Fee waivers for Apple Developer Program Membership

The Apple Developer Program offers the resources, tools, and distribution channels required to build and release Mac, iOS, Apple TV, and Apple Watch apps.
IT Blog and Development
3 minute(s) read
Published on: Feb 02, 2024
Updated on: Feb 02, 2024

However, the annual $99 fee poses challenges for some independent developers and small studios. offer Apple does membership fee waivers in certain cases to expand access.

Benefits of Apple Developer Membership

The standard Apple Developer Program unlocks powerful capabilities:

- Access TestFlight for distributing beta apps to testers.

- Submit apps to the App Store for public release.

- Utilize Apple services like push notifications, in-app purchases, Apple Pay, iCloud, PassKit, Maps, HealthKit, HomeKit, and more.

- Get beta previews of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

- Participate in Apple developer forums and technical support

For many developers, the benefits easily warrant the $99 annual fee. But for hobbyists, students, and solo developers just starting, the cost can be prohibitive.

Apple Fee Waivers

Qualifying for Apple Fee Waivers

Apple offers two programs to waive the Developer Program fee for those unable to pay it:

Apple Developer Program for Students

Active students at accredited institutions can join for free. You must renew with verification each year. This provides full access to the main developer program while a student.

Apple Developer Program for Non-profits

501(c)(3) non-profits can have the membership fee waived. Apple verifies tax-exempt legal status. Individual developers affiliated with an eligible non-profit can join under its status.

Additionally, Apple provides discounted $29 annual memberships for up to 3 users through the Apple Developer Program for Organizations. This helps small organizations or teams access tools for building and distributing apps .

Applying for Fee Waivers

To apply for a fee waiver:

1- Initiate enrolment in the standard Apple Developer Program.

2- When prompted for payment, select "Get Apple Developer Program as a Student" or "Get Apple Developer Program as a Non-profit."

3- Upload verification materials like student credentials or IRS documentation.

4- Finish creating your Apple ID and agree to the terms.

Apple will review documentation and validate eligibility for a fee waiver, typically within 1-3 business days. Eligible applicants can access program benefits and account tools for one year before renewing waiver eligibility.

developers to build a career

Making the Opportunity Accessible

For passionate developers and non-profit organizations worldwide, the ability to build and distribute apps in the Apple ecosystem without the membership fee removes a major obstacle. Student waivers help ensure future developers can learn iOS skills. Fee waivers allow more developers to deliver innovative app experiences while pursuing sustainable businesses and causes. They open the door for the next generation of developers to build a career from an inspired app idea.

While universal free access for all remains unlikely, Apple's targeted fee waivers and discounts reflect a commitment to enable more developers to participate, learn, and make an impact. For many with a great app idea but limited means, fee waivers provide the on-ramp needed to benefit users and give back.

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