It's expensive being a full-time student. During the 2017-2018 school year, average annual tuition costs for college ranged from $9,528 to $34,699. And that figure doesn't even include the nearly $1,300 you might need to fork over for textbooks, software, and other materials.
The bright side? You can get a lot of great student discounts on software.
In addition to saving you cash, these software deals will give you a head start on your career: Having the right software skills on your resume will make you a more attractive candidate when you apply for jobs after college.
So here are the 16 best student software discounts to take advantage of this year.
Originally published in September 2017, this post has been updated by Jessica Greene with each app's latest features and pricing, plus great new student discounts on Squarespace, Norton Antivirus, and Rosetta Stone.
The 16 Best Student Software Discounts
Lots of apps offer discounts to college students, so anytime you need to pay for software, it's good to do a little digging first to see if you can save some money with your student status. But this piece focuses on apps that fall into one of the following categories:
Apps that are useful during college for homework, note taking, presenting, and staying organized and productive
Apps widely used in the business world that are a valuable addition to your resume
Using those two criteria, we selected the following 16 apps that offer the best student discounts:
Discounts on Software You'll Use Throughout Your Studies
There are some programs that you'll use in various contexts throughout college—the must-haves of college software. These apps will help you get through the things every student faces: essays, presentations, note taking, and more.
Office 365: free for students
Best for students aspiring to work for larger companies
Office 365 is the standard for word processing, spreadsheets, and more—and is still required or recommended at most universities. Plus, for a wide variety of jobs—and particularly if you plan to work for a larger company—you'll find experience in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is usually a required skill.
In addition to the classic suite of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, Office 365 includes several cloud-based tools designed to make it even easier to save, sync, and collaborate on your homework:
OneDrive, Microsoft's file sync app, lets you store your files online, edit Office documents in the free Office Online apps, and easily access your online files. Instantly back up your notes, papers, and presentations, then open them from any device—even a library computer. An Office 365 subscription gives you 1TB of storage so you can store everything online (compared to the 5GB that OneDrive's free plans offer).
OneNote is Microsoft's note taking app, designed to make it easy to sync ideas, sketches, and notes across all your devices. Featuring a web clipper and flexible interface that encourages creative note taking, OneNote is a great way to organize your research and lecture notes in one place.
Microsoft Teams is a chat tool designed specifically for meetings and documents that integrates well with the rest of the Office 365 productivity suite. It's ideal for outlining a project together with a team—or communicating and sharing deliverables with project collaborators.
Office 365 student discount: Free for the student plan, which includes access to all of Office 365's most popular apps (compared to the standard price of $69.99/year for Office 365 Personal).
Automate Office 365 with Office 365's Zapier integration.
Want to take notes like a pro and make the most of all OneNote has to offer? Check out our popular OneNote tutorial.
Evernote: 50% off
Best for taking and organizing notes
If you're going to spend hours of your day taking notes on lectures and textbooks, make sure you're getting the most out of your notes. Although there are a number of great note taking apps to try, few are as robust and feature-rich as Evernote.
With Evernote, you can save web pages, images, PDFs, and—of course—your own notes (typed or handwritten). It's an ideal place to capture and save all the information you're going to need later.
Evernote also syncs your notes between your phone, laptop, and the cloud, so you can always have your notes with you and up to date, wherever you go.
And with additional premium features like annotated PDFs, presentation mode (perfect for group discussions), a powerful search feature, and more cloud storage space, Evernote is the perfect fit for organizing your academic life.
Evernote student discount: Evernote is always free for the Basic plan, which includes up to 60 MB of uploads per month and syncing across two devices. The 50% off student discount is for the Premium plan, which includes unlimited device syncing and up to 10 GB of uploads per month: $34.99/year (versus a standard cost of $69.99/year).
Automate Evernote with Evernote's Zapier integration.
Getting started with Evernote, or want to up your Evernote game? Check out Remember Everything with Evernote: 30+ of the Best Tips and Tricks.
