You can save big on student tech with the Apple student discount.
In an effort to avoid pricing themselves out of being found in lecture halls and auditoriums, Apple has offered student discounts for a number of years now. The Apple Student discount is a great way to snag some of the best hardware out there for less, but it’s not clearly signposted as to what the process is - although some may argue that’s entirely on purpose.
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.
This guide will help you see if you qualify for the Apple Student Discount, and help you make a purchase on an eligible product. Not sure what to pick? We’ve got a whole buying guide for the best MacBooks for students to help you narrow it down.
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?
While Apple will occasionally throw AirPods or Beats in with its student deals, the Apple student discount is primarily for, as you’d probably guess, devices for work and studying.
That means you can grab the latest M2 iPad Pro, M2 Mac Mini, or M2 MacBook Air at a discount - although we do cover plenty of deals that may help you find these even cheaper elsewhere. You can also find discounts on older Apple products if you're looking to save even more money and don't need the absolute cutting edge in tech.
How to get the Apple Student discount
The process works a little differently whether you’re applying in the US or the UK.
For US students, you’ll need your proof of eligibility before you can head over to the Apple Store website for students. Proof of eligibility is basically a valid, current student ID that shows your name, photo, school, and validity date, but the full list can be found below:
- A valid, current student ID showing your name, photo, school, and validity date.
- Official current non-photo student ID with name and date
- Official current school transcript or tuition bill indicating name of school, student, and current year/semester
- Official current report card indicating name of school, student, and current year/semester
- Other official dated proof of enrollment
If you’re in the UK, this is handled via a third party called UniDays that works with Apple. It doesn’t take long to sign up, and the company is partnered with Apple. You’ll need to provide information about your course and more, so be sure to have that handy.
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 you 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 $240 off a refurbished iPhone 12 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.
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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.