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Buying a Mac or iPad? Students can get a $150 Apple gift card. Here's how

Students, parents, and educators can receive a gift card for up to $150 to the Apple Store and 20% off AppleCare, and enjoy discounted educational pricing.
Written by Kayla Solino, Associate Editor
Apple MacBook Air M3

Students can save big this back-to-school season (including on the new iPad Air and MacBook Air) with Apple's educational discounts. 

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Though it feels like we're just kicking off the dog days of summer, the new school year is just around the corner. With many colleges and universities starting the fall semester in August, and schools ranging from elementary to high school returning before Labor Day, students of all ages will return to their desks shortly. 

Also: These 5 gadgets are the college essentials you'll actually reach for

And if you're looking to get the best deals on back-to-school tech that will last all year, you probably already know that shopping for the best laptops, tablets, iPads, earbuds, and other tech essentials starts early. Plus, if you want to be an even savvier shopper, you can take advantage of educational discounts and offers exclusive to students, teachers, and sometimes parents.

Also: How to pick a laptop for college: 4 things to consider and 10 laptops we recommend

If you're an Apple fan, you won't be without savings this school year. Apple's education store is full of discounts and savings on top products such as iPads and MacBooks, AppleCare, Apple Music, and more. From now until September 30, students, teachers, and parents purchasing on behalf of their student can take advantage of several educational offerings designed to make the day-to-day educational workflow easier. Employees of public or private K-12 institutions are eligible for this offer as well, and more detailed terms and eligibility information is provided on Apple's site

One of the most enticing offers this season? Apple is offering students heading to school a gift card up to $150 and 20% off AppleCare on top of discounted education pricing on Mac and iPad (and yeah, this includes the new iPad Air and new MacBook Air). 

The new iPad Air (2024) has four storage capacities, starting at 128GB and going up to 1TB for both the 11-inch and 13-inch models. The 11-inch iPad Air with 128GB of storage costs $599, the same price as the previous generation's 10.9-inch model with half the storage, at 64GB. It also features an M2 chip, an upgrade from the M1 on the fifth-generation model. Apple says the M2 chip gives the new iPad Air a 50% faster performance than the previous M1 model and three times faster than the A13 Bionic model. 

ZDNET's Maria Diaz tested the new iPad Air following its release in May, and while she wasn't amazed with the device's latest upgrades, she said it's still a viable option for those looking for the most up-to-date iPad. "If you want a lightweight, big-screen iPad with most of the Apple fix-ins, this year's model may be the most reasonable option for consumers," Diaz wrote. 

Also: MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air: How to decide which to get

The new MacBook Air M3 is the laptop that ZDNET editor-in-chief Jason Hiner calls "Apple's AI computer for the masses." "The M3 MacBook Air is a worthy successor, now offered in two sizes, 13-inch and 15-inch. ZDNET has tested both over the past week and has been impressed enough with their three big upgrades that it makes these new machines an easy buy recommendation for pros and enthusiasts who need more AI power and multiple external monitors," Hiner wrote. 

Apple isn't the only brand offering student discounts this summer. Here are the links to student discount signups for several major manufacturers:

Even more educational offers from Apple

When will these deals expire?

Through September 30, 2024, students heading to college, their parents, and all educators can receive a gift card up to $150 and 20% off AppleCare on top of discounted education pricing on Mac and iPad. 

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