Streaming Services and VPNs: Where's My Student Discount?
Being a student is expensive, and anyone familiar with dorm life will tell you that anything they can do to live a little cheaper is worth the extra effort. Trying to study on a budget is important, what with textbooks costing the arm and leg that they do these days, and let’s not even get into the exorbitant price of tuition. That’s why it’s important when you’re attending college or university that you try and save money wherever you can, including on the monthly services you pay for that cover things like streaming and internet privacy.
So, which streaming services and VPNs offer the best student discounts in the business? Read on in our guide to find out!
What is a student discount, and how does it work?
To start, it helps to know exactly what a student discount is, and how you can use it to your advantage the next time you sign up for a new service online.
Generally student discounts work something like this: you go to a special signup page made specifically for students, and then as long as you register for that product using an email address that ends in “.edu” (and is recognized as an accredited university by the service you’re trying to sign up for), then you get to enjoy massive discounts only available to college students!
But which VPN providers and streaming services actually offer a student discount, and where are you out of luck in this department?
Streaming services with a student discount
Earlier this year, the music streaming service Spotify teamed up with the TV streaming service Hulu to offer one of the best deals of our era: two for the price of (less than) one.
Even though Spotify technically has its own plan designed for students that grants you access for $4.99 a month, the company also offers a combo pack that comes with unlimited access to Hulu’s commercial plan for $4.99 too. Previously, signing up for both of these services individually would set you back $18.99 per month.
Technically Spotify does have an ad-supported free version that students could use if they really wanted to, but Hulu no longer offers a free option which would still leave you paying for one service anyway if you tried to get both at the same time. The bonus of the combo subscription means that for just five bucks a month you get access to unlimited music and TV/movies, which easily makes it the best deal for students who study hard but also like to take a break once in awhile to catch up on their stories after the textbooks are closed.
Amazon Prime Video
Of all the great deals on this list, Amazon’s offering is undoubtedly one of the best when you add up all the savings over the course of a year.
Normally, an Amazon Prime subscription would set you back $99 annually if you buy the whole year up front, or $12.99 per month if you want to get billed every 30 days ($155.88 annually). With a student discount though, you can cut that price in half to just $6.49 per month or $59 per year.
Not only will you get major savings on the per month plan, but students who sign up for Amazon Student through the company’s page will also get a whopping six month free trial to see if you even like the product in the first place. This means that if you went with the monthly plan after the six month trial ran up, as a student you would only pay $38.94 for an entire year of service!
When you consider that you also get all the benefits that come with an Amazon Prime subscription like free shipping and access to the Prime Now same-day delivery service, it’s clear that Amazon offers one of the best deals in the business for college students around the world.
Although HBONow used to offer a student discount which brought the monthly subscription price of the service down to $9.99 per month (from the standard $14.99/month), the company has stated that it will no longer allow new students to sign up for discounts on the service using their .edu emails going forward. HBO hasn’t elaborated on why they ceased offering the program, but if you already have the discount applied to your account because you signed up while it was still available, then you can keep that price as long as you continue to pay the bill on time and never let the subscription lapse.
Apple music offers a 50% discount to any students who sign up through their school-issued email address, bringing the monthly cost of $9.99 per month down to just $4.99.
And although this is by no means an expensive option, considering that the new Spotify/Hulu combo deal is the same price and offers the benefit of getting a whole library of TV/movies to watch each month, we’d recommend going that route instead. Plus unlike Apple Music which is locked to the Apple ecosystem of devices, Spotify and Hulu stream to just about any device you can think of.
Netflix is another streaming service that doesn’t care to participate in the whole “students stream cheap” thing, and doesn’t offer any sort of discount for those with a .edu email address. Right now the cheapest plan the company features is $7.99 a month, which gives you streaming access on one device but doesn’t even offer the option to stream in HD. In our opinion this essentially makes that plan useless, because who out there really wants to watch gorgeously shot documentaries like Planet Earth in freaking 480p?.
So if you want HD access you’ll have to go one more tier up to the $10.99 a month plan, and the company also offers another bump to the UHD/4K plan for $13.99 a month if you happen to have a TV that features that resolution.
VPNs with a student discount
Now that you’re signed up for all your favorite streaming services with your student discount, it’s time to add a VPN into the mix. It was pretty difficult to find a good number of VPNs that even offer a student discount in the first place, and to be honest the ones we did find weren’t anywhere near as impressive as the kind of money you would save on something like the Spotify/Hulu combo. Then again, there’s barely any services out there that can match that sort of value so I guess the VPNs can be forgiven a bit on this front.
Regardless, here’s a list of the VPN student discounts we found along with how much you can expect to save on each service and what they’ll set you back if you sign up for a monthly or annual plan.
According to a relatively old blog post that surfaced back in 2013, supposedly both students and teachers can get a full year of free access to the Hotspot Shield VPN service as long as they sign up for an account using their .edu email address.
We were unable to verify the veracity of these claims or whether or not the program is still in action (since we don’t have a .edu address to sign up with), but there hasn’t been any news of the plan ending either. So the only way to find out is to head on over to Hotspot Shield’s subscription page and see for yourself!
SlickVPN was another VPN company that was suspiciously vague as to what the actual discounts you would get as a student look like, because the only way to actually see how much you save is to go through the checkout process and register with a .edu address along the way.
That said the company does still offer some kind of discount, so head on over the signup page to see how much you can save today!
HMA! offers a whopping discount of 10% off for students, which may not sound like a lot, but that’s probably because it isn’t. When applied to the annual plans you’re only saving about $0.70 cents a month, which is technically enough for a few extra packets of ramen, but nothing really worth writing home about if we’re being blunt.
Kaspersky Secure Connection
When setting out to research this article, I assumed there would be a lot more discounts available to students on VPN plans than there actually were. Given how keen the industry is to constantly be refreshing their discounts, it was surprising to see that so few actually recognized the struggle that students go through when it comes to their monthly bills. Plus, any discounts we did find were minimal at best.
That said, streaming services like Spotify and Hulu definitely seem to understand that students need to keep their budgets as tight as possible, and the Spotify/Hulu Student combo plan is definitely one of the best in the business when it comes to streaming music and TV shows online.