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Students now get priority access to Google Voice

Just like it offered to active members of the U.S. military, Google is giving students priority access to getting a Google Voice account.

Google on Friday began giving students priority access to its Google Voice service, which has remained in a closed beta since its transition from GrandCentral in March of last year.

Typically, invites for the service can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to arrive after a user signs up. But the company is now promising those who have an e-mail address that ends with .edu access to the service within 24 hours. Google had done something similar for active members of the U.S. military back in August.

Users with an .edu e-mail address can now get a Google Voice invite within 24 hours of signing up. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn

In a blog post on the new initiative, Google said that the company had received a large amount of feedback from college students who had wanted to use the service for its free SMS and voice mail transcription services.

Google Voice works by giving users a new number to receive calls on, as well as free call forwarding from a number of other phones. Google also offers a variant of the service that lets users replace their current voice mail system with the one from Google Voice, so as to get messages transcribed free of charge.

Google remains exclusively available in the U.S.