Prezi: free for students
Best for creating dynamic, animated presentations
Prezi is to presentations as GIFs are to images—technically they're the same format, but one is more dynamic than the other. Prezi ditches the old conventions of the presentation and exchanges them for an interactive experience.
Prezi features a slick suite of templates, design and animation tools, and a zoomable canvas. The format is meant to make presentations more dynamic in their movement, more interactive in their delivery, and better at highlighting relationships between points.
Prezi will help you wow your professors with its next-level animations and presentation style while also giving your resume a boost for marketing or sales.
Prezi student discount: Free for the Standard plan (versus the standard price of $7/month), which includes unlimited presentations and shareable links. $7/month for the EDU Plus plan, which includes offline access, voiceover, and PDF export.
Norton Antivirus: 70% off
Best for keeping your computer virus-free
If malware exposed all of your computer activity to malicious actors, what would they get? If you use your computer like most people, it could expose your bank login credentials, all of the files you've saved to the cloud, your email login, and a surplus of personal information.
Using your computer unprotected is too much of a risk. Malware sneaks onto your computer in a number of ways—a formerly legitimate Chrome extension gets sold and used to collect your data, or you download a free flashlight app that includes spyware. Even if you're very careful, attackers are continually developing more sophisticated ways to sneak their way onto your devices.
Norton Antivirus helps protect you from malware and viruses, keeping your private data safe, and giving you one less thing to worry about while you're pursuing a degree.
Norton Antivirus student discount: From $14.99 for the student discount on a Basic plan (versus the standard price of $49.99), which includes virus protection for a single PC. From $19.99 for the student discount on a Standard plan (a $50 discount for students), which offers protection for a single Mac or mobile device.
Discounts on Software for Subject Area Learning
Depending on your course requirements or major, you may need to use subject-specific apps. These apps help you dig deep into the topic at hand, and each one offers a discount to make sure it's an affordable boost.
Wolfram|Alpha Pro: 13% off
Best for help with homework and math
Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge engine—and every student's best friend. Think of it as part search engine and part calculator, with an education-focused knowledge base.
You can get information from Wolfram|Alpha on just about everything: complex mathematics, history, design, linguistics, sciences, geography, culture, nutrition… You name it, and Wolfram|Alpha is the expert on it. Find everything from the names of key historical events to the nutritional value of a handful of peanut M&Ms. It's powerful enough that Apple uses it to power many of Siri's answers.
Its best subject? Math. Wolfram|Alpha Pro is built on Wolfram's Mathematica system, giving you the computational power to design and analyze complex graphics, solve equations, build interactive data visualizations, create your own web apps, and directly download Wolfram|Alpha computations and data for use in your own models.
Wolfram|Alpha Pro can generate random practice problems for several mathematical disciplines and skill levels, so you can continue to sharpen your skills. On the flip side, if you're having trouble understanding a concept, its step-by-step math solution tool will guide you through your homework, serving as an engaging teacher along the way.
Wolfram|Alpha Pro student discount: Free for the Basic plan, which includes access to Wolfram's searchable knowledge base. From $4.75/month for Pro For Students (versus a regular price of $5.49/month), which includes Wolfram's math tools.
Need more math power? Wolfram offers a student discount on full Mathematica, too—from $80/year for the Mathematica Online plan, 50% off Mathematica's cheapest standard plan at $160/year.
Rosetta Stone: 10% off
Best for learning a new language
For a lot of majors, taking a foreign language class is a requirement for graduation. But many schools offer an option for students to test out of the language requirement by showing mastery of a second language. You may even get credits for taking the class without having to pay full cost for each credit awarded.
Rosetta Stone is a market leader in language learning software. And with their 10% student discount on software that teaches you to speak languages like Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and more, you can save not only on the cost of the software, but possibly on the cost of your tuition as well.
Scrivener: 15% off
Best for aspiring writers
From outlining to drafting to citing your sources, Scrivener is a favorite among writers when it comes to organizing, writing, and revising complicated projects. Scrivener offers core word processing functions as well as a host of other features designed specifically for writers.
