2023 student and teacher discounts on drones (and scholarships!) you need to know

It’s hard to believe the new school year is already here. Whether you’re in the classroom or leading one, here are the best student and teacher discounts, scholarships and promotions for all things drones.  

Tech deals for teachers from major electronics stores

Two of the best brick and mortar stores for buying camera gear and related electronics offer discount programs that you can apply, which offer heavy discounts on specific products. Here are the two best student and teacher discounts for (most) tech-related things:

student discount

B&H EDU Advantage

B&H EDU Advantage offers 10-20% off on photography and video products, including SD cards. The discount doesn’t cover everything that’s for sale on its website (and sadly, DJI drones typically aren’t offered up under the discount program). But, it does encompass roughly 4,500 items.

Plus, for busy teachers who don’t have time to parse through the best products, the B&H EDU Advantage program offers expert help so you can speak to a product expert for exact recommendations based on your needs.

B&H only has one physical store (it’s in Manhattan), but if you’re not anywhere near there, the photo retail giant also has a robust online presence. Plus, it offers free shipping on most items.

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Best Buy Education

Like B&H EDU Advantage, Best Buy Education offers similar discounts and the added benefit of working alongside an education account manager who can assist teachers and schools in getting classrooms tech-ready. 

Signing up for Best Buy Education is relatively simple for teachers. Unlike many teacher discount programs, you do not need to show any proof (valid .edu email, teacher ID, etc.) to sign up. You simply sign up for a business account and select education as your industry. 

From there you will receive special discounts and free shipping on orders $35 and up. 

What about DJI teacher discounts?

The two largest drone manufacturers,DJI and Autel Robotics, do not partner with either program at the moment, so you won’t be able to score a drone discount on their products.

That said, there is a program for teachers and students called the DJI Education Hub. They are not currently offering any discounts and promotions for DJI products, but it’s free to sign up, and the program has been known to offer a range of discounts on select drones. It might be worth handing over your email in case they resume alerts of student and teacher discounts.

The DJI Education Hub also has courses for teachers or schools to purchase. The courses are an Introductory course (for elementary students), a Teamwork and Collaboration Course (for middle school students), and a few Advance Courses (for high school students). These courses are geared toward robotics, artificial intelligence, communication technology, and more. The course prices begin at $6 a month. These courses are excellent STEM classes or after-school programs but not drone-centric. 

Other ways to save money on drones

While there are few options for discounted drones for teachers and students, you might also consider buying a used drone. Just understand that — while buying used can save money — used drones also carry risks.

Student and teacher discounts on Part 107 test prep courses

While building drones is certainly a key component of a STEM program, you’ll typically need a Remote Pilot Certificate to be able to fly them. Under the FAA Part 107, which is the set of Federal Aviation Administration rules around commercial drone operation (which typically includes classroom operations, too), each drone flight must have a remote pilot in command. While that doesn’t necessarily have to be the drone pilot itself (so unlicensed students can be on the controls), the remote pilot in command is directly responsible for (and is the final authority on) the drone’s operation.

To be considered a remote pilot in command, you must have that drone pilot’s license, which you can get by passing a written test, which most people refer to as the Part 107 test. And the best way to get that test? Enrolling in an online Part 107 test prep course.

And even though your students don’t necessarily need a license if you have one, it can be a good project (perhaps an extra credit assignment) to get their own drone pilot’s license. Just note the 16-year-old age minimum to be eligible for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

So with that, here are some ways to nab student and teacher discounts on Part 107 test prep courses: 

Drone Pilot Ground School Part 107 test prep

The Drone Pilot Ground School scholarship program

 Drone Pilot Ground School offers comprehensive resources, and many teachers opt to enroll their students in this program, which teaches valuable STEM concepts and prepares students for a career in drones. The online test prep program has a 99% passing rate. And in Drone Girl’s opinion, it’s the best online test prep program if you want an established player. 

The best part? Drone Pilot Ground School provides a scholarship that grants free access to their online Part 107 test prep course (usually $299) to U.S. high school students seeking to obtain their FAA drone pilot certificate. The scholarship program has unlimited availability, and students are accepted on a rolling, case-by-case basis, making it accessible to all interested.

And if you don’t qualify for the scholarship, you can always enter couple code DRONEGIRL50. That’ll take $50 off the cost of the course.

John Peltier

Peltier Photo Pro group discounts

John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course is an online training program that includes short videos, frequent quizzes, and simple text that cuts straight to the point. It is one of the cheapest test course programs and on top of that they offer group discounts. The course is $139 but with 10-20 enrollments, it goes to $99 per person, and for 21 or more, it is $79 per person. 

And just like Drone Launch Academy, John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course also comes with a test-pass guarantee. 

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Karen DiMeo of AERODiMEO, Jonathan Rupprecht Esq, Kenin Morris FAA and Grant Guillot DroneUp at last year’s event. Photo courtesy of Dawn Zoldi.

Other student and teacher discounts on conferences and workshops

For all drone-enthusiasts educators looking to expand their network and knowledge at a conference, the Law-Tech Workshop will again likely offer scholarships for the 2024 event. The Law-Tech Connect Workshop is an all-day legal-focused event co-located within the massive AUVSI XPONENTIAL palooza.

The Scholars Program is designed to financially support people within the drone industry (educators and students included!) who may not have the means to pay. The scholarship application is pretty straightforward. 

They have yet to announce all the details of next year’s scholarship program, but Dawn Zoldi, the workshop organizer, anticipates that the program should be similar to last year. 

What other student and teacher discounts for drone pilots have you spotted? Share them in the comments below!

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