Apple has a back-to-school promotion (now known as the Higher Education Offer to avoid confusion) each year and offers a free product — usually AirPods — apart from purchases of eligible Apple products.
This is in addition to the year-round discounts Apple offers to students and educational institutions on Macs and iPads. We explain everything you need to know about getting a discount and using the Apple Education Store in this guide to shopping the Apple Education Store.
The Apple Back to Higher Education deal has already taken place in Australia and other locations in the Southern Hemisphere this year (from January 6 to March 14, 2022), but the educational event will begin in the US in mid-June, then in the UK and Europe from July. So if you are based in this part of the world get ready to take advantage!
Since it already runs in the Southern Hemisphere, we can assume the deal will be the same when it launches in the North this summer. If you buy an eligible product, you’ll get a free pair of second-generation AirPods, or you’ll be able to pay a little more to upgrade to newer AirPods or AirPods Pro.
The free AirPods come in addition to the education discount Apple offers to students in higher education throughout the year.
You need to purchase one of the following eligible products to get free AirPods:
Mac: MacBook Air, 13in MacBook Pro, 14in and 16in MacBook Pro, 24in iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, or (more likely) Mac Studio.
iPad: iPad Air, iPad Pro 11in, or iPad Pro 12.9in.
All products sold to students via the Apple Education Store have a discount, so you’ll actually save on any of these products.
Additionally, students can get 20% off AppleCare+.
How to Get Apple’s Back To School Deal
As long as you reside in an area where Apple manages the deal at the time of purchase, and you are a student in higher education, or about to begin higher education, you can qualify for the Apple Higher Education deal and get a free pair of AirPods. More details about who the deal applies to are below.
Note that if you qualify, you’ll be able to get discounts throughout the year by shopping the Apple Education Store, so you don’t need to shop now for a bargain.
Due to differences in when the school year starts around the world, Apple runs the promotion at different times in different places.
Apple runs this promotion in the Southern Hemisphere for the first few months of the year. Thus, if you live in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and South America, you can take advantage of the Apple deal between January 6 and March 14, 2022.
The same deal will be implemented later in the year in the UK, US, Canada and Europe. Usually between June and September in North America, and between July and October in Europe and the United Kingdom.
In the US, you’ll be able to visit the Apple Education Store in the US, but logging in from your university’s network may make the process easier.
In the UK you will need to check your student or employee status with UNiDAYS, which is also the way to access back to school offers.
Go to the Apple Education Store for other regions using the links below:
When you make the purchase, you’ll be able to order the AirPods you want at checkout and pay an additional fee if you want to upgrade to wireless AirPods or AirPods Pro.
Read on for the dates the deal will start in 2022.
When is Apple’s Back to School Sale 2022?
Apple’s Higher Education offer is typically valid from June to September in the United States and Canada, and from July to October in the United Kingdom.
In Australia, New Zealand and South America, the sale takes place between January and March.
Apple back to school sale dates in the US and Canada
mid-June to end of September (estimated)
In 2021, the deal ran from June 17 to September 27, so expect the dates to be similar in 2022.
In 2020, Apple launched the sale in the US on June 15 with an end date set for September 29, although Apple ended up extending the end date to October 12 instead, moving it to just a day before Amazon Prime Day, Which took place during October 13-14, 2020. Unfortunately, Apple did not extend the deadline in North America in 2021, so it is unlikely that it will extend into 2022.
If this year’s deal doesn’t kick in when you consider buying from Apple, don’t be disappointed: Apple educational discounts are available year-round.
Visit the US Education Store and Canada Education Store for more information.
Apple Back to School Sale UK/Europe – Dates
Mid July – Mid October 2022 (estimated)
In 2021, Apple’s Higher Education Offering (also known as the Back to School Sale) began on July 15, 2021 in the UK’s Education Store. The sale continues through Monday, October 11th.
Naturally, Apple will announce a UK offer in July. Apple UK’s 2020 back-to-school sale started on July 9 and lasted until October 29. It also launched its 2019 sales on July 9, and went on sale in 2018 on July 12.
If this year’s deal doesn’t happen when you’re considering making an Apple purchase, don’t be disappointed: Apple educational discounts are available throughout the year. Students and educators need to log in via the UNiDAYS website to view the offers. Education Store discounts are usually up to £280 for UK students.
Apple Back to School Sale in Australia / New Zealand / South America / South Korea
It lasted from January 6 to March 14, 2022
The dates in the southern hemisphere correspond to the new school year there.
Apple’s back-to-school sales in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and South Korea began on January 6, 2022 and ended on March 14, 2022.
In 2021, it started from January 7 and ended on March 16, 2021.
Who Can Get Apple’s Back to School Deal
If you are enrolled in a higher education institution (education, universities, colleges after K12), you will be eligible for a free AirPods deal in addition to Apple’s usual education discount. Employees of these establishments may also qualify. If you are a parent buying for your student’s offspring, you may also qualify.
Alternatively, if you are an employee of a public or private K-12 institution/school in the United States or Canada, you are also eligible. Apple Education pricing is not available for parents with children in school, but a home tutor can qualify for it.
Even when Apple doesn’t run a back-to-school deal, students and educational institutions can still take advantage of their standard tuition rates on the Tuition Pricing page (US here / UK here).
Thanks to the deal, college students, or those about to start college or higher education, will get a free pair of second-generation AirPods with a new Mac or iPad.
Alternatively, you can spend more to upgrade your AirPods to 3rd generation AirPods or AirPods Pro. AirPods Max is not included in the offer (Learn where to buy Max at the best price).
Students can get:
Free set of second-generation AirPods $129 / £119 / AU$219.
Or third-generation AirPods of $169 / £179 / AU$279 if you pay the difference.
or AirPods Pro at $249 / £239/AUD 399 If you pay the increase.
All details and terms and conditions can be found on the Apple website here.
What iPads are included in Apple’s back to school deal?
Not every Apple product you can buy in the Education Store is included in your free AirPods deal.
For 2022, at least in the Southern Hemisphere, Apple has included the following iPads:
iPad Pro 11in
iPad Pro 12.9in
This aligns with the 2021 deal, in which Apple included the iPad Pro and iPad Air in its back to school offer. The eighth generation iPad and iPad mini 5 are still excluded from the show (perhaps because they’re still relatively new).
You can still get discounted educational rates on the iPad and iPad mini If you qualify, you won’t be able to get a free pair of AirPods.
If you don’t qualify for tuition rates, we have a separate guide on where to get the best deals on iPad. For tips on which iPad to buy, read Which iPad is Best for Students.
What Macs Are Included in Apple’s Back to School Deal?
If you qualify for AirPods from Apple, you will need to purchase one of the following Macs.
13 inch MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro 14-inch or 16-inch
24 inch iMac
studio mac (probably)
You will also be able to take advantage of tuition rates for all these Macs.
If you don’t qualify for an educational discount, take a look at these breakdowns of the best deals on a new Mac:
We also have this tip on which Mac is best for students.