Back to school deals 2021: student discounts for college or study

Get ready for a new semester with great prices on everything from laptops to streaming channels

Back to school deals
(Image credit: Future)

Whether you’re going back to school, heading off to college or just preparing for another year of study from home, it’s a great time to get your gear in order. If you’re moving, you might need to buy some things for the first time, or it might just be that your old equipment has done its time and it’s time to buy something new.

Whether it’s a new student laptop for writing those assignments, a cheap smart phone to keep in touch with loved ones or a budget TV for your downtime, you need something that is up to the job without costing the Earth. Budget is always a factor when buying something new but as a student, you’re likely to be working with a more limited price range.

With this in mind, the T3 team has rounded up some of the best deals on the products that you will need for the year ahead. Plus, if you want to see a wider selection, there are links to the relevant buying guides to give you even more of a choice. Some of these deals are available exclusively to students (and sometimes teachers) while others are just great deals available to anyone.

Just as they do for Black Friday, lots of companies are running special deals on back-to-school products, so you can find even better prices. Though these won’t last forever – many of the deals finish this month, so don’t hang around if you see something you want.

When do schools start back?

Schools in the US tend to start back for their fall term from August 16 to August 30 depending on the State and type of school. 

Colleges start a little later, with many starting back the week of August 30. 

Best places to find Back to School deals

Here's where you'll find the best Back to School deals and offers. Some stores are offering deals for the whole of August and beyond while others finish in the next two weeks. 

Amazon's Back to College deals
Rounding up all the best products on its site for college students, this covers electronics, room hacks, bedding and fashion in its latest deals. View Deal

Best Buy's Student Hub
With its round-up of back-to-school tech, from a computer finder to wearables to home gym and kitchen gadgets, Best Buy has everything you need. There are also featured deals and a look at its corporate responsibility.View Deal

Target's on to College
Target has a landing page specifically for its products suitable for college students. There's everything from bedding and furniture to electronics and lighting. It even covers groceries to get you set for those first few weeks. For school kids, there's a separate back to school section too. View Deal

Walmart School Prep HQ
With supplies arranged by grade and category as well as a teachers' shop, college and at-home learning sections, Walmart makes it easy to navigate to the products you need. There's also a section just for reduced-price items.  View Deal

Lenovo Back To School deals
Lenovo is offering big discounts on PCs, tablets and accessories with up to 50% off some items and laptops starting from just $239. View Deal

Dell Back To School PC deals
Dell has savings on a range of laptops, desktops and accessories, with an extra $200 on select PCs, plus $50 in Dell Rewards.  View Deal

HP Back To School savings
HP has savings on college essentials as well as bundle specials, deals for teachers, K12 and STEM. There's money off everything from software and backpacks to all-in-ones and Chromebooks.   View Deal

Best Back to School deals

T3 is covering some of the best items with complete guides to the most relevant products that you need for going back to school or college. Check out a few of our comprehensive guides below:


Back to School discounts and memberships

Amazon Prime Student: 6 months free
Students can get Amazon Prime benefits free for six months and then pay just $6.49 a month after that – which is 50% off the standard price. View Deal

Apple education pricing
Purchase an eligible Mac or iPad with education pricing and get a free pair of AirPod wireless earbuds completely free. Students are also eligible for additional discounts on select accessories and 20% off AppleCare. View Deal


Back to School laptop deals

Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 Intel (15”): was $1779, now $978.45 at Lenovo
This 15.6-inch laptop features an 11th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and Intel Iris Xe graphics.View Deal

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Pro Type Cover Bundle: was $1059.98, now $799.99 at Microsoft
The 12.3-inch touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop features a 10th gen i5 processor, 8GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB storage. Get savings on both the Surface Pro 7 and the type cover, which turns this into a fully functioning laptop.View Deal

Apple - MacBook Pro - 13" Display with Touch Bar: was $1449.99, now $999.99 at Best Buy
This Intel MacBook Pro features an i5 processor, 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM. This is a great machine for any creative student and can handle all of your photo and video editing.View Deal

HP 14t-dq200 laptop: was $579.99, now $429.99 at HP
This entry-level Windows 10 PC laptop features the latest 11th gen i3 processor. It also sports 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. This is a great all-purpose machine.View Deal

Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1 15.6" Touch Screen Laptop: was $849.99, now $649.99 at Best Buy
A great mid-range model, the Lenovo Yoga 7i features a 15.6-inch touch screen as well as 11th gen Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. AS long as you don't need gaming-level graphics, this will have you covered.View Deal


