Amazon Prime Student cost: how to get the school discount

Students can get an Amazon Prime discount for back to school sales

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If you're still getting ready to go back to school, or are finding yourself a little under-prepared and have a ton of stuff yet to buy, it's worth checking out Amazon Prime Student for the 2018 school year and beyond.

For one, if you're not already a Prime subscriber in the US or UK, you can sign up for an incredibly long six-month free trial to Amazon Prime Student. That means you won't be faced with the steep price of a Prime membership while you're staring down the even steeper prices of college text books.

Plus, the six-month trial will give you virtually all of the benefits of a fully paid Amazon Prime subscription, and enough time with those benefits to get your school supplies, snack supplies, and party supplies ready for a fun and productive school year.

But that's not even the biggest draw. After six months, Amazon Prime Student members are eligible to get 50% off of the cost a full Amazon Prime membership. 

With that extra cash, you could stock up on dorm room supplies, cover your lab fees, buy the bike you've been eyeing or save up to pay off those inevitable student loans. 

Here's all the details and how to join Amazon Prime Student today and start saving on back to school items like backpacks.

Your free trial will take you into the beginning of the school year, too, and after that you can keep your Prime Student membership active until graduation day.

What is Amazon Prime Student?

Amazon Prime Student is a special Amazon Prime membership for actively enrolled college students. A UK version of Amazon Prime Student is available as well.

It includes a six-month free trial with almost all the benefits of Prime. Some, like unlimited reading and unlimited Prime Music streaming, may be restricted during this trial period. 

However, once the six months are over, you'll receive all the benefits of a full Prime membership, with the exception that you won't be able to share the benefits with another account.

The best part is you get these the Prime perks at a discount: Amazon Prime Student members receive 50% off the cost of a full Prime membership. Normally $99 / £79 a year, this brings the yearly membership price to $59 / £39

This half-off price is good for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. 

At that time, memberships will automatically be renewed at the full Amazon Prime price of $119 / £79 year. Amazon sends an email a few weeks before this goes into effect so you know you'll be charged and have a chance to cancel.

Amazon Prime Student members can cancel their subscription at any time. And if you cancel but have second thoughts, you can always restart your membership. While you'll no longer receive the six-month free trial, you can take advantage of the $59 / £39 per year discount once again. 

Who can join Amazon Prime Student in the US?

To join Amazon Prime Student in the US, you'll need to meet a few requirements. 

First, you must have an Amazon account. If you don't, you can create one here.

You'll also need to be actively enrolled in at least one class at a college or university. Your school must be in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico. 

Stream movies and TV shows with your Prime Student membership

Stream movies and TV shows with your Prime Student membership

You also need a valid .edu email address. This doesn't have to be the email connected to your Amazon account, but it is used to verify that you're a student, so you'll need access to this account. 

And, this is crucial: while you don't necessarily need to provide documentation showing that you're enrolled in college when you sign up for Prime Student, you must be able to provide proof you are if Amazon requests it. 

If you can't provide documentation, Amazon may ask you to reimburse it for the benefits you received while your Prime Student account was in effect. In other words, you'll need to pay back Amazon, which no one wants to do. 

Who can join Amazon Prime Student in the UK?

Amazon UK has similar requirements to signing up for its Amazon Prime Student program, with a few key differences. 

As in the US, you'll need to have an Amazon.co.uk account set up. It's also required that you're 18 years or older.

Amazon Prime Student is also offered in the UK

Amazon Prime Student is also offered in the UK

Enrollment in a higher education institution geographically located in the UK or Republic of Ireland is a must, and while you don't need to provide proof you're enrolled in school at the time of sign up, you must be able to do so if Amazon asks.

Finally, you must have a valid .ac.uk or .edu.ie email address. However, there are alternative methods of signing up without such an email address.

How do I join Amazon Prime Student or Amazon Prime Student (UK)?

To join Amazon Prime Student in the US, head to the sign up page

Select the 'Start your 6-month trial' button. On the next page, enter your school email address and the year you expect to graduate. Amazon uses your this to determine when your Amazon Prime Student membership will end. 

An email will be sent to your .edu account, and from there you can complete the sign up process. 

Enter your .edu email and expected graduation year for Amazon Prime Student in the US

Enter your .edu email and expected graduation year for Amazon Prime Student in the US

In the UK, the Amazon Prime Student sign up page is a bit more involved. You'll need to provide your school email address and expected graduation month and year, as well as your academic level, subject you're studying and your payment method information. 

