How to get an Apple student discount to save on MacBooks, iPads, and more


Image: Getty/Klaus Vedfelt

It’s August, which means it’s back-to-school season. Prepping to go back after months of summer break can be stressful, especially when you start to see all the school-related bills stack up. Having just been a student myself, I know that technology is often a necessity on the back-to-school list, but it’s also a large part of those bills. 

If you’re looking to invest in a new Mac or iPad, you can possibly qualify for a $150 discount with Apple’s Education storefront. Here’s how.

Note: For the sake of using an example without sounding repetitive, I will be using the Macbook Air with an M1 Chip to demonstrate the steps. The steps may vary slightly depending on if you choose a Mac or iPad.

Is there a student or teacher verification requirement?

In the United States, Apple employs the honor system with this special offer — there is no formal process to verify your student or teacher status.

If purchasing in the UK, however, you do have to provide proof that you are an active student or teacher. Register with UNiDAYS to get verified before you purchase. 

How to access Apple’s education pricing  

Step 1: Go to Apple’s Education Store 

Open your internet browser on either your computer or mobile device to Apple’s Education Storefront. This page is for students and teachers to receive their discounts on the selected products.

Step 2: Select the device you want 

Before selecting, you may want to research which Mac or iPad works best for you. Check out ZDNet’s picks for the best Apple student deals for back-to-school for some tips and tricks in picking your new device. 

Once you decide which product you want to buy, click on the text under the product. 

selecting a Mac on Apple Education Store

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 3: Choose your configuration (color, storage, etc.)

You now have the opportunity to select from different colors or upgrade to a different chip. If you decide to upgrade, there is a difference in price. Colors, however, do not change the original cost. 

Once you have made your selections, press the blue Select button at the bottom of the page. 

Now it’s time to select your Mac or iPad’s memory, storage, and keyboard language. If you’re not sure which amount of memory or storage is right for your needs, click the “How much memory/ storage is right for you?” hyperlink under the respective title headings for further evaluation.

selecting memory and storage for Mac

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Note that if you go over the standard 8GB of memory or 256 GB of storage, your selection gets more expensive. 

If you select an iPad, you will select color, storage, and connectivity with the option to add free engraving or an Apple Pencil andkeyboardfor an extra charge (note, the discount does not apply to these items).

Step 4: Select your software (Macs only) 

You have the chance to purchase and install the Pro Apps Bundle for Education on your Mac for $199.99. The bundle’s collection includes advanced music production software, an encoding compressor for exporting videos, and two apps for advanced video editing. If you’re in the music and entertainment field (or are just a passionate visual creative), you may want to consider installing this option. 

Pro pre-installed software option on Mac

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 5: Add to bag and discover more

After making all your selections, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the blue Add to Bag button.

Apple Education Offerings- Extras

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ ZDNet

The website will then take you to another page with even more options (lots of choices, I know, but we’re almost there) to purchase AppleCare+, a USB-C to Lightning Cable, and a USB-C to USB Adapter. These items do not apply to the $150 off discount.

Once you have made your selections, click the Review your bag button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. 

Step 6: Review your bag

Before placing your order, you will see the selections you have made pop up on the screen with the discounted price. Now, a laptop that was $899 is $749. 

If you want to opt-in for AppleCare+ for three years and did not choose the option before, it will be offered once more at checkout.

review your bag with applecare discount and education offer

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Gift card offers

If your order qualifies for a gift card, there will be a $150 Apple gift card in your shopping cart at checkout with your product. That gift card is included in your Special Offer and will be emailed to your account within 24 hours of your confirmed pick up at an Apple Store (or once your item has been shipped to the designated address). 

Not every model or product will qualify for an Apple gift card.  

apple education gift card

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 7: Check out 

Finally, you’re ready to check out. Apple gives you the option to pay in monthly installments with Apple Card or pay in full using whatever payment you wish. 

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