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OPINION: 10 discount subscriptions for broke college students

Jasmine Ma

It can be hard for college students to save money and have fun, but there are many discounts they can use to help keep costs down. 

Let’s face it, one of the trademarks of being a college student is the fact that we’re always broke. The level of financial strain may vary, but many of us share the same sentiment of how expensive being a college student is.

College students have a range of expenses to worry about that are both directly and indirectly caused by their decision to pursue higher education. We have to worry about tuition, housing, textbooks, school supplies, transportation, food, the list goes on. And that doesn’t include the other miscellaneous costs that we may bring into our college experiences such as cellphone plans, clothes to wear for important occasions, internet service or car insurance. 

Considering all of these costs into the typical college student’s budget, it doesn’t leave much room for a student to indulge in any form of entertainment. Want to go to the movies? Well, be prepared to just eat instant ramen for the next couple of weeks.

Luckily for us, companies out there understand the strain our pockets go through on a daily basis and have granted us one of the many perks of being a student: student discounts.

I have compiled a list of 10 student discounted online subscriptions that college students can take advantage of.

1. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a membership program Amazon offers that comes with a variety of perks. These perks include free two-day shipping, access to Amazon Video (Amazon’s streaming service), unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, access to Prime Music, special deals and more. The cost of an Amazon Prime subscription for typical users is about $14.99 monthly and $139 yearly, however, Amazon offers a special discount for students called Amazon Prime Student.

Amazon Prime Student subscriptions are roughly 50% off the regular price ($7.49 monthly and $69 yearly). All that you need to receive this discount is your university student email to confirm your status and for four years you’ll receive this discounted price.

Not sure if Amazon Prime is for you? Another cool perk that comes with the student discount is that students start off with a six-month free trial when signing up. So, you’ll be able to enjoy swift deliveries as well as watch the latest Prime Video movies and shows.

2. Grubhub+

Grubhub is a food ordering and delivery app that adds a layer of convenience for users. It is especially popular amongst college students and college campuses, partnering with over 250 college campuses according to Restaurant Dive. Grubhub offers a membership program called Grubhub+ that offers perks to users such as unlimited free delivery on orders $12 or more from selected restaurants, Elite Care (VIP customer service) and other added benefits. This membership normally costs $9.99 monthly.

There is no direct discount on the cost, but students who have an Amazon Prime Student account can sync their account to their Grubhub account and receive Grubhub+ for free. This lasts as long as they have an Amazon Prime Student account. Students should be aware though that if they have alcohol in their orders, the Grubhub+ benefits won’t apply. 

3. Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that offers access to popular movies and films as well as offers original content. There are two levels of membership that come with this service. The ad-supported plan costs about $6.99 monthly while the no-ads plan costs about $12.99 monthly.

Students get a discounted price when signing up for Hulu that only costs students $1.99 monthly, however, this plan is ad-supported so students will receive ads while watching their video content. If students already have a Hulu account, they can switch to the student plan by accessing their account page and selecting the Hulu student discount.

In either case, students will be prompted to verify their enrollment status by inputting their university student email. Hulu uses a third-party verification service called SheerID to verify their status. This discount will last for four years.

4. Paramount+

Paramount+ is another video streaming service that gives users access to a variety of content ranging from live sports, movies, shows and original content. A typical Paramount+ membership costs about $4.99 monthly for the ad-supported plan as well as about $9.99 monthly for the commercial-free plan.

Paramount+ offers a discount for students that takes 25% off the basic plan which roughly equals around $3.74 monthly. This plan is ad-supported so students will receive ads while watching video content. To get this discount, students will need to verify their student credentials which includes their name, date of birth and name of their university. Once verified, students will have access to this discounted price for four years.

5. Discovery+

For any students who are history buffs or reality TV bingers, Discovery+ is the video streaming service for them. Discovery+ offers content that includes networks like “Food Network,” “Animal Planet,” “TLC” and more. A subscription costs about $4.99 monthly for the ad-supported plan and $6.99 monthly for the ad-free plan.

