Microsoft offers students at eligible educational institutions access to full Office productivity suite for no additional cost

As part of our on-going commitment to education, we are thrilled to announce Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions which will make it easy for students to use the latest and best version of full Office at their education institution and at home.

Student Advantage - Office 365 ProPlus

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So what does this mean? From 1st December, 2013, any institutions worldwide that licenses Office for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. As a result, more than 35,000 institutions worldwide are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students.

Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and offers the ability for these to be locally installed on up to five devices and available offline.

Furthermore, when a school combines Student Advantage with our other cloud services - Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online - of which all are available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.

“Students use Office every day for school work and activities that are most important to them. Office not only helps students stay organised and get their work done today, but at the same time develops skills that will be required when they enter the workforce,”  said Antony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to offer Student Advantage to schools across the globe so students have access to the latest, most up-to-date version of the world’s leading set of productivity tools in order to give them a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.”

To help you learn more about this benefit to your students, we are going to be running a number of Q&A sessions via Yammer and Twitter over the next week. More details to follow via the blog and our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the meantime, if you have any immediate questions or queries, drop us a note in the comments below.

1 Windows PC client programs and/or features only. Cannot be used across devices.

Comments (17)

  1. Rachel Moorehead says:

    Good Afternoon,

    So does this mean that on Dec 1st, institutions that qualify will see a new license option available for "Student Advantage" in the MS Online Portal or will it be included with no intervention from the Portal to qualifying students?


  2. jamesbmarshall says:


    After Dec 1st qualifying customers can contact their licensing reseller to acquire the Office 365 ProPlus licenses for students.

    This benefit is not available directly via the portal, and will not automatically appear.

    Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  3. Andy Gibson says:


    Could you tell me how we know if we qualify?  We have an OVS-ES agreement based on FTE staff numbers.



  4. Mr A Gibson says:


    Could you tell me if the UK school OVS-ES agreements are eligible for this?



  5. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Andy OVS-ES is a qualifying volume licensing agreement, but you'll need to make sure you've covered 100% of your faculty/staff for Office on it in order to unlock the Student Advantage benefit.

  6. Guy Shearer says:

    Will the student still login to the school O365 tenancy as usual with their studentid@schooldomainname address then?  Will they download office from there or will they have to make a new O365ProPlus account, login, download but still use their school O365 a/c for day to day work?

    Great offer – many thanks!

  7. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Guy this is delivered through an existing Office 365 tenant, or if one doesn't exist, then a new one needs to be created.

    Students will access their software benefit via the Office 365 tenant and will sign in with whatever credentials have been provided to them, so this could be their UPN (email-style username) or something different – each deployment can vary.

    I would say that creating a totally separate tenant for the delivery of Office 365 ProPlus if there is a tenant already being used to deliver Exchange Online, SharePoint Online or Lync Online is going to lead to a poor user experience.

  8. Jack says:

    Do Microsoft provide any basic support on installing this on Computers. What if a student tries to install it and it fails?


  9. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Jack Microsoft provides free 24×7 support to administrators for Office 365, but not to end users. If a user is having difficulty installing Office 365 ProPlus they should contact their school IT department.

  10. Mike Gettings says:

    Once the student graduates, what steps would we need to take to remove access to the software ?

    Currently we have the option for a student to retain their mailbox after they graduate

    Is this as simple as removing a license option against the student ?

  11. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Mike you should only be offering mailboxes to your leavers under the alumni licence; you'll need to remove the Office 365 ProPlus licence when they cease being an active student at your institution.

    It's a really simple process – you just untick the box next to Office 365 ProPlus in the admin portal, or you can remove it through Windows Remote PowerShell.

  12. Mark says:

    Where can I see a webinar or further information related to this? We run a small technical school (35 students) and would need to understand the full package, costs, qualifications, etc. It feels like a parallel to Software Assurance for Office like we use in another organization.


  13. Peter says:

    This is going to be a great scheme so thank you Microsoft.

    However, please correct me if I am wrong but it is not actually usable yet. I have spent the last 4 hours on the phone to various departments at Microsoft who have confirmed this.

    The licence has now been successfully added to our VLSC page. Part number “S2Y-00002”, “O365ProPlusOpenStudents ShrdSvr ALNG SubsVL OLV NL 1Mth Acdmc Stdnt w/Faculty”, has been added and when I go to product keys, I can see our key for “O365 ProPlus Open for Students OSA”. No downloads are currently available on the MVLSC page for this product. I’ve logged a call with Microsoft regarding this and this has been escalated. They are hoping for the download to be added before the end of the month and confirmed that several people have been requesting this.

    Many articles state that the O365 ProPlus should be available on the O365 downloads page. As we are currently using the free A2 version, I have been told that this is not going to be available here. We would need the paid A3 version for this.

    Therefore, we are now currently waiting for the download to be made available on the VLSC site so that we can distribute the product to students.

    Has anyone else with the A2 licence for O365 managed to get this working?


  14. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Peter, the download will not appear in VLSC. Instead, product keys that you can enter into your Office 365 tenant will appear there.

    Once entered, these will unlock the corresponding number of licences in Office 365 for you to assign to your students alongside Plan A2. Please see the "Student Advantage" tag on the blog for all the posts about this.

  15. Neil Woodrow says:

    I have installed 365 Office to trial it for our school, however when I login, I can not see how to access the office products – the e-mail seems to work, but I can not find any icons for the other products – I am obviously missing something – what?

  16. Jonathon Quinn says:


    We have also applied the OSA key to our O365 portal and have unlocked the license option for our students.

    However, even though we have ticked the relevant license the students still have no obvious way of obtaining the software.

    I'm definitely missing something but not sure what?

  17. Jonathon Quinn says:

    Nevermind, found it!

    Within O365, the students have to go to 'Settings'->'Office 365 Settings'->'Software'.

    They can download it from there 🙂

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