Most students love macs. If they can afford it they will buy one or will save to buy one because they know that macs are known to last a while (plus it’s a status symbol). They have no trouble using them for school work. I would say they have a surface level understanding of their mac. They know how to use it, write a paper, install apps, right click, find apps, and use the browser.
Where they lack, is using shortcuts and fine tuning their setup to help facilitate their work (e.g. fine tuning mousepad options). For some reason, many don’t understand using syncing apps like dropbox or at least don’t practice this (even Google drive or Box which is free for them as students). Even my friend until about a year had held out from signing in with her apple ID to sync apple cloud services with her phone (photos, contacts, notes, etc…).
Last semester I explained to a group of 5 students that pressing command + space allowed them to search for apps and files and they were amazed.