There are a number of cell phone carriers that give discounts to existing or new customers that are Columbia University Students, Faculty or Staff. Check out the links below for more info.
Verizon- 17% off per month
T-Mobile- 6% off per month and other discounts.
NOTE: These only apply for Students, Faculty or Staff and won’t work for spouses and partners.
In terms of purchasing a specific type of phone, the vast majority of CBS students use a smart phone (e.g. iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) in order to keep up with the daily barrage of emails, send out quick thank you notes to recruiters, or keep up with last minute venue change and recruiting notifications.
It is also worth considering the fact that some of the providers above don’t provide good reception in Uris Hall (the CBS main building). Students who use T-Mobile have had trouble in the past, AT&T has decent reception in some parts of the building, and Verizon is said to have the best reception in New York City (and along the Eastern seaboard, for that matter).