The ultimate guide to educational and student discounts for plugins
There are many brilliant VST plugins available for synths, effects, and utilities. But they don't come cheap, particularly if you are just starting out in music production or beat making as a student. Luckily, many software companies offer discounts on plugins of up to 66% for students and teachers, often times exceeding discounts offered in their sales available to everyone. Yet the rules can be complicated:
Does the plugin company offer an educational discount for students and teachers?
What is the discount offered?
Which products are included? Are bundles and subscriptions available at a discount?
Who is eligible, students only, or also their parents and teachers?
Which educational establishments qualify for educational discounts?
What is the application process?
What documentation is required to obtain the student discount?
Are there limitations to the license, such as limited features, or the ability to upgrade or resell?
So we researched the most popular VST, AU and AAX plugin brands to help you find the cheapest way to get your hands on brilliant instruments, effects and DAWs.
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The following brands do not offer any individual student or educational discounts
You simply email AAS support. When I contacted them, they were really uncomplicated and friendly. They offered to send me a discounted invoice to pay via PayPal or credit card, in return for a license for any product at 50% discount.
All single products are eligible for the 20% student discount, including Nebula, Acqua and Modula. Bundles are excluded.
The discount is available to all current students and teachers enrolled in audio engineering courses, telecommunication engineering degrees or related music production studies.
Educational products are only available for full and single products.
Educational discounts cannot be used to purchase upgrades, add-on packs, or bundles, and cannot be combined with other promotion, such as Summer Sale, Black Friday, and Christmas promotional campaigns.
Students may purchase each Acustica Audio product only once.
Educational discounts are for personal use and cannot be redistributed or resold.
To request an educational discount, submit a ticket to the Acustica support team with the following information:
A copy of your valid student or teacher identification or equivalent document from your educational institution. The document or identification must contain the requester's first name, last name, and expiration date.
Baby Audio is an innovative software house best known for the free Magic Switch plugin, TAIP*, and Smooth Operator*. The level of student discount isn't published on the website, so I asked the Baby Audio support. They confirmed they offer a 45% discount on all their plugins:
The top of the range FL Studio Signature Bundle* is available as a special Academic Bundle, matching all its features. You can only buy the Academic Bundle from 3rd party sellers, not directly from Image Line. Discounts seem to vary by country, with best discounts offered in the US, at the time of writing:
USA: $199 (33% off $299)
UK:£159 (31% off £230)
Europe: €189 (32% off €269)
You can buy the Academic Bundle from the following retailers:
All libraries are eligible for a 30% student discount, but only in September and October. Multiple products can be bought once you have been granted student status. Collections however are not included.
Once your application and order is processed, Soundtoys will send you a license code.
There are no limitations in terms of features, and the license does not expire when you finish studying. There are no restrictions on commercial use, so you can make millions writing the next track for Ed Sheeran with your academic license you want.
All individual plugins and bundles, apart from Abbey Road Studio 3, are eligible for a 35% discount off MRSP (Manufacturer Recommended Selling Price).
⚠️ CAUTION: Based on Waves discount policy, which sees them offer 75% to 90% discount off an inflated MRSP pretty much all the time, musicmanta recommends you buy Waves plugins in a regular sale instead, or save even more during Black Friday.
Students and faculty members are eligible for the Waves student discount.
Scan your student/faculty ID from a recognized educational institution or a Waves-certified institution. School ID must contain expiration or enrolment dates. Faculty members can submit a letter from HR confirming their employment or a recent payment document (with all personal information blacked out).
Scan an additional official identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport).
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