Students and teachers: You may be eligible to get Office for free!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share via OneNote Share via Email Print

Student Advantage ProgramIt was just about a year ago we announced Student Advantage, a benefit that allows eligible students to get Office 365 from their school for free. One drawback to Student Advantage—the onus has been on the school to initiate the service, create an account and order the Office 365 license on behalf of the student.

Today we’re making it easier on the school IT department with a new self-serve model for students that lets them sign up for the free service on their own.

If you’re a student 13 years-old of age or older, here’s what you can do the check your eligibility and get Office for free:

  1. Go to Office 365 for Students.
  2. Enter a valid school-provided email address.

Here’s what qualified students will receive:

  • The latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher
  • Installation on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPad
  • 1 Terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage
  • Office Online

Sign-up for students is available in the U.S. today, and will expand worldwide later this year.

In order to be eligible for this benefit, the student must attend a school that has purchased Office organization-wide for all faculty/staff via the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.

You can see the new sign-up process on the Garage Series with host Jeremy Chapman as well as other really cool features of Office Mix, Power Map and OneNote.

These changes not only make it easier for students to get Office, but it makes managing the services easier on school IT. In the past, organizations were required to initiate the service, create accounts and order the free licenses on behalf of their students. All this needed to be done prior to students being able to access Office and OneDrive. The new self-service model removes all of that unnecessary friction and delay by simply allowing eligible students to sign up for the service themselves, while maintaining the same level of control, flexibility and security institutions have come to expect from Office 365.

Office 365 ProPlus benefit available for faculty and staff  starting December 1, 2014

We have even more great news to share—we’re also announcing that faculty and staff will soon be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as their students. This means that any organization purchasing Office for all of their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff.

Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to faculty and staff ensures that teachers are using the latest versions of Office and the same feature set as their students. It will allow teachers to install full Office on up to five PCs or Macs and unlock the editing capabilities of the Office apps for iPad. It also gives them access to all their Office documents both at school and at home. With Office 365 ProPlus teachers can take advantage of great Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures.

Teachers in the U.S. can sign up for Office 365 ProPlus in October and expand to worldwide teachers later this year.








  1. This is great! Thank you very much for easing the process. I just have one question, how does this compare with Office 365 University?

  2. I successfully downloaded the programs but when I attempt to activate them, it says that Office 365 does not have an account associated with me .edu email address. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

  3. I have the same problem Daniel C. The Office 365 Education site says I’m eligible and that I already have a license for Office 365 Education, but I get the same message when I try to activate it.

  4. What happens if we purchased Office University already? I literally got it 3 weeks ago 😛

  5. Our school district has purchased Office for all computers. However, our school SITE is the one providing the e-mail addresses to students. The website isn’t recognizing the students’ accounts right now. How do I add our students’ domain so that they will be eligible for this offer?

  6. Question, Why is it we can download it but we can not activate it? When asked to sign in to activate your product, I use my school email and password and I get a error telling me my email isn’t associated with this Office product. What do we do when we reach this step? 

  7. I’m having the same problem as Daniel C and angelaj, I simply cannot open the applications. Can someone please clarify the next steps so we can use the services.

  8. I have the same problem as many others are stating here. After successfully downloading and installing office, I am unable to activate it using my Office365 ID. I contacted my University’s IT department and was told to contact microsoft. After calling Microsoft, I was transferred to at least 5 different agents in different departments because no one I talked to had any idea what product I had. I was then disconnected by the last agent and still have not been able to resolve my problem.

    • I spoke with Microsoft and they said we have to contact our school and they will give use a unique email and password to activate our Software. So, I guess we are stuck calling our schools IT Department

      • Actually I was told to try this:

        “If you have problems activating, do this –
        Apparently if you click to the link on your .edu email then register then download a installer file (setupo365proplusretail.x86.en-us_.exe ~1MB) and install it, it will not let you activate the program on your machine.

        You have to go to the setting (on your online portal, click yo the gear icon on top right coner then Office 365 setting) then select Software tab / Office tab (these pages may take a while to load/install/connect-verify your machine ….) then click install, you will be prompted to down load a installer file (file maybe included the unique activation key XXXX or smt like that, named such as Setup.X86.en-us_O365ProPlusRetail_XXXXXXXX_.exe)

        Install it and you good to go, Your installed devices are appear on this page also”

        I’m still waiting for the setup page to complete so I’m not sure if it will work.

        • Thanks man, I will try that and hopefully this gets fixed. I got a 3 page paper due tomorrow and I really dont have the money to drive to school today just to type a paper lol. Thanks for the info.

