9 to 5 Mac reports that during Apple’s annual back to school promo, education customers purchasing new macs will be given a free $100 iTunes gift cards instead of the usual free iPods.

This year, 9to5Mac has been told, will be very different. In fact, Apple will not be offering free iPods during this promotion but will instead offer a $100 iTunes gift card.

The annual promotion usually serves a way for Apple to clear out its iPod inventory ahead of the typical September refresh for the lineup, which coincides with the Cupertino-based company’s fall music-related event.

The switch makes a lot of sense for Apple as a way to convince users to make legal app purchases in the Mac App Store. However, if the new offering turns out to be true, users will likely feel shortchanged as by now, they are expecting a free iPod, usually valued at around $200.