AWS Educate

imageUC Santa Cruz is an institutional member of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate program. Through this program, educators and students can take advantage of credits to access AWS services for teaching and learning.

Important: There are risks and costs with using cloud services like AWS.

For AWS Educate Starter accounts, which do not require a payment method, usage is capped.

For AWS Educate Educator and Student accounts:

  • Usage is not capped.
  • The account holder is responsible for providing a payment method, and for paying AWS each month for the resources consumed, if usage exceeds the credits provided through the AWS Educate program.
  • Configuration of cloud-computing services can be complex, and errors can have costly consequences for the account holder.
  • Account holders should enable billing alerts to track usage and costs.

Faculty and academic divisions should review the use of paid cloud services in instruction, and may wish to develop guidelines for educators who want to require the use of paid cloud services for course assignments.

Summary of Program

Educator Account

Student Account



AWS Credits

$200 per year

$100 per year

$75 per year

AWS Training

- Access to labs

- Free “AWS Technical Essentials” course

- 50% off instructor-led training provided by AWS

- 50% off AWS certification exams

- Access to labs

- Free “AWS Technical Essentials” course

Curated Content

- Access to AWS content for classes
- Access to content contributed by leading educators

- Access to AWS content for homework,  labs, or self-study

Collaboration Tools

- Educator Collaboration Portal access
- Virtual and in-person events
- Contribute and rate content

- Private and public discussion forums

- Student Portal access
- Virtual and in-person events

Part of UC Enterprise Agreement?




Payment method
(credit card)



not required

available AWS services



most (details)

AWS ‘Free Tier’ available?




The AWS Educate program is described here: AWS Educate


AWS resources are generally available 24x7. AWS publishes the status of their services here: AWS Service Health Dashboard


AWS Educate is available to UCSC educators and students. The program is also available to staff who support teaching and learning.


For Starter accounts:

  • There is no cost for Starter accounts. No payment method is required when a Starter account is set up.
  • AWS provides credits when the account is set up.
  • Usage is capped to the amount of the AWS credits.
  • The account holder will automatically receive notifications as the AWS credits are used.
  • Once all of the AWS credits are used, the account is terminated and the data is no longer accessible.

For Educator and Student accounts:

  • The account holder must provide a payment method (typically a credit card) when the account is set up.
  • New accounts are automatically enrolled in the AWS Free Usage Tier for the first year. More information about the AWS Free Usage Tier.
  • AWS provides credits when the account is set up. These credits may offset some or all of the cost of using AWS services.
  • Usage of AWS services is not capped.
  • The account holder is responsible for setting up notifications to track usage and charges: Creating a Billing Alarm to Monitor Your Estimated AWS Charges (Amazon CloudWatch)
  • Once all of the AWS credits are used, the account holder is responsible for paying AWS each month for their usage.

Enrolling in the AWS Educate Program

The enrollment process starts at the AWS Educate homepage.

For a Starter account, indicate you are a student, then select the option “Click here to select an AWS Educate Starter Account.”

For an Educator or Student account, you will need to establish a regular AWS account under your email address, and link it to the AWS Educate program. If you already have an AWS account under your email address, you can link that to the AWS Educate program; just go to step 4 below.

  1. Set up an AWS account at: Amazon Web Services
  2. Be sure to use your email address.
  3. Provide a payment method.
    • This could be a credit card or a small-denomination gift card (or similar).
    • For faculty and staff, the payment method could also be a UCSC Pro-Card or a Purchase Order.
    • The process for signing up with a Purchase Order is documented on Self-service Cloud Computing service page.
  4. Make a note of your twelve-digit AWS account number.
  5. Link your AWS account to UCSC’s AWS Educate account: Apply for AWS Educate, AWS will review enrollment requests within three to five business days.
  6. Once approved by AWS, you will receive a Welcome Email that includes details about the program, including your AWS credit code.
  7. As soon as possible, enter the AWS credit code into your AWS account.
  8. Educators should also activate their login credentials for the AWS Educate portal.

Get Help

For questions about how to use this service, AWS provides many resources:

Students with questions about how to enroll in this service should contact their instructor, or can submit an IT Request ticket at: ITS Get Help

Faculty with questions can contact their Divisional Liaisons (DL).

For questions about the terms of the click-through agreement with qwikLABS (as part of the set-up of Starter accounts), please contact Procurement and Business Contracts by email (

Policy Information

Educator and Student Accounts that are created through the AWS Educate program are automatically enrolled in the UC enterprise agreement with AWS. More about the UC contract with Amazon Web Services.

Ground rules and important pointers for cloud services are provided here: Use of Third Party and Cloud Services

There is a “shared security model” for AWS services: More Information About Amazon Web Services

All cloud-computing users are responsible for complying with the UCSC Electronic Communications Policy