Previously in the US, Apple did not require every customer to prove that they are indeed a student or buying for a student, which has changed recently. As spotted by a Redditor, The US Apple Store now requires customers to verify their status via UNiDAYS so that they can purchase Macs, iPads and benefit from other student discount offers from its education portal.
Apple usually gives a 10% discount from a qualifying device's original retail price for students. The offer is applicable for enrolled or newly accepted college or university students, teachers, and faculty at a school for any grade level. Before the change, Apple would not require its customers in the US to verify their educational status, unlike other countries like the UK and India where it requires UNiDAYS authentication.
In the US, it didn't even require a .edu email address. The company used to occasionally check customers at random and then used to charge the difference to their credit card if they were not eligible for the education offer.
Now, in order to get the education offer, customers need to go through the UNiDAYS partner page for Apple. After they are successfully verified, they can buy eligible products. Customers can only avail of a discount for one desktop, one Mac mini, one laptop, two iPads, and two accessories per year.