For over a decade, Apple has offered an annual Back to School promotion, offering higher education students, parents of higher education students, and educators incentives, such as a free pair of Beats headphones or an Apple Store gift card valued up to $100, with the purchase of a qualifying Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Apple 2016 Back to School promo
We've been receiving questions about the Back to School promotion for a few weeks now, but there's still no sign of an imminent launch. Some have wondered whether Apple is canceling the program entirely, but it's too early to say, as there are still several weeks remaining before students begin returning to classrooms.

Since 2006, Apple has launched its Back to School promotion in the United States and Canada as early as May 25, and as late as July 23. The promotion is usually extended to several European countries such as France, Germany, and Italy on either the same day, or no more than a few weeks later.

These have been the exact kickoff dates each year for North America:

  • 2016: June 2

  • 2015: July 23

  • 2014: July 1

  • 2013: July 2

  • 2012: June 11

  • 2011: June 16

  • 2010: May 25

  • 2009: May 27

  • 2008: June 3

  • 2007: June 5

  • 2006: June 4

Apple's Back to School promotion is highly anticipated because it's one of the few times a year that Apple offers deals to customers, and many hold off on summer purchases until the event begins. Apple offered free Beats headphones in 2016 and 2015, free Apple Store gift cards in 2014, and free iTunes gift cards in 2013.

Apple launched a Back to Uni promotion in Australia and New Zealand in February, offering a free Apple Store gift card valued between $70 and $100 with the purchase of a qualifying new Mac or iPad Pro.

The Back to Uni promotion in Australia and New Zealand can sometimes foreshadow what Apple plans to offer in other countries, but not always. In 2015, for example, Apple offered an Apple Store gift card worth up to $100 in Australia and New Zealand, but the deal was free Beats headphones in the United States.

Top Rated Comments

Happy-Mac Avatar
53 months ago
Never gonna happen.
Don't say like that.
Don't worry Avieshek, your first kiss will come. J/K

Kidding aside, I love MacRumors posts like this. Listing historical data with some past guidance to make predictions is a favorite for me. (I go nuts in the buyers guides sometimes.)

Joe Rossignol +1 ('https://www.macrumors.com/author/joe-rossignol/')
MacRumors +1
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
53 months ago
There has been a lot of speculation on these forums that the new Macs and iPads released at WWDC last month has delayed this years promotion as Apple waits to clear the backlog of orders it would have drummed up.
Back in the day, the summer back-to-school promotion helped them clear out inventory of very-capable-but-not-just-released computers the the college-bound students (mostly a win/win situation), and the promotion would end a week before the September launch event for the new computers (to the point where you could predict the September event's date by the end date of the back-to-school program). Those new computer models would the the front-line through the Christmas season, until a spring event that would mostly speed-bump them (remember when all the computers got updated twice every year?). Now, their release schedule has blown all that out of the water.

In any case, we're still over a couple weeks off from the outlier for late starts (2015).
It's going on right now. These 'back to school' promotions in India are in the form of a percentage discount on purchase of Macs & iPads (not applicable for iPhone).

The education discount is usually 6% throughout the year. However during this 'back to school' promotional period that discount gets up to 12% or in the form of a fixed discount, whichever is lesser.
Back when I was working at a university, the normal educational discount was a fixed amount per line of hardware (e.g. $200 or $300 on a pro-level machine), and the back-to-school promotion brought in additional "freebies" (and the edu discounts were valid for faculty/staff too). I recall one time, getting a laptop with the usual edu discount, plus $300 off a $375 iPod, plus $100 off a $99.99 printer. That was pretty nice.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glope Avatar
53 months ago
Honestly, i'd love an iTunes voucher to go with my iPad Pro and i'll buy Affinity Photo straight off - saves me £20/30!

Third week of waiting for this bloody event though, it's killing me now! I want my new toy :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheIguana Avatar
53 months ago
There has been a lot of speculation on these forums that the new Macs and iPads released at WWDC last month has delayed this years promotion as Apple waits to clear the backlog of orders it would have drummed up. Also wondering out loud when/if Apple will start this up again.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
53 months ago
I still get a kick out of the anti-Beats bias from people. Especially Mac owners.

Yeah, you can probably get similar or even better sound for less, but that's what PC owners criticized Mac owners for for all these years.

I have a couple of pairs of Beats and the Studio and the Pros sound pretty good to me. Yes, they have lots of bass, but I actually like that in headphones. It's not like people are going to mix on headphones so they need them to be flat.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
serkan Avatar
53 months ago
To be honest, I would be pissed for a gift card after waiting this long on Mid-2017's.

But also, I would be happy like a 14 year old who got his first kiss if they do it with airpods.

For Beats, it'll be a good gift to my girlfriend.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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