The Factory Times is the school newspaper for SUNY Poly.

Free or Close to I.T.

Free or Close to I.T.

 Did you know there are free, and close to free, software and services for students of information technology? This week we’ll touch o the “close” to free, as in student discounts. It doesn’t matter whether the student is in high school, vocational, college, or graduate school, so long as they have a school issued email address that ends in “.edu.” Whether you’re a student yourself, a professor with a room full of students, or even just a family member of a student, the following list of websites, in some cases full-on-memberships, can save between 10 and 60 percent off the out-of-box prices on industry leading hardware, software, and services. 


The discounts I have positive personal experiences with can be broken down into four categories:  

  • Hardware 

  • Software 

  • Services 

  • Publications 



A popular service holding the keys to the gates of university enrollment verification is UNiDAYS. In the case of HP for instance, students will have to sign up with UNiDAYS to obtain the discounts on HP hardware products. UNiDAYS also offer discounts on Dell, Apple, Alienware, and Samsung with varying percentages and dollar amounts off their most popular products for students. Apple has a direct line for students, and so does Microsoft, for anyone into window shopping. You won’t have to hand over your information to a third party just to take a look. 



When it comes to software, UNiDAYS again seems to have it all, but for the creative students among us, they’re missing an Adobe product section. Through Abobe’s own site they company offer discounts up to 60%-off out-of-box pricing for their Creative Suite products. 



In terms of services, Amazon’s Prime Student is a great deal with its first six months free, then only $59 per year. Between their all-you-can-eat delivery service and Prime Video streaming, I have zero complaints, but I also haven’t hit the end of my first six months. Discounted mobile phone service, though barely enough to counteract a phone lline’s billable excise taxes, is available from one or more carriers, making it worth a student’s while to shop around AT&T and Sprint in search of the best student discounts. Each company has varying eligibility requirements. 



My final picks are three of my most hated pay-wall publications. Believe it or not, I was able to turn that hate around when I decided to pay one dollar per week for a digital subscription to the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal and The Economist are also just one dollar per week for the avid news-readers among us. 


Stick around for next week’s Part Two, where I get in to the best free software money can’t buy. Well, technically money can buy it, but if you’re a student you don’t have to! Check the terms and conditions of any offer, as is one’s duty, but most of these offers are valid for as long as the student’s enrollment is maintained. 

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