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Discount Student Software - How to get Student Software Discounts

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You may have heard that college students can get cheaper software, but you may not know how to get this student software discount. Most college stores can apply the balance to your student account. This can then be paid through loans or education grants instead of paying up front. Online stores will have similar retail prices, but may be the best option if you don’t have a local brick-and-mortar partner. Except for Apple, regular stores rarely sell student discount software. Policies vary between companies, but in most cases student discount software can be bought for a fraction of retail price by just knowing where to look.


Microsoft sells “Academic Discount” versions of their software through “Large Account Resellers.” Most college bookstores that sell software will be LARs while there are several online LAR resellers.

Ordering this software online will require a valid academic email address ending in “.edu” and you will need to prove that you are currently enrolled in at least half a credit hour. When buying from brick and mortar stores you will need to sign a paper licensing agreement.

This software license gives you the right to run earlier versions of certain products. For example, if you buy a student version of Office 2007, you can also use 2003. This means if you get a class that is using an older version of software you’ve already purchased you don’t have to re-buy it.

Software under this program currently includes the following:
Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional Upgrades
Office Professional Plus 2010
Office for Mac 2011
Math 3.0
Visio Premium and Professional 2010
Expression Studio Web Professional and Ultimate 4.0
Project Professional 2010


Adobe offers “student and teacher” editions of some of their most popular programs. These can be bought directly from Adobe or through online resellers. Some schools can also buy these programs directly to resell to students, but there is no partnership program like that found with Microsoft. A valid form of school I.D. is required to qualify for these prices.

Software under this program currently includes the following:
All Creative Suite 5 products
Photoshop CS5 Extended
Dreamweaver CS5
Flash Professional CS5
Acrobat X Pro
Photoshop Lightroom 3


Apple has their own academic store online and student pricing is available through some of their stores. While “academic” versions of software are clearly cheaper than their regular retail counterparts, even Garageband comes with a small discount when ordered through the academic store. Mac-compatible Microsoft and Adobe student discount software can also be ordered through this channel, as well as hardware.


Many of their most popular programs are available to students for free by registering on their website. These versions have a 3-year license and leave a watermark on all documents. Academic versions are also available through retail channels at a significant discount. These versions have no time limit on the license and leave no watermark.


Education editions of their software is available from Corel Authorized Education Resellers. A student photo ID is required.

Final Draft

Academic discount software can be purchased directly from the company but orders must be faxed alongside proof of enrollment. Discounted software is also available from resellers who use more modern communication.


Academic versions of their software can be downloaded through accounts on my.swishzone.com. This is separate from their main retail site.

National Instruments

LabView is sold in two versions: A complete stand-alone version and a version packaged with a textbook.
The book version is designed around the text’s contents and does not have all the toolkits and advanced modules included in the stand-alone version.


Students can buy academic versions of their software at CodeGear academic reseller partners. The sole partner in the U.S. is Programmer’s Paradise, although some online stores are “redistribution” sites that can still sell to individual students.

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