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  • Amazon Student
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Amazon Student offers students enrolled in college a 50% discount on Prime benefits.

While Amazon has been around for quite a while, their massive gain in popularity has primarily taken place over the past decade. The company is now a household name and it is tough to find someone who hasn't bought something off their website whether it be a physical or digital product.

Back in 2005, Amazon began offering their signature Prime service which provides free two-day shipping as well as discounted one-day shipping rates on eligible purchases. A few years later they added online video streaming functionality in which a Prime membership receive access to thousands of select movies and TV shows for no additional cost. The latest benefit Amazon Prime members received is the chance to digitally borrow certain book titles while using Kindle hardware at a limit of 1 per month.

In this review, we are going to take an in-depth look at Amazon Prime Student aka Amazon Student and give you an idea of how it works, what benefits you receive, and how my first-hand experience with Amazon Student has been thus far. Keep in mind this review is based solely on my personal experience using the Amazon Student service and no outside influences have skewed the influence of this review.

Amazon Student is the Amazon Prime service which caters to students and only available for current students. If you do not attend a college or university and do not have access to a valid .EDU email address then you will be unable to join Amazon Student. Those who do qualify simply need to visit this link and submit a completed sign-up form. Once it is submitted, you will receive an email with a verification link which you need to confirm to complete the sign-up process. You do not need to have your .EDU email listed on your Amazon account, you just need to be able to access it for a verification email.

As of right now, you can get free 6 month trial for new Amazon Student signup before being charged the $39 per year fee. The only catch during this trial is that you are not granted access to the movie streaming capabilities or Kindle book borrowing, you simply get the free 2-day shipping benefits and exclusive student-only deals. Once the 6 months is up, you can either choose to manually cancel your Amazon Student plan or let it automatically bill you the $39 fee which will extend your Prime shipping benefits for another 12 months as well as gain the ability to stream content from the Prime Instant Video library as well as borrow Kindle books.

Once you graduate from college, Amazon will rebill you at the $79/year fee although they will warn you via email before this happens. If you haven't graduated and they think you already have, there is an appeal process to keep your Amazon Student account. However, Amazon will only allow someone to be a member of Amazon Student for 4 years total and if you want to continue having Prime after that, you'll need to pay the regular $79/year price.

If you aren't familiar with the benefits of Amazon Prime, I'll briefly discuss each of them below:

Free Two-Day Shipping

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 1.03.04 PMWith an Amazon Student membership, you'll gain the ability to purchase eligible products and have them at your door within 2 business days of placing your order. While it doesn't cover all products (many 3rd party sellers won't guarantee 2-day shipping), it covers the vast majority. To determine whether your desired item is Prime eligible, visit the product page and look for the Prime logo which should be present next to the price (see photo). If you don't see this Prime logo then the free Prime shipping benefits are not eligible from this particular seller or product. If you are in a desperate hurry to receive your items then you may be offered 1-day shipping during checkout for a flat rate of $3.99 per item although this option is hit or miss (you won't always be present).

Unlimited Instant Streaming Of 41,000 Movies & TV Shows

As I stated earlier, once the 6 months has passed or you decide to pay the full $39 per year membership fee, you'll gain streaming access to Amazon's library of movies and TV shows. It does differ slightly from the “Amazon Instant Video” library as some titles or TV series were negotiated to not be included within Prime Instant Video streaming. For the most part, you get access to a great deal of content and are able to stream through most laptops, smartphones, tablets, desktops, gaming consoles, and Smart TVs.

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Borrow Free Kindle Books

Once you're officially on the paid Amazon Student plan, you'll be eligible to borrow a free Kindle book once a month with no due dates. Not all Kindle titles are available for borrowing although there are currently over 500,000 titles and new titles are continually being added. You must own a Kindle in order to be eligible (no iPad support), but it does work with all Kindles of any generation.

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Exclusive Student-Only Deals & Promotions

An added benefit to joining the Amazon Student program is th exclusive deals and promotions on popular products for students. These are mainly sent via e-mail a couple of times a month. Additionally, the Amazon Student Program offers sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests every couple of months. Just these past few months, they gave away a real Audi TT and a Mustang GT500 to lucky students!

I've had a member of the Amazon Student program for the past two years and have had great success with the progam. While it may not be right for everyone, I think signing up for the 6-month free trial could never hurt and can help save you valuable shipping time if you have to buy something off Amazon.

I assume most college students do a lot of shopping on Amazon so the shipping alone makes it worth it (did I mention they sell ramen in bulk?). The low prices typically can't be beat and the combination of 2-day shipping takes away much of the advantage of a standard brick-and-mortar store. The Prime shipping has always been fast and convenient and I've only had one item arrive late. This was due to snow and even though the situation was out of their hands, Amazon gave me a $5 coupon to use on a future purchase.

As you likely know, Amazon's support staff is phenomenal and they are always there to help you with any order trouble or general inquiries 24/7, 365 days a year. Besides the low prices, the customer support is one of the deciding factors as to why I keep coming back to do business with them and this is something that is becoming hard to find with today's retailers.

I'll admit, I don't use the Prime Instant Video service on a regular basis although I will default to it if I can't find a certain movie title or TV show on Netflix. The selection is vast however many of the titles are older or less popular. There is a fair share of newer content like full seasons of Suits, Justified, Californication, American Horror Story: Asylum, and Storage Wars. Since many of you reading this were probably born in the late 80s or early 90s, you can get nostalgic and watch full seasons of Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, and many other shows we all watched growing up.

I have only used the Kindle book borrowing library a few times, but their selection is surprisingly good. For example, they currently have over 100 titles from the New York Times best seller list as well as all 7 of the Harry Potter books. Since I'm not an avid reader, this benefit didn't exactly reel me in although I could easily see it being a valuable asset to the right person.

In the end, I've found the Amazon Student membership to be a stellar service that is well worth the $39 year. Since they offer a free 6-month trial, I can't find any reason not to sign up and reap the free two-day shipping benefits for no cost. While I opted to renew at $39 year, the trial does not require a commitment and you're welcome to cancel anytime before your 6 months is up to avoid being billed. The bottom line is if you'd like to enjoy free 2-day shipping, free Kindle book borrowing, and free access to over 41,000 streamable movies and TV shows then Amazon Student is likely an excellent choice for you and I would recommend it to any prospective students who are considering joining.