them in the comments!

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