Discovery+ offers a discounted price of $2.99 monthly for the ad-supported plan, which is roughly 40% off the regular price. Students who sign up for the first time will receive a seven-day free trial. In order to receive this discounted price, students must verify their student status with student documentation. This may include a student ID, a class schedule or anything that proves a student’s enrollment status.

Discovery+ uses a third-party verification service called SheerID in order to verify status. Students will have to re-verify every 12 months in order to continue receiving this discounted price.

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6. Spotify

Spotify is a music streaming service that allows you to listen to an endless amount of music ranging from Pop, R&B, Classics, Rap and more. Spotify also offers a variety of podcasts to suit listeners’ needs. Users are able to make a free account, although the free account has a few limitations such as ads in between songs. For an individual premium account, it costs $9.99 monthly and offers ad-free music, offline play and on-demand playback.

The student discount that Spotify offers lowers the cost of the subscription to $4.99 monthly, with the first month free. Not only does this plan include ad-free music, offline play and on-demand play but with a Spotify account, students also get access to Hulu (an ad-supported plan) and Showtime.

In order to get this discount, students will have to verify their student status through SheerID which Spotify will automatically prompt them to do when signing up. This discount will last up to four years.

7. Pandora

Pandora is another music streaming service that offers access to a seemingly endless amount of songs and podcasts. You can make a free account to get access to their content, but the free account comes with its limitations such as being ad-supported, restricted search and play, limited skips and more. Pandora offers a premium account that costs $9.99 monthly. The premium account allows for an ad-free listening experience, search and play, unlimited skips, offline listening and more.

For students, Pandora offers a discounted cost of 50% off the original price ($4.99 monthly). When students sign up, they’ll also get a free 60-day trial. When signing up, they’ll be prompted to an eligibility verification page in order to verify their enrollment status as a student. Once verified, students will have access to this discounted price for four years.

8. Apple Music

Apple Music is a service that Apple offers that acts as a music streaming service. Geared towards Apple users, the service offers multiple plans depending on what a user is looking for. The cost of an individual plan is $9.99 monthly which gives people access to 90 million songs, over 30,000 playlists, ad-free music, the ability to download 100,00 songs, access to songs offline plus other features.

A student discount is offered for this service at the price of $4.99 monthly. It gives access to all the same features as an individual account. Users that sign up also get a free one-month trial. Another perk that comes with an Apple Music account is the fact that users also get free access to Apple TV, a video streaming service, as long as they have an Apple Music Student account.

In order to receive this discount, when signing up students will be prompted to verify their enrollment status through the UNiDAYS website. This discount will last up to four years.   

9. SiriusXM

SiriusXM is another music streaming service that offers live and on-demand audio entertainment. This includes music, sports, and entertainment such as comedy, podcasts, celebrity interviews and more. For the highest premium streaming plan, it costs about $10.99 monthly.

For students, SiriusXM offers a discount of $1 for three months before switching over to a price of $4 monthly. In order for students to receive this discount, they must verify their student standing through the third-party verification service SheerID. The information needed for this process will include the name of the student’s university, name and birthday.

Students who use this service will have to re-verify their standing every 12 months to confirm whether or not they are still full-time students.

10. YouTube

YouTube is an online video-sharing platform that has grown exponentially ever since it was created in 2005. YouTube offers a subscription plan called YouTube Premium that comes with perks to enhance the viewing experience. This includes ad-free viewing and the ability to play videos in the background, the ability to download videos to view offline and access to YouTube Music Premium. This plan normally costs $11.99 monthly.

YouTube offers a discount for students that lowers the monthly cost to $6.99. When students sign up, they also will get a one-month free trial. Students will be directed to a third-party verification website to prove eligibility for the discount. The discount lasts up to four years, although it requires users to annually verify their status as a student.

*Disclaimer: The listed prices stated for each section may be subjected to additional costs/fees. These are also the current numbers as of July 2022, and may change in the future.

Follow Tereza Rascon on Twitter

Tereza Rascon (she/her) is a senior majoring in English. She enjoys reading, writing and watching the latest movies and shows.

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