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Best Back-to-School Student Internet Deals and Discounts

When you’re a student — whether tackling college away from home, experiencing high school for the first time or finding yourself amid middle school — juggling the responsibilities of education, no matter what level, can be tough. Whether you engage in remote learning or are back on campus, you will need a reliable, affordable internet connection. Those don’t come cheap, but many broadband discounts available could help ease the financial burden on you and your family.

Start by checking out federal broadband support

Before digging into provider-specific deals, begin with federal programs that may be of use no matter which internet service provider covers the area in which you live or go to school. If you or anyone in your household participates in Federal Public Housing Assistance, the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or other qualifying federal programs, you will likely be eligible.

First off is Lifeline, a program that’s been around since 1985. It’s often viewed as a program for seniors — participation in Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income are among some of the qualifiers — but Lifeline aims to offer assistance for all low-income households. That makes it a viable option for families with K-12 kids or college students out on their own. Eligibility factors include income of 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines or participation in federal assistance programs like FPHA or SNAP.

Once you qualify, you get a $9.25 per month discount on your internet bill. That’s $111 a year off your broadband costs.

If you qualify for Lifeline, you’re also eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, a government subsidy program set up by the Federal Communications Commission. Qualified individuals and households will receive a monthly discount on the cost of broadband service from participating internet service providers.

You can use the ACP for the programs listed below, which might fully cover your monthly charge. Or you could also opt to use the ACP to help pay for a faster plan with more megabits per second.

Now, without further ado, here are some of your options.

Back to School Student internet deals and discounts FAQs

Will AT&T give students a discount on internet service?

AT&T does not have a specific home internet discount program for students. They do have a discount plan called Access from AT&T that is aimed toward homes with participants in Head Start or the NSLP.

This is not to be confused with AT&T’s wireless plans, which do offer discounts based on school or university eligibility.

Does the government offer free internet?

Not explicitly, but it is possible to essentially get free internet from the government by utilizing theAffordable Connectivity Program. This is a government subsidy program set up by the Federal Communications Commission that provides qualifying households with a monthly discount on the cost of internet service.

Once you qualify, you can use the ACP — $30 per month for most households, $75 per month for those living on tribal lands — with participating ISPs. From there, you may be able to select a plan where the amount of the ACP will fully cover your monthly charge. So, in a sense, you’d have free internet from the government.

Which internet providers feature broadband plans for $10 a month?

Cox’s Connect2Compete features 100Mbps for $10 a month, while Mediacom’s Connect2Compete is also $10 a month but for 25Mbps. Astound Broadband provides a 50Mbps plan for $10 a month with its Internet First program and Xfinity’s Internet Essentials plan is 50Mbps for $10 a month.

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