July 13, 2010, 2:54 PM

Amazon offers college students exclusive perks

The world’s largest online retailer offers students free shipping and other benefits.

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Amazon.com Inc. moved today to grab a bigger piece of the online textbook business by offering college students special deals.

The world’s largest online retailer today launched Amazon Student, a free membership program that offers college students at least one year of free two-day shipping via free membership in Amazon Prime, which usually costs $79, as well as other benefits such as exclusive discounts and promotions.

In doing so Amazon enables students who buy new textbooks through the site to have those books guaranteed to arrive in two days—or they can pay $3.99 for next-day delivery.

The Amazon Student page, located at www.amazon.com/b/?node=668781011, also features a variety of other merchandise likely to appeal to college students, such as laptops, bedding and microwavable foods like Kraft Easy Mac.

To obtain Amazon Student membership, consumers have to be enrolled in at least one class at a U.S. college or university and have a valid .edu e-mail address.

Amazon says in the future it may extend the free offer for more than one year. And, unlike its regular Amazon Prime membership, Amazon Student membership does not automatically renew.

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