By Tracey Dowdy
Like everything else in our lives, students heading off to college will be heading into uncharted territory. While many schools are keeping classes virtual this Fall, some higher learning institutions are implementing changes to resume in-person classes despite COVID-19. Students will be required to be tested, wear masks, and maintain a safe social distance.
Secondary education can be costly, and the challenges that COVID-19 restrictions place on students means that money will be even tighter for many. The good news is, whether online or on-campus, students qualify for discounts on a multitude of products and services.
Students can start by asking what discounts are available on devices and software at the campus bookstore. If your student lives on campus, have them talk to the school’s housing department about any streaming services that may be available for no additional charge. Once they’ve done their homework there, it’s time to check out these deals.
My recommendation is Spotify’s $5 ad-free bundle that includes both Hulu and Showtime. Purchased separately, they run $10, $6, and $11/month, respectively, for a total of $27, so the plan represents significant savings and a massive library of entertainment. Students who already have a premium account can switch to the student version.
Separate from Prime Music included with an Amazon Prime subscription (or Prime Student), Music Unlimited is Amazon’s answer to Apple Music and Spotify. Anyone with a Prime Student subscription has access to Music Unlimited for just 99 cents per month, making it hands-down the most inexpensive music-streaming option.
In addition to hardware discounts, Apple offers its Music subscription service at half price for students – $4.99 a month vs. $9.99 – providing access to over 50 million songs. You also get Apple TV Plus free for one year.
Regularly priced at $11.99 a month, students can get YouTube Premium for $6.99 with a subscription. Watch ad-free YouTube videos (also available to download them for offline viewing) and take advantage of unlimited access to YouTube Music. As a standalone service, YouTube Music is $4.99 per month for students (regularly $9.99). YouTube offers a free one month trial, so it’s a good idea to set a calendar reminder to decide before the trial period is up.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.