Best Student Internet Deals & Discounts (2024)

student internet options

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Fast, stable internet service is critical to success for every college student. It’s non-negotiable. Late-night study sessions, weekend essay marathons, and online classes require a reliable internet connection.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at internet providers with the best deals and discounts for college students. We’ll also cover other ways to save money on internet service, government assistance programs, and student tech discounts.

We make finding internet providers in your area a breeze.

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Affordable Internet For College Students

To begin, let’s discuss affordable internet options. Your choices of internet providers as a student are similar to what anyone else can get with a few adjustments in prices and maybe a few perks. 


With Spectrum, students from participating colleges and universities can qualify for Spectrum’s Back to School bundle deals. The internet-only option starts at $50/mo. and offers 200 Mbps, has no contract, and no data caps. You can even sign up for Spectrum’s mobile plan, which gives you access to WiFi hotspots to do your homework on the go.

  • Contract buyouts up to $500
  • Free access to WiFi hotspots
  • Nationwide availability


Xfinity offers one of the juiciest deals on affordable internet for college students. The most basic student plan starts at $25/mo. and may come with additional perks, like a Prepaid Visa Gift Card. Save even more if you move your mobile phone to Xfinity Mobile. The Xfinity student internet plan is only available for students at eligible colleges and universities.

  • Same-day installations
  • 8+ million free WiFi hotspots
  • Unlimited data available


Although Cox doesn’t have any special internet plans for college students, they offer reasonably priced plans for students. Cox offers a basic plan starting under $50/mo. Cox internet does not require annual contracts, which is great for college students that need internet but do not live on or near campus for a full calendar year.

  • Low introductory prices
  • Excellent customer support
  • Blazing fast speeds


Optimum started the Altice Advantage Program, which provides internet to qualifying households for under $15/mo. In some cases, it can even be free. Students must live in the New York City area and attend public school to utilize this service. Qualified households also must be a part of a government assistance program.

  • Reliable internet connection
  • Cable & fiber options
  • Fixed pricing available

Free Internet Options for College Students

Free Internet Services

NetZero is dial-up internet access, while FreedomPop is a mobile carrier that offers a limited amount of free data each month. Both internet services are slow, so they may not be ideal for regular browsing or streaming, but if free internet is what you need, check them out. 

Public Libraries

Another option is to check with your local library, since many libraries offer free internet access to their patrons. This is a great option if you need to use the internet for basic tasks, such as checking email, accessing course materials, and browsing the web.

On-Campus WiFi

Most colleges and universities offer free WiFi throughout their campuses. To find out if your school offers free internet, contact your student services office.

Local Cafes, Retail Stores, & Restaurants

Many local cafes, retail stores (Apple, Best Buy, Target), and fast-food chains offer free Wi-Fi to their patrons.

Community Center

Some community centers, particularly in larger cities, offer free internet access to residents.

Ask a Neighbor

Sometimes students living in close quarters (like in apartment buildings) can strike a deal with a friendly neighbor to share Wi-Fi that’s beneficial for both parties involved.

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Government Assistance for Student Internet

Depending on your family’s or your financial situation, you may qualify for assistance when it comes to your monthly bill. Here are two programs to consider where you’ll receive significant savings on your internet:

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal program that provides discounts on internet service for low-income households. College students who qualify for the ACP can receive a discount of up to $30 per month on their internet bill. This discount can be used to pay for any participating internet provider.

To qualify for it, college students must meet certain income requirements. They must also be enrolled in a participating school or program. Students who are eligible for the Pell Grant are automatically eligible for the ACP. Visit to apply.


Lifeline is a government program that helps cover broadband internet costs for low-income families, domestic violence victims, survivors of natural disasters, and many other scenarios where people cannot afford decent broadband internet service. It doesn’t offer free internet, but people can pair the program with an internet provider to get up to $9.25 off the cost of internet, phone, or internet bundles

To qualify for Lifeline, consumers must have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Or, you must be an active consumer in a government assistance program. Call to check internet availability near you and to see if you qualify.

Enhanced Tribal Benefits

For those on tribal lands, the Enhanced Tribal Benefit steps in, offering more than just a basic discount – it’s a lifeline to staying connected with your educational needs. This program provides additional support, making sure that no matter where you study, the internet is there for you.


In the realm of affordable internet, nonprofits like Connect2Compete are unsung heroes. They’re not just providing a service; they’re opening doors to a world of knowledge, especially for students in low-income households

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What to Look for When Shopping for Student Internet

Online school and virtual classrooms are user-friendly and designed to work smoothly with different computer resources and internet connections. Below are the most common tasks you’ll do as an online student and the internet speed you’ll need for them. Keep this in mind when shopping for internet plans.

