How to get Windows software at half-price

Scott dunn
By Scott Dunn

Despite hacks and cracks you can find on the Web, the only legitimate way to run Windows XP or Vista is to purchase a licensed copy.

But you can get copies at half-price or less using “educational discounts” — and qualifying is a lot easier than you may think.

Even kindergartners qualify for discounted software

The good news about educational software discounts is that you usually don’t have to be a full-time student to qualify (although you must have some link to education).

For example, Academic Superstore offers its discounts to students and parents of students currently attending classes from kindergarten through college, as well as faculty and even janitorial staff of a K-12 or university. For students beyond the K-12 level, many retailers require that a student be enrolled in a degree-granting program, not merely taking a single class or seeking a certificate.

Academic Superstore is the only seller I found that specifically mentions parents. But almost all such sellers provide discounts for students as young as kindergarten age. (And how many kindergartners have credit cards?) The fact that parents can purchase for students is merely implied, in most cases. For example, Campus Tech lists among its qualifying documents a parent’s ID for students K-12.

Most sites selling academic software will accept home-schooled students as well.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-04-12: