Your guide to Apple’s 2011 ‘Back to School’ promo

22 June, 2011 - Killian Bell
Apple back to school promo 2011

Apple’s new ‘Back to School’ promotion launched last week, giving students the opportunity to bag a free $100 (£65) gift card when they purchase a new Mac for school. Not every Mac is eligible, however, and you can’t spend that $100 everywhere – here’s our guide of everything you need to know about Apple’s new Back to School promotion for 2011.

Who qualifies for the $100 (£65) Back to School gift card?

Students attending university or college and those accepted for university or college, parents buying for university or college students and those accepted for university or college, and faculty and school staff members at any level.

How long do I have to purchase a new Mac?

The promotion began on June 16, and runs until September 20, 2011.

Which Macs are eligible for the promotion?

You have three Apple notebooks to choose from and one desktop:

  • The entry-level white MacBook, starting at $899 (£745.20)
  • The 13-, 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro, starting at $1,099 (£859.20)
  • The 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, starting at $949 (£745.20)
  • The 21- and 27-inch iMac, starting at $1,149 (£879.60)

Please not that prices in US dollars do not include tax.

How much will I save?

Well, in addition to the $100 Back to School gift card, you’ll also save money on your Mac thanks to Apple’s education pricing. However, it all depends on which Mac you go for – the more you spend, the more you save:

  • The entry-level white MacBook, starting at $899 (£745.20) – save up to $100 (£112)
  • The 13-, 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro, starting at $1,099 (£859.20) – save up to $200 (£315)
  • The 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, starting at $949 (£745.20) – save up to $50 (£193)
  • The 21- and 27-inch iMac, starting at $1,149 (£879.60) – save up to $100 (£199)

What can I spend my $100 Back to School gift card on?

Unfortunately, you cannot spend it on hardware, so putting the money towards an iPod or iPad isn’t possible, however, you can buy some great things that will no doubt be incredibly useful throughout your education.

You can use the money in the iTunes Store to buy music, TV shows and movies; in the App Store to buy apps & games for your iOS devices; in the Mac App Store to buy software for your new Mac; or in the iBookstore to buy books.

To give you an idea of how much you’ll get for your money, Apple’s iWork office suite currently sells for $19.99 (£11.99) per application – that’s $59.97 (£35.97) for the bundle.

Where can I purchase my Mac?

You need to purchase your Mac from either the Apple Online Store, an Apple Retail Store, or an Apple Authorized Campus Store. Or you can call Apple on 1-800-MY-APPLE (0800 072 1154) to place your order by phone.

You can find your nearest Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Campus Store by visiting www.apple.com/students/how-to-buy/

How do I get my gift card?

If you purchase your Mac directly from Apple – either online, in a retail store, or over the phone – you’ll get your gift card along with your new purchase. If you purchase your Mac from an Authorized Campus Store, you’ll need to submit your claim online and you’ll receive a code via email.

What if I want to return my Mac?

Apple doesn’t give us a whole lot of information on this, however, the small print on its website says that if your return your Mac, your refund may be reduced by the value of your Back to School gift card.

What if I can’t purchase my Mac before the promotion ends?

If you can’t purchase your Mac before September 20, you’ll miss out on the free Back to School gift card, however, you’ll still qualify for Apple’s special education pricing if you’re eligible.

About the author

Killian Bell is a freelance journalist based in Worcestershire UK. In addition to writing about all things Apple, he's one of the co-founders of the football site TitleTalk. You can follow him on and Twitter.
  • Anitagonzalez

    Untill when can i use my card?