Spectrum doesn’t offer specific discounts for homes with K–12 or college students. You can find other ways to save money with Spectrum, though. You’ll find these in this guide. Read on to learn more.
I want to help students save money on their Spectrum internet and television plans. So I gathered as much information as possible from various sources.
I’ll cover the following information throughout this guide:
- Whether they offer student discounts
- Other Spectrum discounts
- Best internet plans
- Best bundles
- Internet plans
- Ways to lower your bill
Here we go.
Does Spectrum Offer Discounted Internet for Students?
Spectrum doesn’t offer discounts for students on their cable internet and TV services.
Don’t let that get you down. Recheck this post frequently to see whether we add deals.
Meanwhile, you can find other ways to save money with this service provider.
Spectrum Discounts for New & Existing Customers
Let’s dive into other deals, discounts, and promotions Spectrum offers on their various services.
I’ll talk about how much you’ll save, how to get the ‘special,’ and additional information new and existing student customers want to consider with these deals.
Spectrum Low-income Internet
Spectrum Internet Assist is a low-income internet plan that costs $17.99 monthly. You’ll get 30/4.0 Mbps internet speeds with no data cap or contract.
But you’ll need to participate in at least 1 of the following programs:
- Supplemental Security Income
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
To apply for Internet Assist, you’ll need to visit this page and upload documents proving that you’re receiving these benefits. Spectrum is super vague in specifying acceptable documents.
They mention PDF and JPG files. But don’t mention whether you must scan the documents or if you can snap a picture of them on your phone. They only say, “documents are official, legible and complete.”
I recommend calling 888-369-2408 or using their online chatbot to get an answer.
They don’t have as lenient requirements as other providers’ low-income programs. But it could give you access to cheap internet. Free if you use the ACP credit.
Another downside to Spectrum’s low-income internet solution is that it doesn’t include a free gateway. You’ll get a free modem, but you must either buy your own router or pay $5.00 monthly for Spectrum’s oddly-shaped router.
Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program Credit
New and existing Spectrum customers can save $30 monthly on any home internet plans if they qualify for an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) credit.
Students living in qualifying Tribal Lands can save $75 monthly on any cable internet package.
To get this government-funded credit, you’ll need to meet at least 1 of these qualifications :
- Household income 200% below Federal Poverty Guideline
- Participate in programs like Pell Grant, Medicaid, SNAP, or Reduced-Price lunch
- Live on qualifying Tribal Lands and participate in tribal benefits programs (e.g., Tribal TANF)
To apply for the ACP through Spectrum, first you’ll need to sign up for an internet-only plan. If you’re using low-income internet, you’re almost guaranteed to qualify. And you’ll have free internet when combining the credit and plan.
Upon signing up for Spectrum, you’ll need to visit affordableconnectivity.gov, scroll toward the bottom of the page, and apply online.
Spectrum DOES NOT offer discounted laptops or tablets like other ISPs who participate in the ACP program .
Before moving onto an awesome freebie, let’s take a look at your savings with the credit:
Free Peacock Premium Subscription
All Spectrum TV subscribers can get a free Peacock Premium subscription for 12 months. Internet-only users can get this service free for 3 months.
Getting this free account saves you $4.99 monthly. TV subscribers will save $59 a year. And internet-only users will save about $15.
Weebs, chads, and everyone in between will find something bingeable on this streaming service. Here are some examples:
- The Office
- Sunday Night Football
- Hell’s Kitchen
- Hunter X Hunter (my favorite)
- Peacock Originals: in-house Peacock series
3 months isn’t much time if you’re getting an internet-only plan. Spectrum’s Peacock promotion pales in comparison to Cox and Xfinitys’ free 12 months of Peacock.
There’s an excellent trade-off, though. The ISP has no data cap.
So you could watch all the 4K videos you want without worrying about bypassing a ridiculous bandwidth cap.
Speaking of other providers. If you want to flee your current provider, you’ll love this next “perk.”
How do you claim this freebie?
Whether you have a current Peacock account, you’ll need to follow this link. It’ll make it so you can claim the discounted streaming service.
