Students are a big market for Apple, which is why it has an entire separate education store that offers hefty discounts on Mac computers and iPad tablets - and often gives away products like AirPod headphones as an incentive for customers (as they are right now in the UK, US, Europe and elsewhere as part of Apple's Back To School 2020 deal - more on that deal below!)
Most Apple customers aren't aware of the Apple Education Store, or don't think the discount applies to them. But this is a mistake, because Apple throws the education net quite wide, and there's a good chance you qualify.
How big is the Apple student discount?
Apple doesn't offer a single, universal discount. It sets different prices for each product range. The discounts are only currently available for Mac computers (iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini) and iPads - there are no special discounts for other Apple products. We'll look in more detail at each product category below.
Unfortunately there are no discounts on the iPhone, Apple TV or Apple Watch, or on accessories or software for these items.
However, Apple does often sweeten the deal by giving away a free product when you make your purchase: Currently Apple is offering free pair of AirPods when qualifying students purchase iPads or Macs. This is part of Apple's Back To School 2020 deal.
Apple launched the deal in the US in June and then on 8 July in the UK and Europe. (In the past Apple has offered a pair of Beats headphones with every purchase). Read about Apple's current Back To School deal here.
If you're interested in further tech deals for students, visit our dedicated Macworld student deals site.
Mac student discounts
You can save hundreds on a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro or Mac mini Apple Education Store, the US Education Store or the AU Education Store. Apple's Pro Display XDR is also available at a discount, so there are some huge savings to be had.
For example, Apple says you could save up to £280 on a new Mac (in the UK).
We have this guide to the best Mac for students here.
iPad student discounts
You can also get a discount on iPads including the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad and iPad mini.
You can expect to save up to £80.
If you're thinking of buying an iPad for college or university you might like to read our guide to the Best iPad for students.
Who can get an Apple student discount?
There are three types of people who can qualify for a student discount:
- Students in higher education.
- People who are buying for education institutions.
- Parents of students buying on their behalf.
Apple spells this out in more detail in its terms and conditions.
For the UK these state that the following groups are "eligible to purchase from the Apple Store for Education":
- Employees of any education institution - Any employee of a public or private education institution in the UK.
- Post-secondary Education Students - Students attending or accepted into a post-secondary education institution in the UK.
- Parents of post-secondary students - Parents purchasing on behalf of their child, who is a student currently attending or accepted into a public or private post-secondary education institution in the UK
Apple has a similar set of terms and conditions for eligibility in the US:
- K-12 - Any employee of a public or private K-12 institution in the United States is eligible, including homeschool teachers. In addition, school board members who are currently serving as elected or appointed members are eligible. PTA or PTO executives currently serving as elected or appointed officers are eligible.
- Higher Education - Faculty and staff of Higher Education institutions in the United States; and students attending, or accepted into a Higher Education institution in the United States are eligible to purchase. Purchases from the Apple Store for Education Individuals are not for institutional purchase or resale.
- Higher Education Parents - Parents purchasing on behalf of their child, who is a student currently attending or accepted into a public or private Higher Education Institution in the United States, are eligible to purchase.
On that basis, if you're attending post-secondary education, or have been accepted into a post-secondary institution, you qualify for an Apple discount. (Post-secondary means university, or any other formal education that takes place after secondary education is complete. This therefore excludes sixth-form colleges, although it may be worth inquiring at an Apple Store to see if the company is prepared to relax the rules.)
Parents of students do not qualify when buying for themselves, but they can pick up a discounted Mac for their son or daughter from the education store. Again, this is limited to parents of post-secondary students.
In addition, anybody who works in an education environment qualifies for a discount on Apple computers. It's not just limited to teachers and lecturers, but also covers administrative workers and other staff members. Essentially it's anybody who works at or for a school, college or university. (This is not limited to post-secondary institutions. Apple refers to "any education institution".)
This does mean that you can't get a discount for a Mac or iPad for your child who is currently at school.
If you don't qualify for an Apple Education Store discount, we'd recommend instead checking out the Apple Refurbished Store, which offers discounts for everyone.
How to get an Apple student discount
Having established that you qualify for an education discount how can you get money off at Apple?
You may think that all you need to do is visit the Apple Store for Education and you will find the products you want at a lower price. However, before you can access Apple's Education Store you will need to verify that you are a student or that you qualify in another way (e.g. you work in a school or college). Different countries will have a different sequence of steps to go through, which we will run through below.
How to get an Apple student discount - UK
- Click this link to Apple's UK Education Store to access the Apple Education site.
- Once there you'll be encouraged to sign up on student discount website UNiDAYS to access Apple's educational discounts. Alternatively, UK customers can also use the rival verification service Student Beans, which works in the same way as UNiDAYS. (For full disclosure an employee of Student Beans is married to a Macworld editor.)
- On whichever site you use, you'll need to provide your email address and a password, your name, institution, subject of study, years of study and course length.
- Once you have completed the registration process and signed in you will be able to access Apple's student discounts.
If you don't want to register via a verification site, you can also call Apple, use Apple's Chat online feature, or visit an Apple Store. The staff there will guide you through the process.
How to get an Apple student discount - US & Australia
- Visit Apple's US Education Store or Apple's Australian Education Store depending on where you are.
- It's usually best to log on from your university network if you can.
- You will also want to make sure you have quick access to some form of official identification that proves you qualify for the education discount. Your student ID is a good choice.
- However, you may find you don't actually require any sort of login or ID to order from the Apple Education Store - but beware that Apple can request to see evidence that you are a student at any point during or after the purchase and will charge an additional fee if you fail to provide it.
Buying Apple products for an education institution
If you have been tasked with buying new Macs or iPads for a school, college or university then Apple has a different store for you. This store is designed for those who are buying a Mac for an educational institution (for students to work on rather than for individual students to own).
- You should visit the UK Apple Store for Schools and Universities, the US equivalent or the Australian equivalent.
- You'll need to search for your Educational Institution: enter your institution's details and click on search.
- If your institution is found you will be able to sign in to access your institution's store.
- You may still need to register before you can use the store.
- If your school, college or other institution isn't found then you may need to call Apple to discuss registering your school.
How to sign up for a student membership discount for Apple Music
Apple's student membership scheme for Apple Music offers those in full-time education a 50% subscription discount. (You can still get three months of music streaming for free, but students will pay less after the trial period expires.)
This discount brings the monthly cost of Apple Music membership down from £9.99/$9.99 to £4.99/$4.99, with identical schemes in Ireland, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Denmark, each offering half off the usual price.
To qualify for the student discount, you'll need to prove that you're enrolled at an eligible university or college.
The Student Membership tier is the third membership tier Apple has offered to consumers, alongside Individual Membership (£9.99/$9.99 per month) and Family Membership (£14.99/$14.99). Visit Apple's site for more details and to sign up.
If you're a student and signing up for Apple Music on your iPhone or iPad, tap where it says 'Are you a University Student?' and you'll be directed to a verification system - if your college or university is eligible you'll get the reduced subscription rate.
And that's it - enjoy your discounted Apple products!