How to get the Apple student discount as you go back to college
Here's how to get the Apple student discount and save money on MacBooks, iPads, and more as you head back to school.
Get your back to school kit at a bargain price with the Apple student discount.
Apple products are expensive, which makes finding the best MacBook and Apple device deals incredibly important. One that you may not know about, though, is Apple’s education discount for students.
The idea is simple: to help more people get access to Apple devices like MacBooks and iPads to help with school, college, and university projects by offering a discount for those in education. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to see if you qualify, and even easier to apply for the Apple student discount.
If you're not sure which Apple products you should snag with your student discount, then our guide to the best MacBooks for students is a good place to start. There are no bad choices, but some might be better suited to your individual needs and our comprehensive guide can help you make the right choice.
We've also got a full roundup of all the best back to school deals for you to check out as you prepare for the next semester of college, so check that out for more great savings too.
Apple Education Store - Save money on Apple products when you sign up to the Education Store.
You'll need to prove that you're a college or university student, the parent of a student, or someone working in the education.
How much is the Apple student discount?
There’s no easy way to calculate the discount afforded by Apple’s educational program as it's not a fixed rate, but it roughly works out at 10%.
That’s nothing to be sniffed at, though, especially given the high price to be begin with – especially when factoring in additional deals and offers which we’ll get to shortly.
What can I use the Apple Student Discount to buy?
As you can imagine, the Apple student discount is primarily for the purchase of educational tools – so while you can get the occasional free pair of headphones thrown in with your purchase, they’re not likely to be listed on the storefront when you first log in.
Instead, you’re able to save on M1 iPads like the iPad Pro and iPad Air, as well as Apple Silicon laptops including M1 and M2 versions of the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro and iMac.
How to get the Apple Student discount
The process works a little differently whether you’re applying in the US or the UK. For the former, once you’ve got your proof of eligibility (see the next section on what you need), you can head to a specific part of the Apple Store website.
For UK students and education employees, you’ll need to sign up through a third party called Unidays. It’s quick, but it’s not quite as simple as being able to jump straight into browsing the store.
Who qualifies for the Apple Student discount?
To be eligible for the Apple Education discount, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a student aged sixteen or over and in higher education (College or University). You’ll just need your student ID.
- Be the parent of a student that meets the criteria above.
- Be working in education (College or University). You’ll need to submit some employment documents to show this.
Does Apple offer other discounts for students?
Alongside the student discount, Apple fairly regularly adds additional deals.
Prior to a new academic year, the tech giant has been known to throw in a pair of headphones (usually Beats or the base AirPods) with a laptop or iPad purchase, while they often offer additional gift vouchers, too, that can be redeemed both on Apple hardware and on the App Store.
At time of writing, Apple's current deal offers a gift card up to $150 when you buy a Mac or iPad. If you're looking to grab another Apple product, like a pair of headphones, then that's a fantastic offer.
There are also offers that’ll include a few months of Apple Music, the company’s music streaming service, for free, or Apple One, a services bundle that includes the likes of Apple Fitness+, Apple Arcade, and additional iCloud storage.
There’s also a Pro Apps Bundle for Education that bundles Logic Pro, Motion, Compressor, Mainstage, and Final Cut Pro for $199, saving an incredible $430.
Students can also save 20% on Apple’s AppleCare+ insurance, which can be ideal if you’re carrying your shiny new iPad or MacBook from classroom to classroom or building to building.
Does the Apple Education discount apply to refurbished products?
Apple doesn’t offer the standard Apple Student discount for its certified refurbished products, but it does offer exclusive deals on refurbished products on its education store.
If you’re happy to buy refurbished (and it’s always worth seeing what’s on offer) you may find what you’re looking for at a lower price than you’d get new with the education discount.
For example, at time of writing you can get $150 off a refurbished iPhone 12 Pro, or a massive $280 off a refurbished iPhone 11 Pro.
Are Apple products good for students?
While Apple’s products are expensive, there’s no denying that they offer bang for your buck.