Current Provider Contract Buyout Program
Spectrum will pay cancellation fees for your current internet, voice, or TV service provider for up to $500.
They won’t buy you out of your mobile plan. Because Spectrum Mobile isn’t a part of this program.
And you can only get this term agreement buyout when getting Spectrum home internet, TV, and landline services.
To make it so Spectrum can rescue you from your current provider, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Order a Spectrum plan
- Obtain the final bill from your current provider: must show the cancellation fee
- Log into your Spectrum account
- Complete the Spectrum Contract Buyout Form
Upon filling out this form, Spectrum will mail the $500 to your Spectrum service address as a check. If you live at an address that doesn’t have the most secure mailbox, call Spectrum’s customer service at 888-369-2408.
Ask whether you can add the $500 to your account as an account credit.
I can’t find whether Spectrum can credit the buyout to your account. It doesn’t hurt to ask, though.
You must fill out the buyout form within 2 weeks of your current provider’s final invoice.
Extra $100 Credit Toward New Phone With Phone Trade-in Program
Spectrum will give you your phone’s trade-in value, plus an extra $100. To put toward a new device when trading an old device. You must also activate a Spectrum Mobile line.
You can also find these savings when trading in and purchase certain Samsung devices:
- $500 toward a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
- $300 toward Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
The trade-in value will depend on your previous phone’s carrier, make, model, IMEI status, and without severe damage. An example of “severe” damage is visible liquid beneath your screen.
They will accept phones with cracked screens . But will pay less.
I wrote a guide covering their phone deals more in-depth. Check it out if you’re considering using Spectrum Mobile.
Best Spectrum Internet Packages for Students
The following Spectrum home internet packages will work best for most students:
- Spectrum Internet
- Spectrum Internet Assist
I’ll cover who each plan works best for, use cases, and other information to help you make the best decision.
#1 Spectrum Internet: Best Overall
Spectrum Internet provides 300/10 Mbps internet speeds for $49.99 a month (for the 1st year). It’s a contract-free internet-only plan and doesn’t have a data cap.
The plan works best for households with at least 7 people simultaneously running high(ish) bandwidth tasks like streaming 4K video.
Once the 12 months passes, you’ll have to pay $74.99 monthly. I’ll cover a possible way to get rid of this fee later.
Let’s talk about use cases.
It can handle 3 people using Zoom simultaneously. So long as y’all use 720p resolution.
Each instance will require 2.6 Mbps (upstream) and 1.8 Mbps (downstream). If you have a couple roommates who have online classes at the same time as you, this plan will become beneficial.
In my experience, 10 Mbps upload speeds will work fine in a majority of scenarios. If you’re frequently uploading projects to cloud storage for collaborators to download, you’ll run into an issue.
Say you want to send 71 RAW photos that equal 1 gigabyte (GB) in size. And you want to upload these to Dropbox so someone in a photography class project group can edit them. You’ll need to wait AT LEAST 14 minutes for these files to upload .
That’s if no one else in your home is using upstream bandwidth.
Not an ideal situation if you’re strapped for time. In that case, you’ll need to spend more on an internet plan with symmetric speeds (equal downstream/upstream). Verizon Fios and AT&T Fiber can provide a solution to this issue.
If you live in 1 of the few areas these providers support.
I compare these ISPs in a separate guide.
#2 Spectrum Internet Assist: Best for Single & Low-income Individuals
Internet Assist is Spectrum’s low-income internet plan that costs $17.99 monthly. It provides 30/4.0 Mbps internet speeds and doesn’t have a data cap.
It’s great for students who want to work on a class project with a couple of Chrome tabs open. Meanwhile, you could have a YouTube tab playing 720p HD content as background noise.
Before I continue with use cases, refer to the above section labeled ‘Spectrum Low-income Internet’ for requirements to use this plan. Because not anyone can use it.
And I don’t want to repeat myself.
Also, refer to the Affordable Connectivity Credit (ACP). It’ll help you get this plan for free.
Back to use cases for this plan.
It can support 1 instance of Zoom running in 1080p FHD . Group and single calls using this resolution will demand 3.8 Mbps upload speeds and 3.0 Mbps downstream.
When running Zoom, you’d need to close other online activities, smart home devices, and other background tasks. Using this software in HD gives you a bit more flexibility. This resolution only requires 2.6 Mbps upstream.
If you don’t qualify for this plan, I don’t know why you read through this section. You will likely enjoy the following section, though.
Best Spectrum Bundles for Students
Spectrum won’t give students discounts when bundling their services. You’ll only make your billing a bit easier.
And most bundles don’t offer advantages. But there’s an exception. I’ll cover this bundle, its perks, who it’s best for, and other useful information.
#1 Spectrum One: Internet + Advanced WiFi + Mobile
Spectrum One costs $49.99 monthly for 12 months. It gives you 1 Spectrum Mobile Unlimited Mobile line, 300/10 Mbps network speeds, and a Wi-Fi router rental.
This package works best for a single person who needs an affordable mobile plan and downloads many massive files daily. It can also save you $59.99.
Once you’re on month 13 of your plan, you’ll need to pay for the Spectrum Mobile and Wi-Fi -plans. That’s $109.98. It’s still a decent value if you need high-speed internet and cellular plans.
These speeds would work great if you’re collaborating with classmates. And need to frequently download files larger than 1.0 GB within a few minutes.
Instead of wasting hours downloading files when you have a project time crunch.
Without the bundle, these services would cost $84.98 a month. You’re saving $34.99 monthly.
The Unlimited mobile plan allows unlimited texting from the U.S. to other countries. The prices will differ if you’re texting outside the States. I won’t cover these rates in this guide.
While you have unlimited data, you have a 20 gigabyte (GB) soft data cap . Once you bypass this allowance, you’ll have reduced internet speeds.
Spectrum doesn’t specify the before-and-after speeds.
What’s Spectrum Advanced WiFi?
It’s an add-on service that includes Wi-Fi management features like:
- See who’s connected
- Give nicknames to devices
- Pause/unpause devices connected to your Wi-Fi network
- AI-based security shield
You’ll also get a wireless router that looks like a miniature air purifier.
I paid $80 upfront and got a router that has all of these features and more. Without paying $120 every couple of years.
Spectrum plans already include a security suite. Why pay extra for a shield with a landing page filled with cybersecurity buzzwords?
Don’t get this bundle for the Advanced WiFi. Get it for the mobile and internet bundle.
Spectrum Home Internet Plans for Students
Students can access the following Spectrum cable internet plans:
|Tier||Promo Price||Post Promo||Max. Speed (Down/Up)||Best For||Considerations|
|Internet||$49.99/mo.||$74.99/mo.||300/10 Mbps||Download 10 GB files in <5 min.||Not necessary for low-bandwidth users|
|Internet Ultra||$69.99/mo.||$94.99/mo.||500/20 Mbps||Download 10 GB files in <3 min.||$94.99/mo. after a year; expensive|
|Internet Gig||$89.99/mo.||$114.99/mo.||1,000/35 Mbps||Video editors downloading A- and B-Roll footage||Low upload speed and not ideal for home servers|
Spectrum cable internet packages.
All Spectrum home internet plans include these perks:
- No data caps or data overage fees
- Free modem rental
- Over 530,000 Wi-Fi hotspots
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free antivirus software
You get a free modem, but must pay $5.00 monthly for a 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) router. I covered this strange-looking device in the previous section.
I don’t want to repeat myself.
Spectrum doesn’t have a data cap. This plan works great for anyone who frequently downloads files, watches 4K content, or does cloud gaming.
The internet service provider also claims they won’t throttle your internet speeds . So you don’t have to worry about slower speeds if you use more data than other users in your area.
Spectrum users can access indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi access points at hundreds of thousands of locations throughout the U.S. Here’s a map of every Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspot location.
Wi-Fi hotspots have helped me significantly with having additional places to study. For instance, instead of incarcerating myself in a studio apartment, I could visit 1 of the thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots and study away from home.
Those who aren’t Spectrum customers can use the Spectrum Free Trial access point free for 30 minutes. Open your device’s Wi-Fi settings, select the network name ‘Spectrum Free Trial.’ Then follow the on-screen instructions.
Charter Spectrum gives you the AntiBot Scanner security suite for free. It requires 1 gigabyte (GB) of storage and only works on Windows computers.
In my experience, Windows users should just stick to Windows Defender as anti-malware software. Spectrum doesn’t specify any functions or features that make their antivirus a more viable option.
Plus, you’ll have to waste time setting up AntiBot. Time you could spend enjoying life.
How Do I Lower My Spectrum Bill as a Student?
Ways that you can lower your Spectrum TV and internet bill as a student include:
- Downgrading or removing services
- Chatting with Spectrum’s retention department
- Buying a third-party router
I’ll cover how much money you could save, details you should consider when using my tips, and how to go about following these tips.
#1 Downgrade or Cancel Your Internet or TV Plan
Downgrade your Spectrum internet plan if your household isn’t utilizing its speeds. If you don’t watch cable TV, cancel your Spectrum TV plan.
You could save hundreds of dollars per year. Depending on the services, you remove or downgrade.
For instance, if your house’s average bandwidth usage is 199 Mbps (downstream), you won’t need a 500 Mbps internet plan.
To cancel Spectrum television services, call 833-267-6094 and let them know. You won’t have to pay an early termination fee when canceling.
You can call the same number or use their online chat room to downgrade your services. Tell the customer service representative that you want to downgrade your plan.
#2 Negotiate With Spectrum’s Retention Department
Once you’re about to lose your promotional price (around month 13 of your plan), call Spectrum’s customer service at 833-267-6094. Upon reaching a customer service agent, request to speak to their retention department.
Before making this call. Research other internet or television service providers who offer services in your area. You’ll need this knowledge as leverage during your call.
When reaching an agent, mention that your plan’s promotional period expired. Then say the true price for Spectrum’s services are out of your range. Since you’re a student who’s already on a strict budget.
Mention you’re considering going with “X” provider. Replace “X” with the more affordable provider you researched.
You’ll want to use better wording. I’m not the best negotiator.
The retention department agent MAY offer discounts to keep you with Spectrum. Because their job is to prevent Spectrum from losing customers.
If they don’t offer a discount and call your bluff, transition the call to an end. Mention that you’ll shop around.
End the call and try calling another day. You may reach an agent who’ll offer a discount.
Remain friendly and patient throughout your call. They may reciprocate your friendliness with more willingness to find a promotion for you.
#3 Buy a Third-party Router
Buying your own router upfront can save you up to $60 a year on costs you would have otherwise paid for Spectrum’s Advanced WiFi router.
Pay $89.99 upfront for ANY decent 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) router. You could pay it off in a little over 18 months.
You can use this router with any internet service provider. If you switch, you won’t risk dealing with an unreturned equipment fee from Spectrum. You’ll also save money on gateway or router leases from future providers.
When shopping for a router, ensure it has maximum supported Wi-Fi speeds that correlate with your Spectrum internet plan. For instance, a 500 Mbps Spectrum internet plan requires a router that can support at least 500 Mbps download speeds.
If you’re a student and a gamer with disposable income, you’ll want a router that has Smart Queue Management (SQM).
This feature reduces bufferbloat. A software issue that increases latency and can lead to lag spikes.
You could flash this feature onto existing routers using OpenWrt. Or get a NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S R7800 router. I won’t emphasize the former recommendation. Because it can void router warranties.
And the latter includes the aforementioned bufferbloat-slaying feature.
If you need help finding the best router from Spectrum, check out our recommendations.
FAQs: Spectrum Deals for Students
Let’s take a closer look at commonly asked questions about Spectrum discounts for students.
Does Spectrum Give Discounts to Students?
Spectrum doesn’t offer any discounts on cable TV and internet services for students.
Does Spectrum Offer Deals for Teachers?
Teachers don’t receive any discounts on Spectrum’s home internet and TV plans. But there are other ways to save, you can learn more here.
Spectrum doesn’t offer deals for students. But they offer low-income internet plans and reduced pricing for a year.
You’ll need to get creative to ward off their extra fees to save money with this provider. Like buying a third-party router.
If you want to learn more about Spectrum’s services, explore this thorough guide I wrote.