With a project "binder" that lets you organize documents in unlimited folders, a custom label and keyword system for outlining and revising, and automated backup paired with a three-keystroke "snapshot" feature that instantly saves old versions of your project, Scrivener is designed to be a comprehensive tool for your entire writing project.
For students in particular, Scrivener offers a thesis template, smart footnotes, and source organization, as well as a feature that lets you store all your research offline right next to your draft.
Scrivener student discount: $38.25 for an Educational License (versus the standard price of $45).
Want to know more about how Scrivener can help you keep your writing more organized? Learn how to jumpstart your next writing project with Scrivener. Undecided on which writing app you should use? Check out how Ulysses and Scrivener stack up against each other.
Discounts on Software that Keeps You Organized and Productive
As a student, you're likely juggling assignments from multiple courses, work from a job or internship, and day-to-day responsibilities. If you're feeling overwhelmed, these apps will help you stay on top of your to-do list—and complete each task on your list more quickly and efficiently.
Asana: free for six months
Best for managing group projects
When you're juggling a full semester of assignments, tests, and essays, it's easy for things to slip through the cracks. And when working on group projects, it's hard to make sure everyone pulls their weight. Asana, a popular project management tool, aims to solve these problems for students.
Asana is powerful enough to be central command for your projects while also being flexible enough adapt to your team's specific workflow. It uses a familiar checklist format, along with intuitive collaboration tools that give you a taste of how you'll likely manage teamwork at work once you graduate.
Asana's core tool is already free and sufficient for the needs of most students. But to add value for group projects and student organizations, Asana offers its premium plan for free for up to six months for student groups.
Here's how it works:
Sign up for an Asana account with your student email address.
Set up an Asana workspace and name it after your project or group.
Invite more than five but fewer than 100 teammates to this workspace.
Now you're eligible for Asana's premium plan for students.
Asana student discount: Free for the Premium Plan for six months (versus the standard cost of $9.99/month), which includes unlimited dashboards, custom fields, and task dependencies.
Automate Asana with Asana's Zapier integration.
Current students and new graduates interested in a software career may also want to check out Asana's university program, which provides internships and entry-level job opportunities at the company.
OmniFocus: 38% off
Best for keeping track of everything on your to-do list
If you're looking for a way to manage the juggling act that is your college education, OmniFocus is a good place to start. OmniFocus is a personal task management app based on the GTD® (Getting Things Done®) method that's designed to help you stay on top of everything in your life.
Getting Things Done® and GTD® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.
Organize your tasks by date, list, and priority, then sort them with multiple views, filters, and priorities. Group tasks into projects to keep tasks from each class and internship together. Notes, due dates, context fields, labels, and more help you add layers of organization to your tasks, so you can see what you need to see when you need to see it. OmniFocus even reminds you periodically to look through your projects to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks.
OmniFocus student discount: $24.99 for an OmniFocus 2 Edu License (versus the usual license price of $39.99), which includes cross-device syncing and view and filtering options. $49.99 for the OmniFocus 2 Pro Edu License (versus a standard cost of $79.99), which includes focus mode and custom sidebars.
Automate OmniFocus with OmniFocus's Zapier integration.
The Omni Group also offers discounted licenses of their other software: OmniOutliner, a minimalistic outline and writing app, OmniGraffle, a wireframing and data mapping tool, and OmniPlan, a project management program.
Ulysses: 63% off for six months
Best for staying focused while writing papers
Ulysses is a powerful writing app known for its simplicity. It's designed to help you track and organize references, research, drafts, and outlines—and then format and publish it all with a few clicks.
Drafting in Ulysses is similar to other text editors, with a few extra features. It also offers Markdown XL, a variant on the efficient Markdown formatting, which makes adding links and images even easier. Ulysses's organization system is fluid and flexible, allowing you to group and combine multiple documents and export them with personalized templates.