Apple laptops, for example, tend to last longer than their Windows counterparts – major macOS updates are once a year, but because Apple owns the entire hardware and software stacks, the two work more closely together.
Nowhere is that more keenly felt than in the latest MacBooks powered by Apple Silicon. Inspired by the work done on iPads and iPhones, Apple Silicon Macs offer incredibly efficient power, meaning they’ll last for multiple lectures (and maybe even multiple days) without slowing down or losing power.
They also include a handful of built-in apps that are ideal for students; word processor Pages, spreadsheet app Numbers, presentation app Keynote, and audio recording suite GarageBand among them. That means that there’s no need to buy additional software or pay for monthly subscriptions right off the bat.
Away from the Mac, Apple’s iPad product line has never been more diverse. While the iPad Pro is undeniably pricey, Apple Education discount or not, the range also starts at just over $300.
iPadOS has just started to emerge from iOS' shadow, and still has a long way to go when it comes to being considered a replacement for a laptop. Still, with the option to add the Apple Pencil for digital artists, or the Magic Keyboard for everything else, the iPad’s modular nature makes it undeniably appealing for students for both work and play.
Finally, the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone around, and with iPhone 13 being the best all-around iPhone yet, you’d be surprised by how much you can get done on it.
All of the above also work perfectly with Apple’s popular AirPods, too, meaning whether it’s a playlist for heading to school or a lofi track for late-night studying, students can enjoy high-quality audio wherever they are.
Apple student discount deals
MacBook Air with M1 -
Was $999 now $899 at Apple Education Store
Save even more on Apple’s cheapest MacBook Air, with the most portable laptop the company sells right now.
MacBook Air with M2 -
Was $1199 now 1099 at Apple Education Store
Save $100: With a bigger display, better camera, and more ports, the MacBook Air M2 is arguably the best all-round Mac for the price.
MacBook Pro 13-inch -
Was $1299 now $1199 at Apple Education Store
Save $100: The only MacBook Pro with an M2 chip, this portable powerhouse offers a classic Mac design – but you can save on the even more powerful 14 and 16 inch versions, too.
iMac with M1 -
Was $1299 now 1249 at Apple Education Store
Save $50 - $100 on this all-in-one that offers great style and impressive performance. The iMac has a 24-inch screen and comes in colors to fit any dorm.
Mac mini M1 -
Was $699 now $649 at Apple Education Store
Save $50: Mini but mighty, this Mac is ideal for those that have their own speakers and monitor but want to get to grips with macOS at a lower price.
Mac Studio -
Was $1999 now $1799 at Apple Education Store
Save $200: Apple’s most powerful desktop, the Mac Studio has plenty of ports, and enough processing power for demanding creative workflows like video and audio editing.
iPad Pro with M1 -
Was $799 now $749 at Apple Education Store
Save $50: Apple’s best iPad doesn’t come cheap, but you can save a fair chunk of change with the student discount – and put it towards the Magic Keyboard or Apple Pencil.
iPad Air with M1 -
Was $599 now $549 at Apple Education Store
Save $50 - The best all-rounder in the iPad lineup, the M1 chip makes the iPad Air more powerful than ever, and it’s incredibly portable.
Was $329 now $309 at Apple Education Store
Save $20: Apple’s cheapest iPad is even cheaper with a student discount, and it’s more capable than ever, too.
iPad Mini -
Was $499 now $449 at Apple Education Store
Save $50: Apple’s smallest tablet makes an ideal digital notepad, and offers enough power to last through multiple lectures – and you can keep it in a pocket.
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Lloyd Coombes freelance tech and fitness writer for Live Science. He's an expert in all things Apple as well as in computer and gaming tech, with previous works published on TopTenReviews, Space.com, Dexerto and TechRadar. You'll find him regularly testing the latest MacBook or iPhone, but he spends most of his time writing about video games as Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com. He also covers board games and virtual reality, just to round out the nerdy pursuits.