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How to switch to a Prime Student membership

Here are the steps to switch and save by enrolling in a Prime Student membership -- just in time for the new school year.
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor on
jetcityimage / Getty Images

If you're starting college this month, or are already a college student, you're probably aware that expenses stack up pretty fast. From ordering and renting textbooks to buying groceries, there always seems to be something that's adding to your bills. 

Having just graduated in May, I've gone through my fair share of these pesky costs -- with Amazon being a major culprit. What I'd wish I had known, however, is that I (and my family) would have saved money and gotten discounts had I opted for a Prime Student membership instead of mooching off my parents' more-expensive Prime account (sorry, mom and dad). 

Don't make the same mistake as I did. If you have a .edu email, switch your (or your parents') Prime membership over to a Prime Student membership to reap the same benefits for half the price. 

What exactly is Prime Student? 

Prime Student is a discount service designed for higher education students to access the same benefits as a regular Prime member for half the cost. The membership includes unlimited photo storage, savings on rental textbooks, ad-free music for $0.99 a month, LinkedIn Premium, and the usual Prime member deals and free shipping services. 

More: The best music streaming services: Can Amazon top Spotify? 

Am I eligible? 

If you're a student currently enrolled at a college or university, then yes, you are eligible. You will be prompted to register for Prime Student with your .edu email account, so make sure that's available.

How much does Prime Student cost? 

To start, Prime Student users get a free six-month trial, which is significantly longer than the typical 30-day trial for standard Prime users. 

After the trial period, the membership will cost $69 per year (or $7.49 per month). So if you subscribe in August, you can go until the New Year (January) before needing to pay anything for your discounted membership.

Prime Student members can also stream music and TV shows for an additional $0.99/month. 

Enticing, right? Here's how to switch to the subscription plan from your existing Amazon account.

Step 1: Sign into your existing Amazon Prime account 

On the mobile app or web browser, log into your existing Amazon account using the same email you registered with. You don't need to cancel this existing account to sign up, and your .edu email will be used later on in the process.

Step 2: Select the "Customer Service" tab

Once you've logged in, select "Customer Service" in the top right corner.

amazon customer service location
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 3: Search for "Prime Student"

In the Customer Service "help library" search bar, search for "Prime Student" and select the "Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student" option. You may also use this link

prime student info located under the customer service help library
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 4: Fill out your education credentials 

After selecting the "Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student" option, you should be prompted with a "Try Prime Student." button. Click it, and from there, enter the requested information into the form. This process allows Amazon to validate your enrollment, including what college or university you're a part of. When done, click "Start my six month trial."

Note: The six-month trial comes with every Prime Student subscription. Even if you plan on using the subscription for a year or longer, you can view it as a complimentary service from Amazon. 

form to fill out when switching to a prime student membership

Fill out the form by inputting the corresponding information. If you have trouble signing up, follow the link that says "Click Here" and sign up with your .edu email. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 5: Submit

If you are a student and your .edu is active, then click submit and you should be good to go. Your existing payment information for your standard Prime plan will carry over to the Prime Student one. Know that you can always change the payment method.  

More: The 4 best smart pens: Tools for students 

How long does Prime Student last?

Your membership lasts until you leave school (typically four years), but can be prolonged if you move into a graduate program -- just as long as your .edu address remains active. If you, for some reason, get an email from Amazon saying that your annual or monthly Prime Student subscription is ending soon, but you're still enrolled in college, you can verify your continued status to extend the service.

To verify your continuing enrollment, click here or search for "Verify Continuing Student Status" under the "Help and Customer" service search library. 

How do I join Prime Student if I don't have a Prime account?

If you're a student, don't have a Prime account, and want to directly join Prime Student, you will need to sign up for an Amazon account first. 

Then, you can click here on Amazon's website and click on "Try Prime Student" to enroll for Prime Student. 

Do I have to cancel my current account to get Prime Student?

No, you do not have to cancel or deactivate your account. Just follow this link to transfer your account. The benefits you currently have, however, may change. For example, if you currently have a 20% discount on home appliances, that may be revoked in place of a cheaper video streaming service or another discount.  

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