Productivity Windows

Students Can Get Microsoft Office 365 for Free

Skye Hudson 18-10-2013

Starting on December 1st, Universities that license Office Education for their faculty and staff can offer students Office 365 ProPlus for free thanks to a new program called Student Advantage. For students at these institutions, that means free access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher, and Lync. While many cheaper alternatives to Office The 7 Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives Microsoft Office is the king of office suites, but that doesn't mean it's the right one for you. Here are some other office suites you might like better! Read More have sprung up, many students still rely on Redmond’s good ol’ productivity tools.


Office 365 University typically costs $80 for a 4-year subscription for students, which is already a heavy discount over the usual $99 per year subscription to Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft has been moving from selling Office as a one-time deal to a subscription service through Office 365.


Microsoft’s stated goal is to better prepare students for a workforce in which Office plays a very central role. In a study by Microsoft and the IDC, they found that proficiency in Microsoft Office was the third most sought after skill in high-paying jobs.

Microsoft claims that 110 million staff, faculty, and students are already using Office 365 Education, spanning 119 countries and 36 languages. If enough Universities take advantage — excuse the pun — of Student Advantage, that number could greatly increase without costing the Universities or students anything extra. Over 35,000 institutions are already automatically eligible for Student Advantage.

If you’re lucky enough to be enrolled in one of the eligible Universities, you should check out our Office 2013 guide Microsoft Office 2013: The Unofficial Guide If you're considering an upgrade to Office 2013, or you've just paid for the package and want to make the best of it, this Microsoft Office 2013 Guide is for you. Read More to to be able to fully utilize the productivity suite. And if you aren’t eligible for Microsoft Office, you can always check out a free Office alternative. We’ve compared LibreOffice and OpenOffice LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice: Which One Should You Use? Want a Microsoft Office alternative but confused about LibreOffice or OpenOffice? Here are the differences between the two. Read More if you’re interested.


Source: Office Blog

Related topics: Microsoft Office 365, Study Tips.

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  1. Chris
    April 6, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    So helpful and informative. So rare to find someone who makes an explanation so simple and eay to understand - and provide a solution that works.

    Many thanks. Chris.

  2. ole dahl
    March 30, 2017 at 6:58 am

    already new all your suggestions and did not help
    then i remembered my friends good old advise
    first check that all the cables is plugged all the way in,
    so pressed my esata cable in and windows 10 instant detected it :)

    suggest you use it as first advice ;)

    ps think best procedure is shut off computer connect hdd to computer make sure it lies flat on table in secure place before turning pc on
    if its an 3½" hdd it need extra power from external usb power source
    or from extra usb port on the pc, if the pc has power enough but in some cases it has to use external power,

  3. Lori
    January 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    One of the earlier posts states that MS does NOT have a list...that you need to inquire at your university if you want to know!!!

  4. Lori
    January 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    One of the earlier posts states that MS does NOT have a list...that you need to inquire at your university if you want to know!!!

  5. Aaron
    December 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

    does anyone have the link for the free microsoft office?

  6. Mirek
    November 15, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    And what about non public universities in Poland?
    How can I check if my school is on the Microsoft list?

  7. renu avinaash
    November 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    can any one post the link for eligible universities list?............

  8. Harish J
    November 1, 2013 at 5:09 am

    ^ There is a list of universities on Microsoft's site. It does include a majority of colleges from India, so check it out to see if yours is there on the list.

    • A
      November 5, 2013 at 6:44 am

      Harish - Be kind enough to share the link to that list. If it was easily found then people would not be asking it.

  9. vimit
    October 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    how do i know my university have this facilitie or not ???

  10. Anthony B
    October 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    A good initiative but even with the discount the price is a bit prohibitive where the change rate is 10 to 1 or greater

  11. Chris
    October 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    This news comes out literally 1 day after I actually Purchased the University Edition. Dang it. Looks like my college is loading it all up on Dreamspark too.

    • Justin D
      October 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      If it's only been one day, you may be able to get a refund by emailing/calling MS support? Worth a try, at least.

