What just happened? Apple earlier this month implemented a verification system to determine if those applying for discounts through its education portal actually qualified for reduced pricing. In an unexpected twist, Apple has since removed the verification process from the US store. Now, anyone can visit the education area and compare the discounted rates to standard pricing.
Apple partnered with UNiDAYS to authenticate users' credentials. UNiDAYS, long since popular with overseas students, verifies education status and aggregates student discounts into a single point of access.
What was unusual about Apple's implementation of verification in the US is that it seemingly came out of left field with no warning. What's more, Apple locked down the entire education portal, meaning you couldn't even browse the store without first being verified.
Now, anyone can visit and order from the education portal.
Again, Apple has made no mention of these changes publicly so we have no idea why the system was introduced then suddenly yanked. One theory is that the verification service didn't have a complete list of eligible schools in its database, leading to calls to customer service to rectify the issue.
It's possible that it could be reintroduced again in the near future, or maybe Apple is working on a different form of verification like checking to see if a buyer has a .edu e-mail address.
One thing that hasn't changed is the buying limits. Shoppers are still limited to one desktop, one Mac mini, one notebook, two iPads and two accessories per year with education pricing.