Want to start college with a new iPad, iPhone or Mac? Apple is trying to entice you with a $50 or $100 gift card. Free shipping sweetens the offer, as does special no-interest payment plans.

The iPad comes equipped with web browsing and apps that allow you to read books, write anything including book reports and create presentations to impress your professors.

If you don’t know what you can do with an iPhone by now … shame on you. Considering a student’s needs, however, you can retrieve those elusive reference materials as quick as you can say Jack Jumped Over the Candlestick. Late night cramming for tomorrow’s test? Hungry? Use your handy iPhone to call for pizza delivery.

Electronic Toolbox Pro is a quick reference app for iPhone or iPad.

Electronic Toolbox Pro is a quick reference app for iPhone or iPad.

Apple will give you 90 days payment free with no interest. Barclaycard is offering special financing for purchases made at an Apple store within 30 days of opening a new account. Remember though, plastic isn’t free. Every charge on that card must eventually be paid with real $$$. Interest, though, will be waived in increments related to the purchase price. The longest you can go without interest fees is 18 months (or about 7 semesters) on a $1999 purchase.

Barclay Visa

A new credit card account combined with an Apple store purchase avoids some interest fees.

The MacBook Pro will get you that interest free payment plan. Just remember, the optimum word here is “payment”. Yes, you must make monthly payments, but the total isn’t increased by interest charges until the 19th month with the Barclaycard. Remember the special only applies to the Apple purchases. That new football jacket or designer purse will come with immediate interest fees on the unpaid balance.

The Apple MacBook Pro with a 15.4 inch Retina display, 8GB memory and 256GB flash storage will set you back $1999. You can configure/upgrade the computer for additional costs. It has preinstalled software for storytelling, music production with Logic Pro X, and photo editing and sorting with Aperture.

A colorful iPad case will protect your investment.

A colorful iPad case will protect your investment.

Of course, Apple is happy to sell you accessories, such as the iPad Air Smart Case for $79.99. It comes in 6 colors including blue and brown and has a 3 out of 5 star rating.

The iPad Air itself will be easy to carry – only one pound. Sure beats all those organic chemistry books of yesteryear. The iPad mini with a 7.9 inch display is a feather weight at 0.73 pound and does everything its big brother does only in a more compact form. For 128GB on the standard iPad think $799 or $100 less for the mini.

To find special educational pricing on these devices, go here: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/education_pricing You can read the details of all the financing offers here: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/back_to_school.