iPads in the Classroom - Volume Purchase Program Explained (October 2011 Update...)

Why you will want to establish an ‘App Store Volume Purchase Program’ (VPP).

  • The VPP allows educational institutions to purchase apps in volume and distribute the apps in the form of redemption codes to their users or those that maintain the iPads.
  • For many apps, if you are purchasing 20 or more of an app, you get volume discount - usually 50% off; if an app does not show the discount, you can contact the developer and request it (many will turn on that feature if they know about it)
  • If you work for a non-profit (such as an educational institution!) you are not charged sales tax on any of your purchases through the VPP

There are four different types of accounts involved in the VPP.
o   Authorized Purchaser (not part of VPP, but necessary if using vouchers for purchasing)
•Authorized Apple purchaser for the district – from Apple: “This should be the person who is your normal procurement person for any Apple products and authorized to buy product on behalf of your institution.”
•Purchases vouchers for the Program Facilitators to redeem for credit
o   Program Manager
Enrolls in the VPP
•Creates the Program Facilitator accounts
This account MUST be created using an existing AppleID account (create the AppleID before setting up the program)
o   Program Facilitator
Redeems Vouchers for credit to purchase app, if used
Searches for and purchases apps, selecting the quantity needed
Accesses redeem code spreadsheet to distribute codes to iTunes Users
For many institution, retains documentation of distribution of codes (who got what)
NOTE: Program Facilitator accounts CANNOT be used in iTunes Store; it must be a separate account/AppleID.
o   iTunes/iPad User (or iPad manager)
Redeems apps using codes given by program facilitator (either in iTunes or on the device)
Submits requested apps to Program Facilitator

Program Manager Enrollment & Account Setup

·      Program Manager enrollment is done at
o   The Program Manager MUST be an individual authorized by the institution to manage program facilitators (where I work, it means able to approve purchases)
o   The Apple account used for the Program Manager MUST be an existing Apple account
·      Program Manager sets up Facilitator accounts at 
o   Facilitator accounts must be UNIQUE from existing Apple accounts
o  Manager can rename facilitator accounts, if needed.

Purchase Volume Vouchers

·      The Apple Authorized Purchaser for the district purchases Volume Vouchers at
·      When the vouchers arrive in mail (yes, they come via snail mail), the vouchers need to be distributed to appropriate Program Facilitators. 
·      The ENTIRE voucher amount is distributed to a single facilitator (a single voucher cannot be divided between facilitators, nor can balances be transfered between facilitator accounts)

Redeeming Volume Voucher Codes (Program Facilitator)

If you are a program facilitator for your organization’s App Store Volume Purchase Program, you can redeem a voucher using the following steps:
  1. Go to: http://volume.itunes.apple.com/us/store
  2. Log in with your program facilitator account; your organization’s program manager would have given this account to you. (Note: this account is different from your account used in iTunes Store)
  3. The first time you log in, you will need to configure the facilitator account:
  4. Redeeming Purchase Voucher: (what to do when your Program Manager gives you a voucher to redeem to get monetary credit on your account)
a. Click on the Redeem Voucher link
b. Enter the Voucher Code off the card
c.      Click on Redeem

Other Ways to Purchase Apps

VPP Program Facilitators may now set up to purchase using a credit card or PCard, or even a PayPal in their account information.  This would eliminate the need for vouchers.

This can be especially useful if you have groups that want to donate towards app purchase.  Instead of having them donate iTunes cards (which, if used, require you to pay tax), you can have a PayPal account setup that they donate to, which you can utilize on the VPP site.

Purchasing Apps through the Volume Voucher Program

Program facilitators are responsible for purchasing the apps in the volume store, distributing the redeem codes to the appropriate users, and maintaining the records of code use/location.  Please note: The number of apps purchased cannot be less than the number of devices using the app.
b.     Log in with your Program Facilitator account; your organization’s Program Manager would have given this information to you. (Note: this account MUST be different from the account used in iTunes Store)

c.      Use the search box to type in the name of the app desired and/or select the category

d.     Click on search

e.     Click on the app name from the list that is generated

f.      Above the description screen (which is similar to looking at the app in iTunes), there is Volume Purchase Information:

g.     Enter in the quantity you wish to purchase; the price & subtotal will adjust

h.     Click on Continue

i.       The screen updates to tell you “A document containing # codes will be provided…”  If the quantity is correct, click on Buy

j.       It will process your purchase, and add the item to your recent purchases list, and send you an email when the redemption code spreadsheet is available.

Accessing Spreadsheets with Codes & Recent Past Purchase Info:

b.     Log in with your Program Facilitator account; your organization’s Program Manager would have given this account to you. (Note: this account MUST be different from your account used in the iTunes Store)

c.      Click on your account name

d.     A Recent Purchases area appears underneath the search area

                                      i.     This displays order date, number, description, total, number of codes and access to download the spreadsheet containing the codes
                                     ii.     Clicking on the Description displays the information about that app (Note: this is useful if you bought 1 copy of the app to try it, and then want to go back and purchase volume.)
                                   iii.     Click on the Download Spreadsheet to access the redeem codes to distribute to appropriate users

Notes on distributing codes: 
  • It falls on the Program Facilitator to document what codes have been used with which account.
  • If several devices are synced to the same Apple account, a single code can be used; however, you must maintain documentation that you have one app per device (e.g. if 20 App Specific Codes were purchased, you can use one code to install on all 20 devices, but the spreadsheet should indicate a unique code used for each of the 20 devices that had the app installed).
  • Anyone with a valid Apple account can redeem an App Specific Code given by a Program Facilitator in the Apple Store (either in iTunes or on a device)

This document contains information about iPads, iTunes and the Apple Store and was developed to help the local school districts associated with Calhoun Intermediate School District make decisions about implementing iPads into their districts effectively.  The information provided was developed to address their specific needs and situations. 

Please note that every organization has its own unique needs and procedures so the information provided may not be the best solution for your own organization. With that in mind, you may feel free to use and modify all or part of the information in this document under the conditions of the Creative Commons license below. 

Additionally, some of the information, such as screenshots or step-by-step directions, may become outdated as our organization moves forward with new methods for setting up iPads and no longer use or test the older methods.


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