        • is this how you got it to work on your tablet also? I verified my email but when I to login on my iPad I get a message that says there is no license on this account.

  9. If a school has an Office365 tenant configured then the students must be manually licensed. If they currently don’t have an Office365 tenant then it should just work is my understanding. The initial loophole I’m wondering how it will work say if a school has an Office365 tenant but doesn’t have the licensing loaded into their account. Does it still work?

    The other issue we might be seeing is if someone has a Microsoft Online account with using your school email address vs an Off365 tenant username…this has caused some confusion on our University.

    With the specifics of the announcement, I know our University already has been licensing students for a few months. When I try the above link and try to login it redirects me over to our login screen (ADFS Farm).

  10. The last line of this article states “Teachers in the U.S. can sign up for Office 365 ProPlus in October”. So does that mean that U.S. Faculty/Staff can start getting these accounts in October rather than waiting for Dec. 1? Do we need to contact our Microsoft Partner? Will we now be able to have a separate sub-domain for faculty and staff (is that considered a second tenant?)?

    We have had Microsoft student email starting with LiveEdu and extending through the present incarnation of Student Advantage. Our state has an EES contract covering Faculty and Staff using Microsoft client (msi distributable). We have faculty and staff excitedly waiting to get the Click to Run (specifically for iPad). We just need to understand if we will be able to use our main domain for faculty and staff or if we need a sub-domain. Our Exchange and Lync need to stay on our local servers, as we use VOIP, which ProPlus doesn’t support. But we wouldn’t need the Outlook or Lync applications and would just exclude those from the available applications. References: ( and (

  11. Hey everyone, this is Frank from Microsoft. Thanks to everyone who has signed up and installed Office 365 Education for Students. We are excited to see the response and we are monitoring feedback to make sure students have a great experience. If you are not able to activate your Office 365 installation, please try activating again in 10 minutes using the same email address and password. If you are still experiencing an activation issue, please post your question at

  12. Hi,
    This sounds great. Although I have a valid student email address and can download product from DreamSpark, I cannot get my email address accepted by the Student Advantage website. What do I have to do to move forward?


  13. UPDATE

    We are excited to see the positive reaction to our new program for students. Interest has been very high and we are seeing many students signing up for the new offer. Everyone who has signed up has been able to access the Office 365 services including OneDrive for Business, Office Online and the Office ProPlus download. Unfortunately due to an unforeseen issue some students have run into a delay activating the Office ProPlus clients after download. We have investigated the issue and are currently finalizing an update to the service. In the meantime, to ensure students have a great experience we will disable new students signing up for the offer for a few hours while we deploy the update. New students regardless of eligibility will see the following message: “Sorry, your school isn’t on our list of eligible institutions. We’ll check to make sure the list is up to date, so try again in a few days…” We are working to update the service and make it available for new students to sign up as soon as possible.

    Jake Zborowski – Group Product Manager Office 365

    • Thank you, Jake! I can now activate my Office, but my access to OneDrive is denied.

      • Quick update, student self-service sign up is once again available for all students at eligible institutions. Students can check eligibility via the link in the blog post above. Thanks for your patience – we are excited to be able to continue to provide all eligible students with access to Office.

        Nick Robinson, Office 365 team

  14. how do you know what kids are over the age of 13? is it because we don’t allow kids that age to have office accounts
    please let me know .
    Thank you

  15. I used my school-provided e-mail address to check my elibility and it was successful. I was able to access OneDrive and other Office 365 online services like Word, Excel, etc but after a few minutes they disappeared.

    I contacted my school’s Information Systems department but they don’t know why they disappeared. They didn’t seem to know much about the service and suggested that maybe they are not set up for that.

    If they are really not set up and I’m not eligible then why would it tell me I was eligible and then take them away?

    I still have access to outlook, people and tasks which is what I had before.

    Thank you,

  16. It shows that I am eligible to get it free and send my .edu email a link, however, I can not finish up signup because after I entered that link and fill up my information it always returning “Your IT department may have turned off signup for Office 365 Education. Or there’s a problem on our end. Try again later or contact your IT department.” I contacted my college’s IT department and they say they don’t even know about it. Anyone has idea how to fix it?

  17. I currently attend Lane Community College but they do not give students their own email ( is there a way I can still take advantage of this program to get Office for free?

  18. so I tried to verify my email and it said that it needed to verify my school first. Will this be for all schools or how does that work?

  19. why is microsoft office 365 not working for my ipad? i downloaded it but its saying i need to activate it. if its free then why i need to purchase it?

Comments are closed.