Once completed, you'll need to verify your academic email address. Your six-month free trial will begin once this is checked off.

Just some of the questions on the Amazon Prime Student form

Just some of the questions on the Amazon Prime Student form

Current Amazon Prime members can switch over to Amazon Prime Student as well. If you want to join Prime Student, head to the sign up page

You'll need to be verified as a student first, and once this happens you'll be refunded the difference between the regular $119 / £79 fee and the $59 / £39 Student fee. You don't need to cancel your current Prime membership to join Prime Student.

What if I don't have an .edu or .ac.uk email?

If you don't have a .edu, .ac.uk, or .edu.ie email address, never fear. There's still a way to sign up for Prime Student without one.

In the US, in order to apply for Prime Student without a .edu email, you'll need to prove you're enrolled at an eligible university or college located in one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C.

To do so, you must send documentation to amazon-student-verification@amazon.com. Make sure all your Amazon account payment information is up-to-date before you do so. 

In the email, include a scan, photo or screenshot of one of the following. It goes without saying these must be yours and not someone else's (sorry, roommate):

  • Student ID with the current term or an expiration date on it. A student ID number won't cut it
  • Transcript or class list for the current term showing your name and the name of your school
  • Tuition bill for the current term showing your name and the name of your school
  • Official acceptance letter for the upcoming term, which must include an enrollment date

A similar bypass is available in the UK and Republic of Ireland for those without an .ac.uk or .edu.ie email. You'll need to show you're 18 or over and that you're enrolled in at least one course at a college or university in the UK. 

You'll send one of the following via scan, photo or screenshot to amazon-student-verification@amazon.co.uk:

  • Valid NUS Extra or NUS Apprentice Extra card that shows your name, school and card expiration date
  • Proof of student status letter printed on official school letterhead. Must include your name and address, course details, start date and expected graduation or completion date
  • Tuition bill for the current term that must include your school's name, course details, start date and your address
  • Tuition invoice for the current term with your name and your school's name
  • Official acceptance letter for the upcoming term printed on official school letterhead. Must include your name, address, course details, enrollment date and expected graduation or completion date

If Amazon determines you meet the necessary requirements to join Prime Student or Amazon Prime Student, you'll receive an email within 3-5 business days with a link to finish the sign up process. 

It's crucial that you enroll within 14 days of receiving this follow-up email. If you don't, you'll have to start the Prime Student membership application process over again.

Though there's extra leg work involved, it's still possible to get the benefits of Amazon Prime Student if you don't have a .edu or .ac.uk email address.

What are the benefits of Amazon Prime Student?

Now that you know how to sign up for Amazon Prime Student, the big question is, what do you get out of it?

Amazon Prime Student is essentially a full Prime membership at half the yearly cost. The only Prime benefit you don't get once your six-month free trial ends is the ability to share your account with anyone else. 

Though Prime Student is only valid for a limited time (four years or until you graduate), it allows you to take advantage of almost all the perks of Prime for less money, which is crucial as your wallet is likely stretched thin already.

In the US, Prime Student benefits include free two-day shipping on eligible purchases with no minimum order size, unlimited movie and TV show streaming, unlimited photo storage on Prime Photos and unlimited reading on your devices thanks to Prime Reading.

Amazon Prime Student also includes deals and promotions just for members, which you'll learn about through email alerts. You'll also receive early access to Amazon Lightning Deals, seeing the best deals 30 minutes before non-members.

Depending where you live, you might also be eligible for free same-day delivery and free two-hour delivery. Forget to buy a textbook and need to cram before a big exam? Amazon Prime Student could come to the rescue. 

Amazon Prime Student also offers release-date delivery, meaning if you pre-order an eligible book, movie or video game, you'll receive it on the day it hits store shelves. Did you suddenly become the most popular person on your floor because you got Super Smash Bros. Ultimate before anyone else? We thought so.

Amazon Prime Student offers rewards for referrals

Amazon Prime Student offers rewards for referrals

In the UK, Amazon Prime Student members can enjoy free one-day delivery on eligible purchases, unlimited movie and TV show streaming through Prime Video, access to Prime Music, exclusive Amazon Prime Student deals and promotions and unlimited storage in Prime Photos.