Best Internet Speeds for College Students

Web Browsing and EmailAt least 1 Mbps
File SharingAt least 2 Mbps; faster for larger files
Standard Definition (SD) Video ConferencingAt least 2 Mbps
High Definition (HD) Video ConferencingAt least 5 Mbps
Multi-user Video ConferencingAt least 25 Mbps*
Learning Management SystemsAt least 1 Mpbs; Faster for more intensive tasks
Online Quizzes and AssessmentsAt least 1 Mbps
*Performance will also depend on other participants’ internet connections
Web Browsing and EmailFile Sharing
At least 1 MbpsAt least 2 Mbps; faster for larger files
Web Browsing and EmailStandard Definition (SD) Video Conferencing
At least 1 MbpsAt least 2 Mbps
Web Browsing and EmailHigh Definition (HD) Video Conferencing
At least 1 MbpsAt least 5 Mbps
Web Browsing and EmailMulti-user Video Conferencing
At least 1 MbpsAt least 25 Mbps*
Web Browsing and EmailLearning Management Systems
At least 1 MbpsAt least 1 Mpbs; Faster for more intensive tasks
Web Browsing and EmailOnline Quizzes and Assessments
At least 1 MbpsAt least 1 Mbps
*Performance will also depend on other participants’ internet connections

We know that not all of your time online as a student will be spent doing school-related tasks. There’s social media, music streaming, video streaming and more. With all of that to consider, we recommend an internet plan of at least 100 Mbps. This will be more than enough for all the activities listed here.

And speaking of, video streaming is one area where students luck out for discounts. There are multiple student discounts on streaming services available for students to choose from and providers like Xfinity include streaming devices with their internet plans. 

  • Same-day installations
  • 8+ million free WiFi hotspots
  • Unlimited data available

Unlimited Data

Assess your internet usage patterns and look for internet plans with unlimited data if you know you’ll use more than the monthly allotment from your internet provider. It may cost more per month, but it will be far less expensive than paying overage fees.

Annual Contracts

Consider the terms, potential fees and consequences, and your own internet needs before committing to any contracts. Opting for shorter-term contracts, or no contract at all, can provide more flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances during college years. Unless you know you’ll be at the same address for more than a year, it’s best to opt for a no-contract option if it’s available.

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Best Tech Discounts For Students

Saving money on internet for college students is great. But you can save money in other areas related to online learning, like computers, phones, keyboards, and even email. Equipment plays a significant role in how we learn online, and technology stores always have student discounts. 

Microsoft Discounts

Microsoft offers Microsoft Office 365 free to students and educators. It includes Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote, and even Microsoft Teams. All you need is a valid school email. 

BestBuy Discounts

BestBuy student discounts go beyond computers and mice. It offers students of all ages discounts on other technological equipment like coffee makers, mini-fridges, and cameras. BestBuy believes that the modern student should have better access to technology, making the learning experiences better and easier. 

DELL Discounts

DELL is another tech company that wants to see students succeed with the right technology. It allows students to trade in their devices for new ones and price matches competitors’ equivalent technology (i.e. Amazon prices).

Lenovo Discounts

Lenovo extends its discounts to college students and teachers using their ID.ME system. Each time you check out, Lenovo applies discounts to your entire purchase. You’re sure to find a good deal with Lenovo, from gaming computers to phones. 

Apple Discounts

Apple is a tech giant known for its superior technology. As great as their devices are, the products aren’t cheap. Luckily if you’re a student, you can save big money on Macs and iPads. Apple is very generous with its education discount. You can qualify for their discounts if you’re a college student, parent, faculty, staff, or homeschool teacher. 

Earn Rewards for Playing Games

Cosmic Rewards

Save money on tech purchases through the Cosmic Rewards loyalty program. This rewarded play app allows users to earn points, known as Stardust, by completing tasks and challenges in various games. You can then redeem your Stardust for gift cards from Amazon, Target, or other top brands, effectively offsetting the costs of buying high-quality hardware.

Bundling internet and TV is a huge money-saver. Compare our top bundle picks and start saving money today!

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Finalizing Your College Internet Connectivity Decisions

Selecting an internet provider is no easy task, and there’s a lot to consider when selecting the right service. One last thing to consider is that some colleges and universities partner with local internet providers to offer exclusive internet deals for their students. Ask a student relations representative if such offers exist through your school about any exclusive offers. The best internet option is one that combines affordability with reliable connectivity.

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Nick Welch
Nick has spent years navigating the ever-evolving terrain of the telecom and privacy security space, leveraging his extensive knowledge to create insightful content that addresses common internet-related queries and challenges. Away from work, Nick enjoys spending time outdoors with family and his dog. On weekends you can find him hiking local trails or taking on new running routes.