If you're a student (or parent of a student), teacher or lecturer, or work for an educational institute in some other way, you can save loads of money on your next MacBook or iPad purchase. In this article we show how to get a student discount from Apple's Education Store.

Apple is keen to make inroads into the education market, and students are a big market for the company. To this end it has an entire separate education store that offers a hefty discount on Mac computers and iPads.

Most Apple customers aren't aware of the 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.

Who qualifies for an Apple education discount?

Anybody who works in an education environment qualifies for a discount on Apple computers. It's not just limited to students, teachers and lecturers, but also covers administrative workers and other staff members. Essentially it's anybody who works for a school, college or university.

Parents of schoolchildren do not qualify (when buying for themselves), but you can pick up a discounted Mac for your child from the education store. The Apple terms and conditions state:

"Those eligible to purchase from the Apple Store for Education Individuals include teachers, staff, students and parents as follows:

Employees of any education institution - Any employee of a public or private education institution in the UK is eligible.

Post-secondary Education Students - Students attending or accepted into a post-secondary education institution in the UK are eligible to purchase.

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, are eligible to purchase."

If you don't qualify for an Apple Education Store discount, we'd recommend instead checking out the Apple Refurbished Store, which is available to everyone.

How to get an Apple student discount from the Education Store

If you think you qualify for an education discount then you should pay a visit to Apple's UK Education Store or Apple's US Education Store.

Bear in mind that you will need to verify that you qualify for the discount. If you go via the UK link above you'll be encouraged to use UNiDAYS to get access. You will need to enter your email address and a password, your name, institution, subject of study, year of study and course length.

UK customers can also use the rival verification service provided by Student Beans, which works in the same way as UNiDAYS. (For full disclosure an employee of Student Beans is married to a Macworld editor so we will make no comment on the respective merits of the two verification services.)

In the US, you won't require any sort of login or ID to order from the Education Store, but Apple can request to see evidence of your student status at any point during or after the purchase and will charge you an additional fee if you fail to provide it.

Shopping at the Apple Store for Education is much like shopping at the regular Apple store but with different pricing. It's usually best to log on from your university network if you can, but be prepared for Apple to ask you for some form of official identification that proves you're a student, the parent or guardian of a student, or a teacher, or otherwise involved in the educational establishment. Your student ID is typically the best way to do this.

Alternatively, if you don't want to register on one of the verification sites, 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.

Buying for an educational institute

Note that if you're thinking of buying a Mac, not for yourself or your child but for the institution itself (for students to work on), then Apple has other stores for you to use.

You can visit the UK Apple Store for Schools and Universities or the US equivalent. You'll need to register with Apple before you can make any purchases. Alternatively you can call Apple direct on 0800 912 0207 if you're in the UK, or 1-800-800-APPL in the US.

What discounts can I expect on the Apple Store for Education?

Apple doesn't offer a stock discount ratio (such as 10 per cent) but instead 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.

Mac student discounts

You can save hundreds on a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac or iMac with Retina 5K display when purchased with AppleCare via the UK Apple Education Store or the US Education Store.

iPad student discounts

You can also get a small discount on iPads from the UK Education Store - between £20 and £50 depending on the model. Take a closer look at the prices in Apple's UK Education Store.

The savings on the iPad in the US Education Store are also quite small at up to $50. Take a closer look at Apple's US Education Store.

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.

There are no discounts on the iPhone, Apple TV or Apple Watch.

If you're interested in further tech deals for students, visit our dedicated Macworld student deals site.

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% discount on the music-streaming service's subscription costs. (You can still get three months for free, but students will pay less after the trial period expires.)

In the UK this discount brings the monthly cost of Apple Music membership down from £9.99/$9.99 to £4.99/$4.99. But there are 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 UK 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.

How to sign up for an Apple Music student membership discount

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! If you're undecided about which Mac you need, check out our guide to the best Mac for students.