The best tech discounts and deals for college students

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Top 5 Student Finance Hacks
Top 5 Student Finance Hacks
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From discounted subscriptions and free software to savings on laptops, iPads, and other devices, many tech companies offer exclusive deals for college students. These are our favorite student discounts that you should take advantage of.

Check with your school first for software discounts

If you need special software for your school work, such as Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, SolidWorks, MatLab, ChemDraw or any other, always check with your institution before purchasing. Schools, and even individual departments, often buy bulk licenses or discounts for their students, and asking could save you a ton of money.

The best software and services offers for students

There are a million software packages and services that you may need or want as a student. Always check the developer’s website carefully before buying or subscribing to anything; you might find a student discount! Here are some popular ones.

  • Spotify: Spotify is the world’s leading music streaming platform. Spotify’s student deal is pretty good – it’s just $4.99 per month for students, which is $5 off the regular price. For a limited time, the Spotify student discount also includes access to the ad-supported version of Hulu and SHOWTIME.
  • apple music: Apple Music is another giant in streaming music. You can get an Apple Music subscription for 5.99 per month as a student, a $3 discount. Your Apple Music student discount also gives you temporary access to Apple TV+.
  • Amazon Prime for Students: Amazon has a ton of services available to Prime members, and Prime Students have access to almost all of them, including Prime Music, Prime Video, and of course, two-day shipping. The student discount also gives you access to some pretty good discounts on other Amazon services, like Amazon Music Unlimited.
    Prime Student costs $7.49 per month if you pay monthly or $69 per year if you pay annually. Starting in August 2022, there’s also a six-month free trial if you sign up now, though there’s no telling how long that promotion will last.
  • amazon unlimited music: Amazon Music Unlimited is comparable to Spotify Premium or Apple Music. It has most of the same features and has a similar 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 set you back $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 app 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 line of software includes classics like Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, LightRoom, and many other arts-oriented programs. There’s a good chance your department provides access to these programs for free if your courses require them, but if not, Adobe offers a huge student discount. You can get access to each and every Adobe program for $19.99 per month for one year and then $29.99 per month for the rest of your education. That’s a pretty hefty discount from the usual $54.99 per month.
  • autodesk: Autodesk is one of the familiar names in computer-aided design (CAD) software. If you need to design something, chances are Autodesk has a program to get the job done. The best part is the cost for students: $0. As long as you are a student, you can get access to Autodesk software for free.

Note: Licensing restrictions are sometimes placed on things created with student discount software. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your software before trying to sell anything you create with a student license.

The best hardware deals

A laptop with headphones and a USB flash drive.
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All the good software deals in the world mean nothing if you don’t have the right hardware to go with it. Most computer manufacturers and some retailers offer special discounts for students.

  • Steel: Acer has a huge line of laptops, monitors, and other peripherals. The company offers a 10% discount on most purchases, except orders over $5,000, 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, MacBook Pro, or an iMac, are discounted by around $100 for students. Less expensive items, like iPads, are discounted by around $50.
    Students currently qualify for a 20% discount on an AppleCare+ plan if they purchase the full plan up front (two years for iPads or three years for MacBooks) instead of paying monthly. Students may also qualify for a $150 gift card, which is enough to cover the cost of some peripherals.
  • B&H photo: B&H is best known for specializing in photography and film 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 need. Discounts vary between items, but it’s definitely worth signing up and checking their inventory every time you need to make a purchase. Their student discount program also includes free shipping.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy offers a back to school special every year for students. The amount of the discount differs between products, but discounts between 10% and 20% are normal. Best Buy also regularly offers other discounts and promotions that will benefit students (although they aren’t specifically for students), so be sure to keep an eye out for their deals throughout the year.
  • dell: Dell makes some of the best Windows laptops and 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 amount of the discount varies, as with most student discounts, but the savings can easily be a few hundred dollars.
  • hp: Hewlett-Packard makes everything from laptops to printers. HP is offering up to 40% off select purchases and all you need to do is provide your “.edu” email address. You also get free shipping.
  • lenovo: Lenovo offers a 5% discount on most of its products, which includes a wide variety of laptops, desktops and other technology products. All you need to do is verify your student status through ID.me.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft offers a 10% discount on some Surface devices and their peripherals. You will need a valid educational email address to qualify. If you’ve already signed up with a “.edu” email account to get access to Office 356, you’ll automatically be eligible for discounts in the Microsoft Store.

How to Find Deals on Everything Else

This is not 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 some websites that are specifically designed to help with that. The two most prominent are StudentBeans and UNiDAYS. They both collect student discounts, so you don’t have to spend as much time looking for student discounts. They’re also commonly used by manufacturers, developers, and retailers to verify your status as a student, so chances are good that you already have an account with them if you’ve previously applied for a student discount.

However, the deals compiled by UNiDAYS and StudentBeans cover more than just tech: You can find deals on everything from shoes and glasses to school supplies. These are definitely worth checking out if you’re a college student trying to save some money.