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Best Internet Deals & Discounts for Students

kokou adzo

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Student life is a rollercoaster of anxiety and adventures. Whether you are a broke college student or a teen dealing with high school drama, you don’t need the added stress of an unreliable internet service, especially when facing tough deadlines or juggling multiple assignments. Modern education heavily depends on the Internet.

However, many students are unable to afford a reliable service. Fortunately, the Federal Government and numerous internet service providers (ISPs) offer subsidized internet deals. If you are eligible, you can even consider the best ACP internet providers for free internet access. Let’s look at how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and top-tier internet providers facilitate students.

Government-Assisted Internet Programs for Students

Before searching for discounted internet deals in your area, look at the federal government broadband programs to test your chances. The FCC offers two major internet assistance programs to struggling students: the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline. However, only qualifying students can benefit from these offers depending on their household income and participation in specific government assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA). 

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Although ACP is a relatively new program by the FCC, it has successfully connected more than 20 million low-income families in the country. The program, introduced on December 31, 2021, reduces the cost of the internet for struggling households. Qualifying students can also take advantage of this federal program and receive a discount of $30 on their monthly internet bill. Native students are eligible for a greater discount and can save up to $75 on their monthly internet bill.

The eligibility requirements for ACP are simple. Students living in households with income equal to or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible. Moreover, you can also apply for this program if you participate in federal assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, or discounted school lunch programs. The application process is straightforward, but you only have until February 7, 2024, to enroll in this program.

Lifeline

Introduced in 1985, Lifeline is a long-term federal program to assist low-income households. Unlike ACP, the program also targets home phone subscribers, providing a monthly $9.25 subsidy on broadband, home phone service, or internet and voice bundles. The program only provides a discount on one service per household, which means you must choose between getting a discount on a home phone or internet service. However, you can combine your Lifeline benefit with the ACP to receive a much bigger discount on your broadband service.

If you are short on cash, you save $111 on your internet bill in a year by qualifying for this program. The qualification requirements are quite similar to ACP, such as participation in federal assistance programs. The household income, however, should be below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Lifeline is more suitable for households with college students and K-12 kids because it supports all low-income families.

Discounted Internet Plans for Students

Many internet providers offer affordable internet plans to support the educational journey of students. Some of our top picks for the best students’ internet deals and discounts include offers from well-known names like Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T, Frontier, and more. These providers offer exclusive plans to students that are comparatively more reasonable than their conventional packages. For instance, students can subscribe to a 100 Mbps plan for free under the Frontier ACP program. Let’s look at some of the best internet deals for students based on price, availability, and network reliability.

Providers Special Internet Plans Starting Price Download Speed
Spectrum Internet Assist $19.99/mo. Up to 30 Mbps
Xfinity Internet Essentials $9.95/mo. Up to 50 Mbps
Internet Essentials Plus $29.95/mo. Up to 100 Mbps
AT&T Access from AT&T $30.00/mo. Up to 100 Mbps
Cox Connect2Compete $9.95/mo. Up to 100 Mbps
Optimum Advantage Internet $14.99/mo. Up to 50 Mbps
Frontier Frontier Essentials $29.99/mo. Up to 100 Mbps

*Price is subject to change.

**The eligibility criteria of each plan depend on the provider.

These plans are only available to qualifying students, so make sure to check the eligibility criteria on your chosen provider’s website. Moreover, if you qualify for one of the discounted plans in the table above, there is a chance that you might also qualify for the ACP. In that case, you can enjoy free internet access for some time as the ACP benefit will cover your monthly bill.

Conclusion

The Internet has significantly improved the quality of education. It is a major source of information and a platform for publishing research papers. As a student, you don’t have to fall behind your classmates because of inaccessibility to a reliable internet service. The federal government and these ACP providers have made it easier for you to get the speed you want at an affordable price. In fact, you can complete your assignments without paying a single penny by combining your ACP benefit with a low-income plan.

You don’t have to feel disappointed if you are ineligible for the ACP, as several internet providers like Spectrum, AT&T, and more also offer discounted student internet plans. We have highlighted both the federal assistance programs and the discounted internet plans. You can go through the details to see which option is viable for your situation.

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Stri.us. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Stri.us.

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