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Is Apple TV Free for Students? The Ultimate Guide

If you‘re a student looking to enjoy Apple TV‘s exclusive shows and movies, you may be wondering: is Apple TV free for students?

The short answer is: unfortunately Apple TV hardware is not free for students. However, students can get Apple‘s TV+ streaming service for free or at a big discount.

In this ultimate guide, we‘ll give you all the details on how to get the most savings on Apple TV as a student. Let‘s dive in!

How to Get Apple TV+ for Free as a Student

While the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD devices themselves are not free, students can get free access to Apple‘s streaming service, Apple TV+, for up to 3 months.

Here are the details on how to redeem this offer:

  • Eligible Devices: You must purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac. It must be capable of running the latest operating system software from Apple.

  • Redeem Within 90 Days: You have 90 days after activating your new device to claim the free 3 months of Apple TV+.

  • Launch Apple TV App: Make sure your device has the latest software. Open the Apple TV app, find the offer banner and tap "Enjoy 3 Months Free." Sign in with your Apple ID.

Once you complete these steps, you‘ll have 3 months of Apple‘s original shows and movies included with your new Apple device purchase – at no extra cost!

After the free period ends, students can continue their Apple TV+ subscription for just $4.99 per month. That‘s $2 cheaper than the standard price of $6.99 per month.

Let‘s now compare Apple‘s TV service to competitors like Netflix and Disney+ to see if it provides good value for students.

Apple TV+ vs. Other Streaming Services

ServiceMonthly PriceTop ContentStudent Discount?
Apple TV+$4.99The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, SeveranceYes
Netflix$15.49Stranger Things, Squid Game, OzarkNo
Disney+$7.99Star Wars, Marvel, PixarNo
HBO Max$9.99Game of Thrones, Euphoria, House of the DragonNo

Looking at the monthly pricing, Apple TV+ is one of the most affordable services, especially with the student discount. While it doesn‘t have as many titles as Netflix, its original shows and movies tend to be very high quality.

Compared to other services like HBO Max and Disney+, Apple TV+ is cheaper for students and offers some standout exclusive series like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and Severance that have won numerous awards.

Overall, thanks to the low pricing and critically acclaimed original content, Apple TV+ offers excellent value for student budgets. The free 3 month trial period lets you experience all of Apple TV+ completely risk free as a student.

Can You Get Free Apple TV Hardware as a Student?

Unfortunately, Apple does not offer special student discounts or deals on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD hardware itself.

The Apple TV 4K retails for $179 and the Apple TV HD for $129 direct from Apple. There is no free or reduced student pricing.

Students receive only a modest $10 educational discount on both models. So the price with a student deal is $169 for the 4K and $119 for the HD.

While better than nothing, the education pricing still leaves Apple TV devices expensive compared to competitors like Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV that can be purchased for as little as $29.

Next, let‘s look at some creative ways you may be able to score Apple TV hardware for free or cheap as a student.

How to Get Apple TV for Free or Cheap as a Student

While Apple does not directly offer free or heavily discounted Apple TVs to students, there are some creative workarounds. Here are six ways to get an Apple TV for free or on the cheap as a college student:

1. Buy Used or Refurbished

Check eBay, Craigslist or for used Apple TV models. Make sure any used device is unopened and unused to get the full value. Used/refurbished Apple TVs can be found for 40-50% off retail pricing.

2. Trade-in an Old Device

Use trade-in sites like Decluttr, ItsWorthMore or Gazelle to swap an unused phone, tablet, headphones or other electronics for cash. Many outdated gadgets collected dust can be traded for a decent chunk of change!

3. Redeem Credit Card Rewards

Use points and miles earned from your own credit card or your parents‘ card if you‘re an authorized user. Points can be redeemed for Apple gift cards or cash back to put towards an Apple TV purchase.

4. Ask for Gifted Cash

For college graduation, holidays, birthdays, etc. ask friends and family to pitch in cash towards an Apple TV instead of traditional gifts. Most students prefer practical items they‘ll use versus more junk!

5. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

Sell any unwanted gift cards from the holidays or birthdays using sites like CardCash or GiftCardSpread. Swap them out for cash to help cover the cost of an Apple TV.

6. Borrow from a Friend

Ask nicely to borrow a friend‘s Apple TV when they aren‘t using it in exchange for lending them something of yours. Temporary sharing can give you Apple TV access without the cost.

As you can see, with a little creativity there are ways to get Apple TV hardware without having to pay full price as a student!

Next, let‘s compare the two Apple TV models to determine which provides the best value.

Apple TV Buyer‘s Guide: 4K vs HD Model

When deciding which Apple TV to purchase, students should consider these two current models:

Apple TV 4K (2021)

  • $169 with student discount
  • Supports 4K, HDR video
  • A12 Bionic processor (fast)
  • 64GB or 128GB storage

Apple TV HD (2022)

  • $119 with student discount
  • 1080p HD video
  • A10 Fusion processor
  • 32GB storage

Comparing Key Differences:

The 4K model justifies its higher price with support for crisp Ultra HD video and much faster performance thanks to the A12 chip. The extra on-board storage is nice too for apps and games.

However, the HD model is perfectly suitable for students who don‘t care about 4K or don‘t have a 4K TV. The A10 Fusion processor still handles streaming media just fine. And 32GB is plenty of storage for most students‘ needs.

In summary, the 4K model is better for media enthusiasts who want the best video quality and snappy performance. But most students can save $50 and be very happy with the standard HD model.

Next, we‘ll explain how Apple TV can be used as a cable TV replacement to save students even more money.

Using Apple TV to Cut Cable TV Costs

One great use case for Apple TV for students is ditching expensive traditional cable or satellite TV services.

Here are some ways Apple TV can help you save money on TV entertainment:

  • Stream live TV channels through apps like Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, or DirecTV Stream. Plans start at just $35/month.

  • Access tons of free movies and shows through the Apple TV app. No paid streaming service required!

  • Use an HDTV antenna to watch live local broadcast channels for free in HD. Antennas cost under $100 one time.

  • Stream movies still in theaters for a rental fee of $5-20 through the Apple TV app. Much cheaper than theater tickets!

  • Share streaming service costs with roommates by using the Apple TV apps instead of paying for cable TV.

  • Subscribe month-to-month to streaming services and rotate between them to maximize variety while minimizing cost.

By using Apple TV creatively, students can enjoy a robust home entertainment experience on the cheap compared to traditional cable.

One final tip: be sure to take full advantage of free trials for streaming services so you can preview them before paying!

Can Students Get Apple TV Free Through Benefits?

Beyond using an Apple education discount or buying used/refurbished, some students may be able to get an Apple TV completely free as a benefit through:

  • Student rewards programs: Check if your bank or credit union offers giveaways or discounts on Apple products.

  • Credit card points: As mentioned earlier, use your or your parent‘s credit card rewards if sufficient.

  • Buy with scholarship money: Consider using a technology stipend from an academic scholarship. Check with your financial aid office.

  • Internet provider deals: Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T and others sometimes offer Apple TVs for free or reduced pricing with student plans.

  • Rebate apps: Get cash back through Rakuten, Ibotta or Fetch Rewards when making an Apple TV purchase and earn it for free.

While not guaranteed, some lucky students may be able to combine one of these benefits, discounts or rewards to get an Apple TV without needing to pay anything out of pocket. It takes some effort but it is possible!

Final Thoughts

While Apple TV devices and the Apple TV+ streaming service are not free for students, there are still great deals available:

  • Get 3 months of Apple TV+ streaming free when purchasing a new Apple device
  • Pay just $4.99/month as a student for Apple TV+ (normally $6.99)
  • Save $10 on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD devices with education pricing
  • Explore buying used/refurbished, trading in old devices, using rewards points, gifting cash and other creative ideas to get an Apple TV for free or cheap

At the end of the day while not free, Apple TV provides excellent value for students thanks to discounted pricing and the ability to cut cable costs.

Focus your spending on Apple‘s TV+ service using the free trial and low student pricing. For the hardware itself, look into alternate ways to get an Apple TV at little or no cost to your wallet.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.