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From discounted subscriptions and free software to savings on laptops, iPads, and other gadgets, lots of tech companies offer exclusive deals to college and university students. Here are our favorite student discounts you should take advantage of.

Check With Your School First for Software Discounts

If you need special software for your schoolwork, like the Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, SolidWorks, MatLab, ChemDraw, or anything else, always check with your institution before you buy them for yourself. Schools, and even individual departments, often purchase bulk licenses or discounts for their students, and asking could save you a ton of money.

The Best Software and Service Deals for Students

There are a million and one software packages and services out there that you might need or want as a student. Always check the developer’s website thoroughly before you buy or subscribe to anything — you might find a student discount! Here are a few popular ones.

  • Spotify: Spotify is the leading music-streaming platform globally. Spotify’s student deal is pretty good — it is only $4.99 per month for students, which is 5 dollars less than the regular price. For a limited time, Spotify’s student discount also includes access to the ad-supported version of Hulu and SHOWTIME.
  • Apple Music: Apple Music is another giant in music streaming. You can get an Apple Music subscription for 5.99 a month as a student — a discount of 3 dollars. Your Apple Music student discount also temporarily gives you access to Apple TV+.
  • Amazon Prime for Students: Amazon has an enormous number of services available to Prime members, and Prime Students get access to almost all of them, including Prime Music, Prime Video, and, of course, two-day shipping. The student discount also nets you access to some pretty sweet discounts on other Amazon services, like Amazon Music Unlimited.
    Prime Student costs $7.49 per month if you pay monthly or $69 dollars per year if you pay annually. As of August 2022, there is also a six-month free trial if you sign up now, though there is no telling how long that promotion will be around.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited: Amazon Music Unlimited is comparable to Spotify Premium or Apple Music. It has most of the same features and has a similarly-sized music library. The real difference is the cost — if you have Student Prime, Amazon Music Unlimited only costs an extra 99 cents per month. Normally Amazon Music Unlimited will run you $8.99 per month.
    If you’re already paying for Amazon Prime as a student, that deal is impossible to beat.
  • Microsoft Office 365: Office 365 has an application for every occasion. Most educational institutions will cover the cost of Office 365 for their students or at least offer it at a significant discount. Even if your school doesn’t cover it, the online versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are always free to use.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe’s software lineup includes classics like Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, LightRoom, and countless other arts-oriented programs. There is a decent chance your department will provide access to these programs for free if your coursework requires them, but if it doesn’t, Adobe offers a great student discount. You can get access to every single one of Adobe’s programs for $19.99 per month for a year and then $29.99 per month for the remainder of your education. That is a pretty hefty discount from the usual $54.99 per month.
  • Autodesk: Autodesk is one of the household names in computer-aided design (CAD) software. If you need to design something, there is a good chance Autodesk has a program to get the job done. The best part is the cost for students: $0. So long as you are a student, you can get access to Autodesk’s software for free.
Note: There are sometimes licensing restrictions placed on things created using student-discounted software. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your software before you try to sell anything you create while on a student license.

The Best Hardware Deals

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All the sweet software deals in the world don’t mean anything if you don’t have the right hardware to go with it. Most computer manufacturers, and some distributors, offer special student discounts.

  • Acer: Acer has an enormous lineup of laptops, monitors, and other peripherals. The company offers 10% off most purchases except orders over $5,000 dollars, Chromebooks, and items that are already discounted. Acer’s student discount is handled through Student Beans.
  • Apple: Apple offers a variety of discounts on its hardware. More expensive items, like the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, or an iMac, are discounted about $100 dollars for students. Less expensive items, like iPads, are discounted about $50 dollars.
    Students currently qualify for 20% off an AppleCare+ plan if they purchase the whole plan up front — two years for iPad or three years for MacBooks — rather than pay monthly. Students might also qualify for a $150 dollar gift card, which is enough to cover the cost of some peripherals.
  • B&H Photo: B&H is most well known for specializing in photography and filmmaking equipment, but the stores sell a wide range of other tech products, including laptops, computer components, flash drives, and just about anything else a modern student might require. The discounts vary between items, but it is definitely worth signing up and checking their inventory any time you need to make a purchase. Their student discount program also includes free shipping.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy runs a back-to-school special every year for students. The discounted amount differs between products, but discounts between 10% and 20% are normal. Best Buy also regularly runs other discounts and promotions that’ll benefit students (though they’re not specifically for students), so be sure to keep an eye on their deals throughout the year.
  • Dell: Dell makes some of the best Windows laptops and best computer monitors out there. Students can sign up for a coupon using their “.edu” email address to receive discounts on tons of items on the Dell website. The discounted amount varies, like with most student discounts, but the savings can easily be a few hundred dollars.
  • HP: Hewlett-Packard manufactures everything from laptops to printers. HP offers up to 40% off on some purchases, and all you need to do is provide your “.edu” email address. You also get free shipping.
  • Lenovo: Lenovo offers a 5% discount across most of its products, which includes an expansive array of laptops, desktops, and other tech products. All you need to do is verify your student status through ID.me.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft offers 10% off some Surface devices and their peripherals. You’ll need a valid educational email address to qualify. If you have already signed up with a “.edu” email account to get access to Office 356, you’ll automatically be eligible for discounts at the Microsoft Store.

How to Find Deals on Everything Else

This isn’t an exhaustive list of discounts available to students. Promotions and deals come and go regularly, and keeping up with all of them can be quite a task, especially if you’re trying to focus on your classes.

There are a few websites that are designed specifically to help with that. The two most prominent are StudentBeans and UNiDAYS. They both collate student discounts, so you don’t have to spend as much time hunting down student discounts yourself. They’re also commonly used by manufacturers, developers, and retailers to verify your status as a student, so there is a good chance you have an account with them already if you’ve applied for a student discount before.

The deals collected by UNiDAYS and StudentBeans cover more than just technology, though — you can find deals for everything from shoes to eyewear to class supplies. They’re definitely worth checking out if you’re a college student trying to save some money.

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Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years --- tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree.
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