University, Microsoft partnership offers free Office 365 for students
By Oscar Gonzalez
Being a student is expensive.
From tuition to books, students find themselves spending money everywhere, but the university’s Information Technology Services has free copies of Microsoft Office available for all registered students.
This semester, Texas A&M University-San Antonio partnered with Microsoft on a program called Student Advantage. The program provides enrolled students with a copy of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote.
“This is the first agreement that we’ve signed,” user services manager Shawna Arroyo said. “Going forward we’re hoping to provide other avenues to obtain software.”
Arroyo said she will continue searching for discounted or free software beneficial to students, such as various Adobe programs, along with discounts on technology and mobile apps.
Microsoft started the Student Advantage program in October 2013. To participate, universities must purchase an enterprise license from Microsoft in order to install the company’s software, such as Office, on computers throughout the university.
Arroyo said the license is paid for by the Texas A&M University System, not student tuition or fees.
To obtain Office 365, students must be enrolled in a class. Students can utilize the software over the summer as long as they are enrolled for the following Fall semester.
Students can access the software through Jaguar Student Email. Once logged in, click on the options gear and select “Office 365 settings.” Click “Software” and decide which applications to install. Office 365 works with both PCs and Macs.
“I didn’t know about that,” said communications junior Mari Benavides. “I feel like that’s something that will help students excel.”
Office 365 is cloud-based, meaning Microsoft servers store user-created content. The content can be accessed from personal devices including other computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Unlike other versions of Microsoft Office, Office 365 costs $9.99 a month, but students will not have to pay that fee.
Students can use Office 365 on up to five devices so they can work on their content from home, at work, or on the go. Visit the ITS page for a link to the software. ITS encourages students to contact the department with any problems downloading the software.