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Amazon has always looked for ways to hook online shoppers into its vast ecommerce ecosystem, and one of its key approaches has been through its annual Prime membership. This comes with a host of perks, such as free shipping, music- and video-streaming, unlimited photo storage, and more.

For most people, the U.S. price weighs in at $99 per year, which works out to $8.25 per month, but last year Amazon rolled out a monthly subscription option for $10.99 per month — the equivalent of $131.88 per year. For students, however, Amazon has offered a 50 percent discount on the annual subscription, meaning those in an eligible two- or four-year program in the U.S. would only pay $49 for the year.

Now, however, Amazon is attempting to lure more students on board with a $5.49 monthly subscription plan bundled into a free six-month trial offer. So basically anyone with an .edu email address can get Amazon Prime totally free for six months, after which they can elect to remain on the plan without committing to a full year’s subscription.

It is worth remembering, of course, that “good guy” Amazon’s ultimate motive here isn’t to help students save money, though that may be one of the knock-on effects. It’s more about getting as many people as possible tethered to its online shopping mall and entertainment hubs — during their college years and once they graduate into the working world.

Today’s news comes just a few months after Amazon announced a new 50 percent Prime discount for people on government assistance programs — essentially, those with a valid electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.

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