The days of the college care package from mom are officially over. At least, the kind you have to pack yourself, lug to the post office and pay out the nose to send to your kid at college. And then do it again when they call you in a panic because they forgot something. And again… ad infinitum. For parents of college kids, or for independent college and pennywise college students, Amazon has an alternative — Amazon Prime Student.
Amazon Prime Student has been around since 2017 and yet somehow has managed to stay beneath many online shoppers’ radar, perhaps overshadowed by all of the other offerings from the online behemoth. But it’s well worth looking at if you’re a college student or the parent of one. Many of the great offerings of the regular Prime membership also exist in Prime Student, along with some which are exclusively useful to students.
Best of all, Prime Student offers a generous six-month free trial membership to try out, which takes you well into the second semester. All you need is to be currently enrolled in school, proof of enrollment and a .edu email address. The trial includes free 2-day shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, Amazon Music Unlimited for just $1 a month, and other exclusive deals. If you choose to stay with the program, the cost is $59 for a year, or $6.49 per month. (Parents, this is also a great gift for college students.)
The robust trial period, relatively inexpensive membership fee, and our new freshman’s fourth panicked text about something else he left at home hooked us to dive in more deeply to see what else the program has to offer. Keep reading to find answers to the top questions about Amazon Prime Student, including the biggest question of all — is Prime Student worth the money?
Everything Students & Parents Need To Know About Prime Student
Amazon Prime Student is the tech companies discount program for college students, and it’s an extremely attractive offer. Prime’s signature two-day shipping can be a lifesaver for newly independent students. And let’s not forget that Amazon started as an online book and textbook retailer. The company still has millions of new, used and digital books for sale.
Keep reading for the most frequently asked questions about Amazon Prime Student.
Can you get cheap textbooks through Prime Student?
College bookstores are notorious ripoff zones when it comes to textbooks. For years they had you by the neck: You couldn’t not get the books, and they were the only show in town. Thankfully, online vendors like Chegg and TextbookRentals.com have made it easier and cheaper to get necessary books, and also introduced book rentals into the equation. Amazon, naturally, has dived into that market with both feet, and Prime Student offers a robust and easily searchable collection of textbooks at low prices, along with that awesome two-day free delivery.
What products are included?
You can live like a royal in a dorm, or more likely like a royal slob. Either way, it’s going to be home for the foreseeable future, and there’s little to no chance you brought every single thing you needed on move-in day. Again, back in the day, the bookstore had you by the fleshy parts. The bookstore had hundreds of useful items. Amazon has millions. Better prices, fast free delivery. No competition.
When shopping on Amazon, look for the Prime symbol, which indicates that the item is available for Prime’s super-fast delivery.
Is Amazon Prime Video included in Prime Student?
You bet it is. Prime Student offers free access to Prime Video — thousands of movies, shows, and Amazon Originals like The Boys and Cobra Kai. Great for unwinding after class, and also surprisingly relevant and useful for film students, someone writing a paper on pop culture, or other actual academic uses that don’t involve just loafing around in the room.
Unlimited photo storage is another great perk
New experiences, new friends, good times — these all add up to pictures. Tons of pictures. And even the newest cellphones with the largest storage capacities can only hold so many. Included with Prime Student is a free trial membership to Prime Photos, which offers unlimited photo storage. Safer and more secure than leaving them on the phone that will no doubt get repeatedly dropped, and totally free.
Does Prime Student have referral bonuses?
Prime Student members can refer friends to the program, with both the member and their fellow student earning $5 when the other student signs up. Refer 12 other students — hardly unheard of in a dorm full of kids also looking for great deals — and there’s your year’s membership for free.
Is Prime Student Worth the Money?
This is the big question, and our answer is that it’s absolutely worth the money for most college families. Student Prime isn’t without pitfalls, most notably the looming specters of binge-buying and impulse buying. Turning a kid loose with unsupervised one-click buying may rightfully horrify some parents. There’s also the automatic conversion to full membership and accompanying charge after the six-month free membership expires. As with, well, most free memberships which auto-convert in this way, there’s no warning. So set an alarm or an appointment on your phone calendar for the week before it’s about to roll over, so you can decide whether you want to go into full membership, or say thanks and check out.
Those concerns aside? Student Prime is a potential boon to any student and their parent. If you find yourself ordering a ton of products on Amazon for college, then it’s foolish not to put your .edu email address to good use.