So after waiting hours in line, you finally gets your hands on the new iPhone 3G. You take it home, download some apps and play around with it for a few hours. Then all of a sudden, reality sinks in when you realize that you are paying almost twice as much for a comparable phone plan elsewhere. Lucky for some of you, there is a way to mitigate this pain.

College students, as well as employees of eligible companies, are qualified for at least a 15% FAN (Foundation Account Number) discount through AT&T (applicable to voice & data, hardware excluded). Unlike the original iPhone, the new iPhone is a traditionally subsidized phone as they no longer have to share revenue with Apple. So in theory, this means AT&T should treat the iPhone 3G just like any of their other smart phones, making it eligible for student/corporate discounts.

AT&T has been known to have “special rules” regarding their billing for the iPhone, but customer service representatives have confirmed that the 15% discount will apply. In the meantime, we’ll still be attempting to obtain official documentation from AT&T about this.

To take advantage of the discount, all you have to do is visit the following link and follow along with our screen shots:

You will have to enter your student/corporate e-mail along with your AT&T phone number to check for eligibility. After submitting your info, you will receive an e-mail from them with a link to complete the FAN discount process.

Once you complete the steps, you will receive confirmation of your enrollment. To verify, login to your AT&T control panel and check to see if your FAN # is listed on the top right-hand corner.

If the e-mail verification does not work, you can also stop by your local AT&T store with your student ID or proof of employment (with an eligible employer) and they should be able to take care of you.

NOTE: You will automatically enroll in a new 2-year commitment once you claim this discount, which shouldn’t really matter if you bought the new iPhone yesterday. It also takes 1 to 2 billing cycles for the discount to take effect.

UPDATE: A tipster tells us that FedEx and UPS employees are eligible for an even bigger discount (22% and 20% respectively).

UPDATE 2: It’s been reported that this also works on Family Plans as well.