Best Buy gives Educational Discounts on Macs
Best Buy does give educational discounts, the dame as at the Apple Store or online. While in the past, I have always purchased my Macs from Apple, this past winter I bought my new MacBook Pro from Best Buy. They even had an Apple employee there in the store, who just asked me to prove I was a teacher, exactly the same as the Apple store does (even though if they (both of them) are really busy at the time, they will just take your word for it). The reason I bought it at Best Buy was that we had recently purchased a TV there, and, if you sign up for reward points, you will get Cash certificates based on how much you spend. You don't get a whole lot, but even $10 or $20 off of CD's or whatever can come in handy. I then went online to purchase Applecare, which can be used anywhere in the country. (I actually did purchase a Best Buy warranty on a laptop in the past (my daughter wanted an HP for college quite a few years ago), and I found their service to be excellent when it needed some repairs, but I still would always buy Applecare for a Mac. There are a number of places online where you can get Applecare cheaper than from Apple (Amazon, LA Computers, B&H Photo), and, as long as you have a legitimate product (with a serial number) it doesn't matter where you purchased it - it is the same product that you register with Apple. And, when you go into an Apple store for classes or the Genius Bar, etc, they do not ask you where you got your Mac - they are there to service all Macs.
I hope this helps