Apple holds a Back to School promotion (now known as the Higher Education Offer to avoid confusion) every year and it gives a free product – usually AirPods – away with purchases of qualifying Apple products.
This is in addition to the year-long discounts Apple offers to students and education institutions on its Macs and iPads. We explain everything you need to know about getting a discount and using Apple’s Education Store in this guide to shopping in the Apple Education Store.
Apple’s Back To Higher Education deal has already run in Australia and other locations in the southern hemisphere this year (from January 6 to March 14 2022), but the education event will be kicking off in the U.S. in mid June, and then in the U.K. and Europe from July. So if you are based in that part of the world get ready to take advantage!
Since it’s already run in the southern hemisphere we can assume that the deal will be the same when it kicks off in the north this summer. If you buy a qualifying product you will get a free pair of 2nd gen AirPods, or you will be able to pay a little more to upgrade to the newer AirPods or AirPods Pro.
The free AirPods are in addition to the education discount Apple offers students in higher education all year round.
You need to buy one of the following eligible products to get the free AirPods:
Mac: MacBook Air, 13in MacBook Pro, 14in & 16in MacBook Pro, 24in iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, or (probably) Mac Studio.
iPad: iPad Air, iPad Pro 11in or iPad Pro 12.9in.
All products sold to students via Apple’s Education Store include a discount, so you will already be making a saving on any of these products.
In addition, students can get 20% off AppleCare+.
How to get Apple’s Back To School deal
As long as you based in an area where Apple is running the deal at the time of your purchase, and are a student in higher education, or about to start higher education, you can qualify for Apple’s Higher Education deal and get a free pair of AirPods. There are more details about who the deal applies to below.
Note that if you qualify you are able to get discounts all year round by shopping in the Apple Education Store, so you don’t need to shop now to get a bargain.
Due to differences in when the school year starts around the globe Apple runs the promotion at different times in different places.
Apple runs the promotion in the southern hemisphere in the first few months of the year. Hence, if you live in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and South America you can take advantage of Apple’s deal between 6 January to 14 March 2022.
The same deal will run 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 UK.
In the UK you will need to verify your student or staff status with UNiDAYS, which is also how you would access its Back to School offers.
Go to the Apple Education Store for other regions using the links below:
When you make your purchase you will be able to request the AirPods that you want at checkout and pay the extra if you wish to upgrade to the wireless AirPods or the AirPods Pro.
Read on to find out the dates the deal will run in 2022.
When is Apple’s Back to School Sale 2022?
Apple’s Higher Education Offer usually runs from June to September in the US and Canada, and from July to October in the UK.
In Australia, New Zealand and South America the sale takes place between January and March.
Apple Back to School Sale U.S. & Canada dates
Mid June to end of September (estimate)
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 US sale on 15 June with an end date set for 29 September, although Apple ended up extending the end date to 12 October instead, moving it to just a day before Amazon’s Prime Day, which took place over 13-14 October 2020. Unfortunately Apple didn’t extend the deadline in North America in 2021 so it is unlikely to in 2022.
If this year’s deal isn’t running when you are considering buying from Apple that’s no reason for disappointment: Apple’s education discounts are available all year round.
In 2021 Apple’s Higher Education Offer (aka Back to School Sale) started on 15 July 2021 in the UK Education Store. The sale ran until Monday 11 October.
It is normal for Apple to announce the UK offer in July. Apple UK’s Back to School Sale in 2020 started 9 July and lasted until 29 October. It also launched its 2019 sale on 9 July, and its 2018 sale started on 12 July.
If this year’s deal isn’t running when you are considering making a purchase from Apple that’s no reason for disappointment: Apple’s education discounts are available all year round. Students and educators need to log in via UNiDAYS website to see the offers. Educational Store discounts are usually up to £280 for UK students.
Apple Back to School Sale Australia/New Zealand/South America/South Korea
Ran from 6 January – 14 March 2022
The dates in the southern hemisphere correspond with the new school year there.
In 2021 it ran from 7 January and ended on 16 March, 2021.
Who can get Apple’s Back to School deal
If you are registered at a higher education facility (that’s post-K12 education, universities and colleges) you will qualify for the free AirPods deal as well as Apple usual education discount. Employees of these institutions can also qualify. If you are a parent buying for your student offspring then you can also qualify.
Alternatively, if you are an employee of a public or private K-12 institution/school in the US or Canada you are also eligible. Apple’s Education pricing isn’t available to parents with kids at school, but a homeschool teacher can qualify.
Even when Apple isn’t running the Back to School Deal students and education institutions can still take advantage of its standard educational pricing on its Educational Pricing page ( US here/ UK here).
Which iPads are included in Apple’s Back to School deal?
Not every Apple product you can buy in the Education Store is included in the free AirPods deal.
For 2022, at least in the southern hemisphere, Apple included the following iPads:
iPad Pro 11in
iPad Pro 12.9in
This corresponds with the 2021 deal, where Apple included the iPad Pro and iPad Air in the Back To School offer. The iPad 8th generation and iPad mini 5th generation are still excluded from the offer (perhaps because they are still relatively new).
You can still get discounted Educational Pricing on the iPad and iPad mini if you qualify, you just won’t be able to get the free pair of AirPods.