In a bold attempt at capturing a large chunk of the youth market, Sprint (NYSE:S) is offering students one year of free service. The telecom announced today that under certain conditions, eligible high school and college students will get 12 months gratis. They are required to buy a phone at a "student activated price" and sign up for a new line of service under the firm's Unlimited, My Way contract plan at a Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) or Best Buy Mobile store.

The service includes unlimited talk and text, but not unlimited data. 1GB of data is included. Users wanting to tack on the unlimited option will have to pay $10 per month.

In the press release trumpeting the news, Sprint touted the initiative as part of its attempts to further educational efforts. Senior Vice President of Marketing Jeff Hallock said that the firm "is committed to providing schools, teachers, parents and students tools and resources to help increase learning. And, now we also are helping to make life easier for students."

The telecom has some wiggle room to subsidize such a program. Some of its most recent quarterly results were encouraging, as the company swung to a net profit and posted its best-ever postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) of $64.28 in Q3.