But perhaps best of all, Ulysses has a customizable, distraction-free writing mode that keeps you focused on your work and may help you avoid that next all-nighter.
Ulysses student discount: $10.99 ($1.83/month) for Ulysses for Students (versus the standard cost of $4.99/month) for up to six months. After six months, you will need to pay the regular subscription price.
Want to learn more about how to use Ulysses efficiently? Read The Zapier Guide to Ulysses.
TextExpander: 30% off
Best for boosting your productivity with text snippets
Abbreviations are time savers, but it's not super respectful to email your professor letting them know you'll be "afk for the day" and to "lmk if there's any homework." But what if you could type in "afk" or "lmk" and have your computer instantly expand it for you? That's what TextExpander does: It saves you time by letting you type custom abbreviations to add chunks of text. You can even take it one step further by using short abbreviations to create fully written emails.
Here's how it works: Save text snippets in TextExpander—anything from email addresses and emails to signatures, code chunks, form letters, images, and more. TextExpander saves these snippets with a shortcut, and syncs them to all of your devices. Then, when you want to use a snippet, simply type in your designated abbreviation (e.g.,
;fam to populate an email about a family emergency that you can send to each of your professors individually), and TextExpander inserts the full snippet.
TextExpander student discount: $2.33/month (billed annually) for the LifeHacker plan (versus a standard cost of $3.33/month), which includes unlimited usage and snippets synced across devices. To get the student discount, sign up for a TextExpander free trial, and then contact TextExpander support to have the discount applied to your account.
Learn how to get the most out of TextExpander with our guide: How Text Expansion Apps Help You Write Long Phrases With Fewer Keystrokes.
Discounts on Software that Helps You Prepare for Your Career
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs after college is to already know the software used in your field inside and out. These student discounts on popular business apps give you a jumpstart on your career and add a valuable line item to your resume.
Adobe Creative Cloud: 62% off
Best for aspiring designers
With a repertoire of apps like Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Dreamweaver, and more, an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription offers top-of-the-line tools to creatives of all stripes. Most employers expect experience with Adobe tools if you plan to go into graphic or UX design, web development, or video editing—and odds are, you'll want to learn how to use Adobe's tools for your own projects too.
Don't let the price tag of Adobe's top software scare you away from learning these key tools for your future. To help students (from high school to graduate school) gain experience, Adobe offers a 60 percent discount on their Creative Cloud all-apps plan.
With this plan, you have unlimited access to 22 Adobe apps that help you complete a variety of creative projects: photo editing, graphic design, animation, web design, wireframing, and more. It's the perfect way to wow teachers and peers with your homework—and get a jumpstart on your career.
Adobe Creative Cloud student discount: From $19.99/month for the Creative Cloud All Apps plan, which includes 20+ desktop and mobile apps, free tutorials, and regular upgrades (versus Adobe's usual price of $52.99/month).
Apple Pro Apps Bundle: 68% off
Best for jumpstarting a career in multimedia
Adobe isn't the only one offering discounts on industry-leading creative software. Apple also offers student discounts on their most popular creative tools—and key plugins for those programs.
The Apple Pro Apps Bundle for Education includes:
Final Cut Pro X: Apple's film editing software
Logic Pro X: Apple's music production tool
Motion 5: A motion graphics tool that plugs into Final Cut
Compressor 4: A Final Cut add-on that helps you encode and deliver Final Cut projects
Mainstage 3: A plugin for Logic Pro that's designed for live performance
It's a broad set of software that gives you a head start on a multimedia career—or simply makes your student projects look much more professional.
Apple Pro Apps Bundle student discount: $199.99 for all five Apple apps and plugins with the Pro Apps Bundle for Education discount (versus the standard price of $629.95). And since you're buying the licenses from Apple, the software is yours to keep after you graduate.
Autodesk: free for students
Best for aspiring filmmakers, engineers, and architects
What if you could get your hands on the visual effects software that produced 14+ Oscar winners? How about using the same software that top architects and engineers use to build and analyze skyscrapers, or that inventors use to create groundbreaking products? Autodesk gives students this opportunity—totally free.