    • Chris
      October 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Nah, I purchased the license through Amazon. Crazy story, I couldn't purchase through Microsoft because I am in Japan. I am attending a US College campus here, had no luck with Microsoft Support to Activate it at all and I had to use a TOR browser and access a US server to activate it properly with my education email.

      I don't even want to go through the trouble of getting a refund. But I did save 10 bucks by going through Amazon to get it.

  12. Muhammad A
    October 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Not for me. Please arrange a give-away and your ratings will go up.

  13. Jawad
    October 22, 2013 at 3:08 am

    MSFT will educates the students to use O365. Most of the curriculum will be saved in the cloud. Students will most likely stick with o365 after graduation. Strategic move for MSFT. Great for Universities and Students.

  14. Ron
    October 22, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Great, much better than the Office university. The trick they forget to mention is that after you graduate they will cut off your "University" license. I asked MS and that was the answer they gave.

    Schools will NOT likely be advertising this as a benefit, since it would take away profits from their book store. Will there be a list maintained by MS that students can look at?

    • Justin D
      October 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      I was unable to find any list maintained by MS. It's likely that you'll have to inquire within your University.

      Does your University bookstore sell MS Office? Mine doesn't, so I don't think it would do anything to chip away at their profits. Regardless, I'm not sure how many Universities will really advertize this, probably due to a lack of communication between Microsoft, their IT departments, and their Student Relations office.

  15. rajat
    October 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    How do I find out if my institution is already on it ?

    • Justin D
      October 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      email/call your school's IT department. there's a good chance that they already license Office; for instance, can you use Office on the school library's computers? If the IT department won't help you out, I'd submit a Letter To The Editor of your school newspaper complaining about how Microsoft has this opportunity for students and your school isn't taking advantage of it. School newspapers can be a powerful tool for change.

    • rajat
      October 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm


  16. David
    October 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    That's not "free," that's "already purchased by your institution."

    • Justin D
      October 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      true, but it's free for the student. and there's no additional cost the school has to take on to offer Office to its students, starting December 1st, so it shouldn't result in any hiked up tuition prices for the student. (Although, we all know tuition prices will rise anyway. *sigh*)

  17. Russell Smith
    October 21, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Really, it is a wrathful step by Microsoft in student's favor. It gives a better example for other I.T. companies to innovate new things for student's development.


  18. Jarrett H
    October 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    The only reason I believe students "rely on" Microsoft Office is because they are told they need to use it along with the rest of the books and supplies they are told to get for their classes. Could they get away just fine with Libre Office or other alternatives? Absolutely, unless the class is on MS Office products or requires Access for database work. But as nobody says "you need MS Office or equivalent", they don't realize they have a choice.

  19. Angi G
    October 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Still, I would rather not be tied to MS anymore than I already am. So I use Kingsoft Office. It's free and it looks and behaves A LOT like modern MS Office.

    • Anonymous
      November 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm
  20. Vishal S
    October 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Well, if you are a student, you can also use Dreamspark to get a lot of Microsoft Software for free (don't know if Office is a part of it though). Another method is to get it through an IEEE student membership (however, I'm still working on the details of getting it).

  21. Brendon Green
    October 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    As the foundations crumble beneath the Microsoft monopoly, Windows and Office are becoming less relevant. Now, in a last-ditch effort to survive, Microsoft turns to *renting* its crapware? No thank you, I'll stick with Debian and LibreOffice.

    • Dean
      October 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Brendon (& Jacki), you two are completely in the right. Go Debian & LibreOffice.

  22. Jacki
    October 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Still prefer Open office or Libre.

  23. Anoop Sudhakaran
    October 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Microsoft has always taken good care of its younger customers by providing them with huge discounts and freebies. This move is absolutely awesome and I hope more and more universities take part in this.

  24. Sue Wells
    October 19, 2013 at 12:36 am

    If you’re lucky enough to be enrolled in one of the eligible Universities, you should check out MS Office 2013 guide to to be able to fully utilize the productivity suite.

  25. tom
    October 18, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Very good. Im getting it free on my Windows 8 tablet also!