Personal Tech | January 21, 2022 1:02 pm

It Just Got Much Harder to Use Educational Discounts for Apple Products

To start, you now need to verify you're actually a student or teacher — and the company will still limit your purchases

Two screens showing a MacBook and an iPad. Apple is cracking down on non-students/teachers using the educational discount.
Hello, fellow kids. Can I get a discount?

Getting a discount on Apple products isn’t as hard as it used to be, but one trick in everyone’s arsenal was to try for the educational discount.

Apparently, Apple finally caught on that many of us left academia years ago. As reported by The Verge, U.S. customers attempting to get discounted educational pricing are finally going to get checked for their educational status (be it student, teacher or staff) by UNiDAYS, a third-party verification service.

Amazingly, Apple had been pretty lax about verification before this — while it was going in other countries like the U.K., here you didn’t even need an .edu email address to qualify.

As well, Apple Track reports that there are now also purchase limits on what you can buy with your (verified) educational discount, which is still pretty generous: You’re “only” allowed one desktop, one Mac mini, one notebook, two iPads and two accessories with Education Pricing per year, which is actually a larger inventory that I’ve ever spent in my lifetime on Apple gear outside of phones and iPods.

Even the Apple forums on Reddit are pretty meh about the whole change, with the biggest complaint coming from one user who notes “Verification is fine for the 95% (or more) of students and faculty/staff who those platforms work for. Frustrating for a fair amount of people who can’t get those systems to work (My colleague is an adjunct professor who qualifies, but Unidays just won’t work due to some weird classification or database issue). Sigh, we can’t have nice things when people abuse them.”

The good news is that Apple sales are much, much easier to find these days, and you can probably get an equal or even greater discount with a bit of patience and by scouring the internet (and our Deals page) for lower prices. Better yet, go the certified refurbished route and you’ll get almost-new Apple gear at a fraction of the price.