How do I get Student Advantage in Office 365 Education?

With a little under a month until Student Advantage becomes available (that's December 1st, put it in the diary!) one of the questions I am getting asked most frequently is: how do I get Student Advantage in Office 365 Education?

I’m going to cover this off in two posts, this first one to discuss how to get Student Advantage added to your existing Office 365 Education tenant. The second post will be a student-view; how to access and download the software.

Part One: How institutions get Student Advantage

Let’s start with a recap of how you qualify. Any institution will need to meet some criteria:

  1. You must have an OVS-ES or EES volume licensing agreement.
  2. You must cover 100% of your faculty/staff for Office on that OVS/ES or EES agreement.

As long as you meet the criteria you’ll need to contact your licensing reseller after December 1st to order the Student Advantage licences. What happens next depends on which volume licence agreement you have.

OVS-ES Customers

Once you’ve placed your order with your reseller you’ll get sent a link to retrieve your keys from the Volume Licensing Service Centre (VLSC). Through here you’ll see your product keys and be able to access the redemption interface to enter your keys into your tenant.

After you’ve entered the keys you’ll have the licences available (note, the image below does not show the Student Advantage Office 365 ProPlus licences, it’s just for illustration):

Office 365 Admin Center

You can then follow the process for assigning these licences to your student users in the normal way; either via the admin centre, or Windows Remote PowerShell. These will be in addition to any other Office 365 licences a user may already have, such as Exchange Online Plan 1 or Office 365 Plan A2.

EES Customers

As with OVS-ES you’ll need to contact your reseller to order the licences. Once the order is processed an email will be sent to the Online Services Manager, Notices Contact, or the Primary Contact. This email will contain two links: one to sign in, and one to sign up.

Whoever is going to process this email needs to ensure they are fully signed out of any and all Microsoft Online Services (this includes, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Office 365, etc.). This will avoid accidentally attempting to associate the licences to the wrong place. Given that you’ll already have a tenant with users in place you’ll need to click sign in and authenticate with your Office 365 administrative credentials.

This process provisions the licences to your tenant, and once completed you’ll be able to assign them to your users following whatever process you currently use.

Check back soon for part two where I’ll cover how a student accesses their software once you’ve allocated their licence.

Comments (6)

  1. Lisa Caporale says:

    Oh boy! I knew this would not be an easy process.

    Can you put together a package/plan for schools to follow?


  2. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Lisa thanks for commenting!

    It looks harder than it is, but that's because it's not easy to convey simply in writing. It's a three step process:

    1. Get your licences from your reseller.

    2. Add them to your tenant.

    3. Assign then to your users.

    The apparent complexity arises because of the difference between OVS-ES and EES agreements, but the 3 steps are essentially the same.

  3. Rob Sexton says:

    Examples of PowersShell commands to add this new license would be great

  4. jamesbmarshall says:

    @Rob great idea! I'll add it to my list of "posts to write".

    In the mean time, check out:…/ Not specifically about Student Advantage, but the concept is the same.

  5. Darrell C Webster - MVP says:

    Hi James. Thanks for taking the time to blog about the activation process. I've been scratching around to find these practical steps. In particular, what to expect in the Office 365 portal when applying the Student Advantage licenses. So your piece about the "Redemption Interface" answered my questions.

    Thanks again.

  6. Kelley Denham says:

    Our school is an OVS-ES customer.  We also have Office 365 Education A2.  Unfortunately, they were each set up with a different email accounts.  Is there a way to merge the two accounts so that we can take advantage of Student Advantage?

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