The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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UMass Amherst Perks

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Image of University of Massachusetts campus in the fall with text explaining free and discounted benefits for students, like event tickets, movies, computer and software, and more.

Being a student at the University of Massachusetts has its benefits. We get access to amazing food, top-notch education, and we’re in an area so beautiful it inspires literary masterpieces (look up Mt. Greylock and Herman Melville and J.K. Rowling). Plus, UMass Amherst gives you access to tons of free (and discounted) perks like a subscription to The New York Times and free movies through Kanopy. Check out this list to find out what other perks the university has in store for you.

Free concert and sports tickets at on-campus events

All undergrad students at UMass Amherst get free access to sports and arts shows around campus, and discounted tickets to plays and concerts. In addition to that, the university throws free concerts every fall and spring semesters PLUS a special Spring Concert, where students can get tickets starting at $15.  

Free NYtimes access

We’re living through historical times, and it’s important we all keep up with our news. Lucky for you, UMass Libraries offers free access to The New York Times. All you have to do is sign up with your UMass Amherst ID and password and you’re good to go!

Side tip: sign up for the NYT daily briefing to get all the important headlines every day straight to your email. The briefing also includes tips on smarter living, international news, and a other interesting articles.

Movies through Kanopy

Yes, yes Netflix and Hulu are great, but did you know that UMass Amherst Libraries gives you access to thousands of films through Kanopy? Kanopy doesn’t only work to watch that weird movie for your German class, it also includes Oscar winners and nominees like Moonlight, The Lobster and Ex Machina. If you’re looking for a movie for a Halloween movie night, I would suggest 2018 hit Hereditary, also available on Kanopy.

Documentaries through Docuseek and Film Platform

If you’re tired of being the friend that has to pretend you’ve seen a documentary everyone’s talking about and want to be the friend who says “I saw a documentary about… the other day,” UMass Amherst has your back. Your NET ID and password give you access to thousands of US and international documentaries through Docuseek and Film Platform.

Film Platform has great choices like RBG, a documentary about (the all-time best) Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Pets on Prozac, which follows the new trend in medicating pets; and Tempestad, a Spanish-language documentary about two women victimized by corruption in Mexico — and their resilience in the face of it.

On Docuseek you can find documentaries like Just Eat It, which is about food waste in the United States; The True Cost, which follows the environmental and humanitarian impact the fashion industry has; and The Loving Story, a documentary about a biracial couple living in Virginia during Jim Crow times (and upon which the highly-rated movie Loving was based).

Discounted Software/Computers

You probably know this already, but UMass Amherst gives you free access to all Microsoft Office Software, and anti-virus protection for your laptop with Sophos.

Plus, if you’re looking to upgrade your laptop, both Apple and Microsoft offer laptops and tablets at discounted rates for current and newly accepted students.

Using UCard debit account at off-campus businesses

Did you know that you can use your UCard debit account in select businesses? UCard Off-Campus Merchant Program lets you pay with your UCard debit account at ten businesses in the Amherst and Hadley Area. Favorites include Antonio’s, Bueno y Sano, and Wings over Amherst.

Have a favorite restaurant you want to add? Let the UCard office know via e-mail.

Keep in mind that it’s UMass debit, not Dining Dollars, that is accepted off-campus.

Be sure to take advantage of these offers when you arrive on campus. Education costs money, so you might as well get the most out of it!

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Letter to my past self

University of Massachusetts blogger Xenia Arinez in her freshman year (at left), and her senior year (at right)

Dear freshman Xenia,

Our college journey is coming to an end pretty soon, can you believe it? At the risk of sounding like an old lady, I have to wonder where time went. These past four years have flown by, and it’s almost time we leave our safety net and begin the next part of our lives. But, am I truly me if I don’t go all sappy and retrospective about our time in college? (The answer is no, you know this, I know this, every person who’s ever known us knows this).