At some point in the last month, Apple introduced a new verification process in the US that tried to ensure customers who want to benefit from its discounted education pricing are actually involved in education. Now Apple has removed the verification process, as confirmed in tests by The Verge, and backed up by reports from MacRumors and 9to5Mac. When it was in place, customers had to verify that they actually qualified for an education discount using Unidays’ third-party verification service.
It’s possible that the verification requirement, which was spotted by Reddit users, will return. Apple already has verification processes in place in other countries, like the UK. The company didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment on whether the verification requirement’s removal was temporary.
Customers have also noticed Apple placing new limits on how many items you can buy with an educational discount. Apple Track reports that users are limited to one desktop computer, one Mac mini, one laptop, two iPads, and two accessories per year. (These limits are still listed on Apple’s site, despite verification being gone.) Given that it’s more than any student, teacher, or educational staff member is likely to purchase for themselves in a given year, the limit seems to be in place to stop them from acting as a discount broker for all their non-education friends.
Although the change (potentially temporarily) removed a loophole that was previously ridiculously easy to exploit — apparently Apple didn’t even require customers to have a .edu email address — there was surprisingly little outcry over on Reddit, with some pointing out that Apple’s first-party discounts are often beaten by third-party retailers during back to school season. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a good deal on a MacBook, we’ve got a page dedicated to that exact purpose right here.
Update January 21st, 4:58PM ET: Updated to reflect that the Unidays’ verification seems to have been removed from Apple’s US education store.