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.

But what we have found is 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

ProviderPackageChannel CountPromotional PriceContract Length
AT&T U-verseU200360+$55.00/mo. for 12 months1 year
See Details
XfinityDigital Starter140+$49.99/mo. for first 12 months1 year
See Details
CoxContour TV140+$64.99/mo. for 12 monthsNo contract
See Details
SpectrumTV Select125+$64.00/mo. for first 12 monthsNo contract
See Details
DIRECTVDIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT160+$40.00/mo. for first 12 months2 years
See Details
ProviderAT&T U-verse
PackageU200
Channel Count360+
Promotional Price$55.00/mo. for 12 months
Contract Length1 year
See Details
ProviderXfinity
PackageDigital Starter
Channel Count140+
Promotional Price$49.99/mo. for first 12 months
Contract Length1 year
See Details
ProviderCox
PackageContour TV
Channel Count140+
Promotional Price$64.99/mo. for 12 months
Contract LengthNo contract
See Details
ProviderSpectrum
PackageTV Select
Channel Count125+
Promotional Price$64.00/mo. for first 12 months
Contract LengthNo contract
See Details
ProviderDIRECTV
PackageDIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT
Channel Count160+
Promotional Price$40.00/mo. for first 12 months
Contract Length2 years
See Details

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:

Best AT&T Deal for Students: U200

ATT-logoU200 Package Details

360+ channels
• $55.00/mo. for 12 months
• 1-year contract

Advantages

  • High channel count
  • Included DVR

Disadvantages

  • 1-year contract

We highly recommend AT&T U-verse as a TV option for students. U200 has all the standard cable channels (CNN, ESPN, MTV, etc.), plus a few extras (Comedy Central, NFL Network, truTV, etc.). AT&T includes a DVR in your plan, so you can record your favorite shows without paying extra.

Unfortunately, AT&T U-verse plans come with a one-year contract. If your financial situation changes or you aren’t staying in your college town over the summer, you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee.

Best Xfinity Deal for Students: Digital Starter

Xfinity LogoDigital Starter Package Details

140+ 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. It’s less expensive than U200, but it doesn’t come with an included DVR.

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 Cox Deal for Students: Contour TV

Cox LogoContour TV Package Details

140+ channels
• $64.99/mo. for first 12 months
• No contract

Advantages

  • No required contract
  • Add-on channel packs available

Disadvantages

  • More expensive option

Contour TV from Cox is a good choice for students because it has no contract period, so you’re free to cancel your cable TV for any reason. It also has most of the popular cable networks, and you can purchase additional “TV Paks” like the Sports and Information Pak, Movie Pak, or Variety Pak to get more of your favorite channels.

Unfortunately, TV Paks will cost you, and Contour TV is already one of the more expensive plans in our lineup. But if you’re okay with Contour TV’s starting lineup, which has a lot of good channels on its own, it’s a good option because you won’t be stuck in a full-year contract.

Best Spectrum Deal for Students: TV Select from Spectrum

Spectrum LogoTV Select Package Details

125+ channels
• $64.00/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 LogoDIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT Package Details

160+ channels
• $40.00/mo. for first 12 months
• 2-year contract

Advantages

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

Disadvantages

  • 2-year contract

You might have seen that itty-bitty price tag and wondered why we didn’t list DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT first. The catch is that all DIRECTV plans come with a two-year contract, which isn’t ideal for most students.

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.

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 in 2018.

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: