Sprint, Best Buy give students a free year of talk, text, and data

If you sign up for a new Sprint line at Best Buy, you can score one year of talk, text, and data. The catch is, you must be a student.

Students can pick up a Sprint phone at Best Buy and score a free year of Sprint service. Sarah Tew/CNET

Hey students, your report card can now earn you a free cell phone plan. Best Buy and Sprint announced Monday that they've teamed up to offer free unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB of data, for one full year to students.

It works like this: Head to Best Buy between November 18 and January 4 and buy a new feature phone or smartphone at the Student Activated Price (the average phone price is $530), and activate it on a Sprint Unlimited, My Way plan. You'll need to pay for the cost of the phone, plus a $36 activation fee, taxes, and any other applicable fees.

Next, go to Sprint's student verification site within 14 days of your purchase to prove that you're a current student. One you're verified, your account will be credited for one year of unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB per month of data if you buy a smartphone, which Sprint says is a $70 per month value.

If 1GB of data isn't enough for your studying -- or let's be real, social media -- needs, you can pay $10 per month for unlimited data. You can also trade in your current phone to get a new handset with the offer. It's worth noting that you don't need to sign a two-year agreement for the student line. Lastly, students can get up to nine extra free years of service when a new line is added to the same account they're on.

Before you start thinking of ways to game the system, here's what you need to prove to Sprint that you're a student:

  • You must be a part-time, full-time, or vocational student.
  • You must be enrolled in a US-based elementary school, middle school, high school, college, university, or other accredited institute.
  • Students under 13 must get parental consent when filling out the student verification form.

Additionally, you need to submit one of the following via fax, or with your online form:

  • Valid report card from current school year
  • Student ID
  • Enrollment confirmation or tuition receipt for current school year
  • Required state documents if home schooled

After your free year is up, you (or the primary account holder) will be charged $70 per month for the services, unless you terminate the line. For more info on the program, head over to Sprint's site. And remember, just because your college ID never expires, that doesn't mean you should still claim you're a student five years after graduation.

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Mobile
About the author

Sarah Mitroff is a CNET associate editor who reviews Android and Windows Phone software and, occasionally, hardware. In the past she's written about everything from Android apps to startups Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat. She loves pretty space photos, the San Francisco Giants, and apps that organize the recipes she compulsively hoards.

 

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