Can I Get a Student Discount on Cable?

Check out tips for how to save money on your cable bill, plus a variety of cable packages good for a student’s budget.

If you’re looking for a cable company that will take one look at your student ID and slash its prices . . . good luck. It can’t hurt to ask for a student discount, but we haven’t found any specific student discount promotions this year.

With the affordability and flexibility of streaming live TV packages, streaming is our go-to recommendation for college students. But we’ve also found a variety of cable packages good for a student’s budget—so you can afford to chow down on pizza instead of instant ramen while you’re watching the game on ESPN.

Affordable Cable Deals for Students

Provider Package Channel Count Promotional Price Contract Length
Xfinity Popular TV 125+ $49.99/mo. for first 12 months 1 year
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Spectrum TV Select 125+ $49.99/mo. for first 12 months No contract
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DIRECTV DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT 160+ $74.99/mo. for first 12 months 2 years
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Most cable companies don’t have nationwide coverage, so it’s important to find out which ones can provide service to your student housing. Enter your zip code below to find all the TV providers near you:

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Best Xfinity Deal for Students: Popular TV

Digital Starter Package Details

125+ channels
• $49.99/mo. for first 12 months
• 1-year contract

Advantages

  • Pac-12 Network included
  • Affordable option

Disadvantages

  • 1-year contract
  • Pricier no-contract plans

Sports fans will appreciate the Digital Starter package from Comcast Xfinity since it comes with the Pac-12 Network. While this plan includes a one-year contract, Xfinity has no-contract plans available for $10.00 more per month. That’s a bit pricier, but the freedom to leave a provider whenever you want can give you extra peace of mind.

Best Spectrum Deal for Students: TV Select from Spectrum

TV Select Package Details

125+ channels
• $49.99/mo. for first 12 months
• No contract

Advantages

  • No contract
  • Solid channel lineup

Disadvantages

  • More expensive option

Spectrum, which formed from a merger between Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, also offers no-contract plans. The channel lineup with the TV Select package is solid but doesn’t include anything too exciting.

And while TV Select has fewer channels than Contour TV, it’s just as expensive, so see if you have other options before signing up.

Best DIRECTV Deal for Students: DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT

DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT Package Details

160+ channels
• $74.99/mo. for first 12 months
• 2-year contract

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Advantages

  • Included DVR
  • HBO®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, and Cinemax® included for 3 months

Disadvantages

  • 2-year contract

DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT isn’t ideal for most students, but it has a lot to offer if it works for you.

But if you’re confident you’ll be living in the same place for more than one year and you’re okay with the price rising to $90.00 per month after the first year, this package is great for TV lovers. It comes with the Genie DVR included, and you’ll get three months of HBO®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, and CINEMAX® at no extra cost.

View DIRECTV Plans

3 Tips for Students Buying Cable

1. Bundle TV with internet.

If you’re already getting internet, it’s smart to order TV and internet from the same company. You’ll usually get a discount for bundling and sometimes additional incentives as well. And with both services on the same bill, it’s a lot easier to keep track of.

2. Ask about student deals.

It never hurts to ask! Call your provider prepared to do a bit of haggling for the price and channels you want, and it could pay off. You may be surprised to discover some unadvertised discounts and promo rates.

3. Consider low-cost alternatives.

In our post “Free and Low-Cost Cable TV Options,” we’ll clue you in on over-the-air TV and streaming TV options you might not have considered. Also, saving money on a TV can free up money for a better cable package, so check out the best TVs for students.

Choose your new TV provider.

There are a lot of choices out there. We listed the favorites for college students, but you could find a great deal from a provider not on our list. Enter your zip code below to see all your options:

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