Back to School Chromebook deals

Samsung CB4 11.6" Celeron 4GB/32GB Chromebook: was $229.99, now $$129 at Walmart
This solid 11.6-inch Chromebook features a 12.5-hour battery life, 4GB RAM and a 32GB hard drive. This is a super cheap price.View Deal

Lenovo 81JW0001US Chromebook S330: was $239, now $159 at Walmart
This 14-inch Chromebook comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage. Running Chrome OS, this machine is more than capable of handling all the basic tasks and it really benefits from that larger screen.View Deal

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-3H-K3WL Convertible Laptop: was $299, now $179 at Walmart
The Acer Spin 311 is a 2-in-1 laptop with a fully reversible 11.6-inch touchscreen to use in tablet or tent mode. It also comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage.View Deal


Back to School tablet deals

Apple iPad 8th gen (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB): was $329, now $299 at Amazon
Apple's latest entry-level iPad is still a great performer, with its A12 chip, 32GB storage and 8MP rear camera. It also supports Apple Pencil and smart keyboard, making it a real Chromebook competitor.View Deal

Apple iPad Air 4th gen (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB): was $599, now $539 at Amazon
The iPad Air is a great looking tablet and offers great performance than to the A14 chip. There's a 10.9-inch retina display, 64GB storage and 12MP rear camera. There's support for Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2nd gen too.View Deal

Microsoft Surface Pro 7: was $959, now $699 at Best Buy
This model is the i3 with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, compared to the more i5 model (featured in the laptop section) but if you don't need the extra power this is the better deal, saving $260 on the full price, and still comes with keyboard cover. View Deal


Back to School phone deals

Get $500 when you switch to Verizon
When you switch to Verizon and keep your phone you can get a $500 gift card. Plus, if you bring your tablet or smartwatch you can get another $100. There's also up to $800 off some handsets when you trade-in.View Deal

iPhone 12 mini: save $200 or $250 at Best Buy
With a qualified activation in Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, you can save up to $200 or $250 on the price of an iPhone 12 mini and get up to $700 trade-in.View Deal


Back to School headphones deals

Beats by Dr. Dre - Beats Studio³ Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: was $349.99, now $199.99 at Best Buy
Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones feature Apple's W1 chip for spatial audio, as well as adaptive noise canceling. You can get up to 40 hours of playback on a single charge and is available in black or shadow gray.View Deal

Apple AirPods with wired charging case: was $159, now $119 at Amazon
Setting the standard for Apple users, the AirPods are easy to connect and sound great. Ideal for music, video chat and of course, phone calls.View Deal

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: was $199.99, now $169.99 at Amazon
Available in a choice of phantom violet, silver or black, these Bluetooth true wireless earbuds feature noise-canceling, water-resistance and a long-life battery.View Deal

Bose QuietComfort 35 II: was $299, now $249 at Amazon
With exceptional noise canceling, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are ideal for plane or train travel and also feature Alexa voice control.View Deal

Back to School TV deals

Toshiba 32LF221U21 32-inch Smart HD 720p Fire TV: was $199.99, now $139.99 at Amazon
At 32-inches, this TV is perfect for a dorm room or student house. It has a 720p display and DTS TruSurround Sound. It also includes Amazon's FireTV so you can stream movies and TV from all your favorite services.View Deal

Sony 43-inch X80J LED 4K TV: was $749.99, now $599.99 at Best Buy
The Sony X80J is one of the best mid-range TVs out there and offers HDMI 2.1 support, making it great for next-gen consoles too. This 43-inch 4K model is a great size for smaller rooms.View Deal

Hisense 50-inch A6G TV: was $429.99, now $369.99 at Best Buy
If you're looking for something a bit bigger, this HiSense 4K model is a great price. It features Dolby Vision, a range of streaming services and works with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.View Deal

Back to School accessory deals

Scriveiner Premium Handmade Leather Journal: was $38.99, now $27.99 at Amazon
Take notes in style with this handmade leather journal. Available in 7x5 inch and 8 x 6 inch sizes, complete with leather strap and pen holder.View Deal

Chalk Markers by Fantastic CHALKTASTIC: was $19.99, now $12.99 at Amazon
Liquid chalk markers are great for kids and adults as they work on all non-porous surfaces, including glass, whiteboards and chalk boards.View Deal

Editor's Recommendations

We at T3 want to help you find the best deals on your favorite products. For more news, reviews, and great deals – as well as helpful buying guides – check out the articles below:

You can also take a look ahead to our best Black Friday deals guide to get an early start on the biggest online shopping day of the year! Learn where to look for the best deals, what to watch out for, and more!

Mat Gallagher
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat is a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, cars, music or travel.