Are you an educator? You might have trained your cat to play fetch, but that doesn’t necessarily qualify you for an educational discount on hardware from Apple. Or does it?
Apple debuted a brand-new iPad today at its education-themed press event in Chicago. It’s not any cheaper than the lowest-cost iPad you could have already purchased ($329), but you can score a slight discount if you order it through your school ($300) or if you’re eligible to take advantage of Apple’s educational pricing ($309). And guess what? Everyone’s an educator!
Now, as sure as we’re writing this, Apple is probably working on a way to close up the loophole that lets anyone score a meager educational discount on new Apple hardware. But money is money, right? You’re saving a few burritos’ worth of cash—or, at the very least, getting an extra $20 to spend on a brand-new Apple Pencil ($89 with an educator discount, $99 regularly).
Current and newly accepted college students and their parents
Faculty and staff, all grade levels
Homeschool teachers, all grade levels
Here’s the catch. Apple doesn’t verify any of this online. It certainly could if it were to ask for some kind of proof of registration or certification for homeschool teachers, or a copy of any official documentation they have to file when indicating they plan to homeschool their children. But it doesn’t. As The Verge’s Paul Miller describes:
“To buy products at Apple’s education discount, you simply go to the Apple Education Pricing store, pick your gear (there’s a limit on how much you can buy a year), and check out. It’s just like buying anything else on Apple’s website, except it’s cheaper. If Apple isn’t certain about your education-adjacent status, it might email you for verification, but you don’t need to provide any ID or certificates up front.”
One thing to note: this trick only works for those purchasing products in the U.S. If you’re in the UK, for example, you’ll actually have to verify your status with a service called UNiDAYS, and it’s pretty thorough about checking to see if you’re an active student or educator.
While posing as an educator can save you a decent chunk of cash if you’re making a pricier Apple purchase, depending on the product, you probably shouldn’t pick up your purchases at an Apple store. You never know if an eager Apple retail employee is going to try to spot-audit your “student” or “educator” status. And that’s right out of Apple’s terms and conditions:
“Apple routinely audits the purchases of customers at the Apple Store for Education to insure that that all purchase conditions have been observed. Should we discover that you have not observed all of the conditions applicable to your purchase, you authorize Apple:
If you placed your order by credit card, to charge to your credit card the difference between the amount you paid for the delivered goods and the price that Apple charged the general public for the same goods at the Apple Store, in effect on the date that you placed your order; and
If you paid by a means other than credit card, to (a) invoice you for the difference between the amount that you paid for the delivered goods and the price that Apple charged the general public for the same goods at the Apple Store, payable in fifteen days from the date of the invoice, and (b), should you fail to pay the invoice when due, institute legal action against you in a court of competent jurisdiction, with the prevailing party entitled to attorneys’ fees.
Should Apple not offer to the general public the specific products that you purchased at the Apple Store for Education, your credit card will be charged or you will be invoiced the difference between the amount you paid for the delivered goods and the price that Apple charged the general public for the closest equivalent goods at the Apple Store, in effect on the date that you placed your order.”