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Getting an Educational Discount on Software

by Ron Kurtus (revised 14 April 2012)

Teachers and instructors may require their students to purchase various software applications for completing assignments and projects.

The teachers should also have that software, so that they are familiar with what the students are doing. In addition, instructors may need other applications to do their work.

To ease the financial burden, students and faculty can purchase many software titles at an educational discount.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Typical software

Software required of students, as well as used by instructors, can run cover a wide range. The most obvious is a word processor, such as Microsoft Word. Teachers of graphic arts course may expect their students to buy Adobe PhotoShop. Advanced statistics teachers may need the SPSS graduate statistics pack.

Most of the required software is fairly expensive, so a 75% discount offered by educational software retailers would help.


Requirements for getting educational discounts on software that you must be a qualified student, faculty member or staff member form an accredited institution. You need to provide proof of your academic status when placing an order. This is usually done by sending a copy of your academic ID to the software distributor.

Typical acceptable proofs are:

Some require one of the above, while others require two proofs.


Following is a list of some of the companies that specialize in selling software to schools, faculty and students. The best bet is to check them out to see which best fits your needs. Also, make sure the discount is more than you can get through your usual sources.

Popular sites

The following companies specialize in student and teacher discounts:

If you have another source to recommend, let me know about it. also offers student discounts, as well as various software companies.

Not recommended

Note that you may have received email that advertises software at extremely low prices, with no requirements or restrictions. This is usually unauthorized copies of common software applications. Often they are distributed from foreign countries. It is not a good idea to buy this software, even though the prices are below the educational discount price. They software may be incomplete, may be infected with a virus, and you may get in trouble for using it.

We recommend that you do not purchase that software.


Teachers often require their students to purchase various software applications for their course. Both the instructors and students can purchase expensive software from places that offer educational discounts. Proof of employment or student status is required to get the discount.

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