Once you've verified your status as a student or educational establishment, you'll get free access to 60+ industry-leading tools, including AutoCAD, Maya, and more, along with lessons from Autodesk Design Academy and specialized certification and training resources.
Autodesk student discount: Free for the Education Community plan, which includes educational licenses for 60+ of Autodesk's top software programs—many of which cost $1,000+/year.
GitHub Student Developer Pack: various discounts
Best for technology majors and aspiring developers
Coding has become one of the most highly sought after job skills in recent years—and can lead to some of the highest paying careers. But the tools and education needed to learn programming are often cost prohibitive. While code documentation, coding apps, and even example source code can be found for free, the full stack of services you need to build your own app can be quite expensive.
To help students gain skills and real-world experience with top coding tools, GitHub created GitHub Education. Part of this program is GitHub's Student Developer Pack, which gives students free or discounted access to some of the best developer tools on the market.
The pack includes over 20 developer and business tools, including Digital Ocean, SendGrid, Stripe, and . However, unlike the other student discounts on this list, the offers in this developer pack are rarely long-term. Most tools offer a specific credit for use, waive certain usage fees, or offer a month of free access for education—enough to build a class project and learn how to use the tools in your upcoming career.
Even still, GitHub's Student Developer Pack is a great way to get familiarized with some top developer tools without paying full price.
GitHub Student Development Pack student discount: Prices are dependent on the specific apps within the pack; see GitHub's Education page for details.
Automate GitHub with GitHub's Zapier integration.
Squarespace: 50% off
Best for building websites with no coding skills
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to create a website as a student: to impress your teachers with an interactive presentation, to create a unique resume, or to build a personal site you can use to attract clients as a freelancer while still in school.
Squarespace gives you the tools you need to build a website quickly and easily. Its predesigned, professional templates and WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor make building a website as simple as editing a PowerPoint presentation. Just point, click, and select your preferences to add pages, adjust fonts, manage your site's layout, and much more—even if you don't know the first thing about web development or code.
Automate Squarespace with Squarespace's Zapier integration.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for student discounts on other services, publications, and hardware.
Amazon Prime Discount for Students
Amazon offers verified students a free six-month subscription to Amazon Prime. This includes free two-day shipping on Prime items, and full access to Prime Video. Prime Student also features some exclusive discounts for students, as well as a textbook program that will let you rent, buy, and sell your textbooks through Amazon.
Amazon Prime Price: Free Prime membership for six months for verified students, then $6.49/month (versus the standard price of $12.99/month).
Entertainment Discounts for Students
Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited all offer 50% discounts for students. Plus, Hulu has teamed up with Spotify to offer their Limited Commercials plan to students—as part of Spotify's student plan. This means that $4.99/month gets you access to both Spotify and Hulu subscriptions.
Computer Discounts for Students
What good is great software without a good computer to support it? Check out these student discounts on computers from leading manufacturers:
Apple offers up to $200 off of new Macs, as well as student discounts on AppleCare and iPads.
Microsoft offers students and parents 10% off all Surface notebooks, as well as discounts on Surface accessories.
Lenovo gives students a discount of up to 10% off of their Idea brand PCs.
Dell offers students and educators perks through its Dell University program, including a loyalty rewards program and a price-match guarantee.
AT&T Signature Program works with some educational institutions to offer discounts to students and faculty. Check and see if your college is enrolled.
Best Buy has a Student Deals section that offers exclusive coupons to students for featured products.
In addition to the discounts mentioned above, certain universities will have access to additional or exclusive discounts with a software provider. MSDNAA, for example, often offers free or cheap copies of Windows to students (take this example of student software discounts from The University of Texas). If your university has special offerings like this, you're most likely to find them on your the IT department web page.
Even if you're unable to find a list like this on your university website, it's well worth your while to check with your student bookstore to see what software and hardware discounts are available to you as a student.
Want more tips to help you succeed in college? Here are some of our favorites: