The first two lessons learned at any university are that the financial aid office is a nightmare, and the campus bookstore is never going to give you a deal when buying or selling back textbooks. Amazon is attempting to swoop-in and address the later issue with its new Amazon Student app for Android.

Previously available only for the iPhone, Amazon Student is a rebranded and focused version of the Price Check by Amazon app. It is aimed at college and university students looking for a better deal when purchasing text books. A student can go to the campus bookstore, scan the barcode or search for a title, and then see how much it would cost to order the book from Amazon instead. For instance, my alma mater sells an anthropological theory text for $ 95, while Amazon offers the same book for only $ 74 with free shipping. Considering that this course requires multiple texts – and that may happen in other courses each semester – you can save hundreds of dollars by shopping on Amazon instead.

Amazon Student provides an alternative for trading in a book rather than selling it. While the campus bookstore might give you $ 45 for that book you originally bought for $ 100, Amazon will give you $ 67 on an Amazon gift certificate. Cash is king in most cases, but if you’re going to spend the money on something Amazon sells anyway, it might be more advantageous to do it that way. (Sidenote: I used to post signs on campus and sell the book directly to students the next semester. You get more money that way.) The app will scan the barcode and tell a user how much money to expect for a trade-in, then create a printable shipping label.

It seems kind of overdone to make yet another app specifically for students, especially when you consider that Amazon already has multiple Android apps. One can’t help but wonder why Amazon didn’t just build this program into those existing apps. Whatever the reason, this is a good app to test out now that the fall semester is coming to a close. Download the app from the Android Market, sign-up for Amazon Student, and you’ll get the following benefits:

  • Free 2-day shipping with no minimum order for 6 months
  • Free release date delivery on games, books, movies, and more
  • Student-targeted deals and promotions

Following the completion of your free 6 month membership in Amazon Student, the account will be upgraded to an Amazon Prime membership that costs only $ 39 a year instead of $ 79.

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