Microsoft Opens 'Student Advantage' Program Giving Students Free Use Of Office Software Suite

You can hardly find a job posting that doesn’t list proficiency with Microsoft’s suite of Office tools as a requirement, and Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are ubiquitous in schools and business around the world. Thus, it makes sense for colleges and universities to provide students with access to Office, but of course Office licenses cost a good bit of money even as Microsoft moves its iconic Office suite to the cloud with Office 365.

To defray the cost for schools, Microsoft has launched its Student Advantage program that allows educational institutions who subscribe to Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for faculty and staff to deliver Office 365 ProPlus to students for free. The program has now launched worldwide and is available to some 35,000 institutions.

Microsoft Office 365 Student Advantage

The program is called “Student Advantage”, and it indeed benefits students in the sense that it’s easier for their schools to provide Office tools to them, but the primary benefit is that it eases a bit of the financial burden on those institutions of higher learning. That’s a good thing, because money is always an issue, and if the bean counters can knock off a line item on a massive university budget, everyone’s happy.

For Microsoft, it’s essentially a way to help ensure more throngs of loyal users for years to come. Ideally, when those students graduate, they’ll subscribe to Office 365 at home and insist on it at work, too.

In a world where options for free office productivity tools proliferate, it’s a smart move on Microsoft’s part to invest in future users.