University Student Subscriptions?
August 28, 2017 10:49 AM   Subscribe

My daughter is starting university today working towards a degree in animation. Her school is providing her with software subscriptions or licenses as part of the deal (Adobe CC suite , for instance.) It's come to our attention that many subscription services (newspapers (NYT, WaPO), magazines, software, music streaming, Amazon Prime, etc.) provide cut rate access for students. As a gift, I'd like to supplement what she gets as part of her program. What are some subscriptions you might recommend for new university student (bonus if it's very useful to a student of the arts)?
posted by brokeaspoke to Education (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You might also want to see what benefits she would get with a public library card (both where you live and her new location). Many libraries offer free access to the NY Times and other newspapers, magazines, books, music, etc. What might be of special interest to your daughter is, which offers video courses in software, creative, and business skills.
posted by elphaba at 11:02 AM on August 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh! We get as part of our Public library system already. Thanks for reminding me. We'll look into what else they offer for free.
posted by brokeaspoke at 11:05 AM on August 28, 2017

Many college and university libraries provide free online access to newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals, etc., so she should check with her university library for info about what's already available free (if she's off campus she might have to log in via the library website for authentication). Some databases have a rolling blackout of the most recent articles.

More and more public libraries allow electronic borrowing of books to read on a Kindle or other tablet. If you're in Massachusetts, you can get a free electronic borrowing card from the Boston Public Library, as well as your local library.
posted by brianogilvie at 11:21 AM on August 28, 2017

Net magazine and Computer Arts (but do check that she doesn't have free access to them first).
posted by humph at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2017

Washington Post gives free subs to their online material to students. Amazon has a Prime program for students that is half-price. Apple Music is available for half-price for students.

The good thing is that most of these also count for faculty and staff as long as they have a .edu email address. Some systems require more details, including class schedule proof. One in particular is DirecTV's online NFL Sunday Ticket subscription.
posted by jwt0001 at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2017

If there are any professional organizations she can join or is interested in, she could look at getting in on a student rate. I know the Society of Human Resources Management (aka: the opposite of animation) has student rates available for membership, so if there is an equivalent, that would be great to get involved with early on.
posted by thefang at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2017

thefang: my daughter works part time in HR for the government of an adjacent county. She's all too familiar with it and got quite a laugh out of your comment.
posted by brokeaspoke at 7:14 PM on August 28, 2017

Assuming computer animation (as opposed to traditional hand-drawn), Autodesk now has free student licenses for all of their software, including 3ds Max, Maya, and Arnold. When I was in school, I had to shell out $600 for a student license of Maya, so that's a huge improvement. SideFX offers a free version of Houdini for students. The Foundry offers Nuke and Mari free for non-commercial use. Even RenderMan is now free for non-commercial use!! ToonBoom isn't free, but they have a deeply discounted subscription rate for students. It's a really amazing time to be getting into digital animation, I would have killed for this kind of legal software access when I was in school 10 years ago. I call these out explicitly because, if things haven't changed, schools often don't provide these, or have limited licenses in their labs / limited workstations, and it can be a huge boon to sanity to be have access to the software whenever you need it.

One thing you might consider is offering to help out with cloud rendering time. Google Zync is pretty affordable and easy to use. When you've got a project due in 20 hours and you've got 50 hours of rendering left, throwing $30 at the cloud to make the problem go away is a fantastic bargain.

As your daughter develops her interests, you might offer to pay for videos from the Gnomon Workshop (unless her university library has them in stock - they might!!) They've got a ton of highly specialized lectures about specific, often esoteric, parts of digital animation. Their video courses can be a real life saver when you're just starting out or want to break into the next level of mastery in a specific aspect of animation. If her university is anything like mine, they'll teach theory and technique but won't always spend much (or any) time on how to actually use the software and the Gnomon videos fill that gap nicely.
posted by slagheap at 9:29 PM on August 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

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