Apple holds a Back to School promotion (now known as the Higher Education Offer to avoid confusion) every year and it offers a free product–usually AirPods–with purchases of qualifying Apple products.
However, this year it seems that Apple is not giving away AirPods. Instead, Apple is offering gift cards with qualifying purchases.
This year’s deal kicked off on Friday, June 24 in the U.S. The same deal is likely to launch in the U.K. and Europe in July.
This education-focused deal 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, including how much you can save as a student, and explain how to use Apple’s Education Store in this guide to shopping in the Apple Education Store.
What’s Apple’s Back To School offer in 2022?
- Free gift card worth up to $150
Apple is offering vouchers for the Higher Education Deal this summer. Apple also offers vouchers during its Black Friday shopping event, and just as with that deal there are different voucher values associated with different Apple products:
- Buy an iPad Air (5th gen), iPad Pro 11-inch or 12.9-inch and get a $100 Apple Gift Card.
- Buy a MacBook Air, 13-inch, 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, or a 24-inch iMac and get a $150 Apple Gift Card.
Vouchers do mean that those taking advantage of the deal get more choice about what they spend their money on, rather than being limited to headphones. The second-gen AirPods start at $129, so if you buy a Mac, this year you can technically save more. However, in 2021, the AirPods started at $159 and you could apply that price toward the purchase of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
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 percent off AppleCare+.
The terms and conditions of the deal are here. 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), when Apple gave away AirPods. Every year Apple’s education event starts 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 that’s the time to take advantage!
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 (or vouchers if that’s what the deal is). 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 January 6 and March 14.
The same deal will run later in the year in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Europe. Usually between June and September in North America, and between July and October in Europe and the UK.
In the U.S. you’ll be able to visit Apple’s US Education Store, but logging on from your university network may make the process easier.
In the U.K. you can visit the UK Education Store, but you will also need to verify your student or staff status with UNiDAYS.
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 Apple Gift Card.
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 will runs from June 24 to September 26, 2022 in the U.S. and Canada
In the U.K. and Europe it usually runs from mid-July to October.
In Australia, New Zealand and South America the sale takes place between January and March.
Apple Back to School Sale U.S. & Canada dates 2022
In 2021 the deal ran from June 17 to September 27. In 2020 Apple launched the U.S. sale on 15 June with an end date set for 29 September, although Apple ended up extending the end date to October 12 instead, moving it to just a day before Amazon’s Prime Day, which took place over October 13-14, 2020.
Apple’s education discounts are available all year round.
Visit the US Education Store and Canada Education Store for more information.
Apple Back to School Sale UK/Europe – dates 2022
- Mid July – mid October 2022 (estimated)
In 2021 Apple’s Higher Education Offer (aka Back to School Sale) started on July 15 in the U.K. Education Store. The sale ran until Monday, October 11.
It is normal for Apple to announce the U.K. offer in July since school beings later. Apple U.K.’s Back to School Sale in 2020 started July 9 and lasted until October 29. It also launched its 2019 sale on July 9, and its 2018 sale started on July 12.
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 U.K. students.
Apple Back to School Sale Australia/New Zealand/South America/South Korea 2022
- Ran from January 6-March 14, 2022
The dates in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and, South Korea correspond with the new school year there.
In 2021 the sale ran from January 7 to March 16.
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, Apple included the following iPads:
- iPad Air (5th gen)
- iPad Pro 11-in
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch
This corresponds with the 2021 deal, where Apple included the iPad Pro and iPad Air in the Back To School offer. The iPad and iPad mini 5th generation are still excluded from the offer.
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 voucher.
If you don’t qualify for the education pricing we have a separate guide on where to get the best deals on the iPad. For advice about which iPad to buy read which iPad is best for students.
Which Macs are included in Apple’s Back to School deal?
If you qualify for Apple’s Back to School AirPods you need to buy one of the following Macs.
- MacBook Air
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro
- 24-inch iMac
You’ll also be able to take advantage of education pricing for all of those Macs. This year the Mac mini is excluded from the voucher offer.
If you don’t qualify for an education discount have a look at these round ups of the best deals on a new Mac:
We also have this advice about which Mac is best for students.