Students and Teachers Get Microsoft Office for Free

Check your school's eligibility for Microsoft 365 Education

The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home

Microsoft features a bunch of Microsoft 365 plans for personal, business, or non-profit use. One such plan may already be in place at your school. Not only can students and teachers easily check their school's eligibility for a free Microsoft 365 subscription, but they should also be able to sign up for the offer themselves rather than going through an administrator.

The following eligibility check will determine whether you can get a free Microsoft Office account for students and teachers. If you're not eligible, ask your school's administration whether they support Microsoft 365 Education.

Students pointing to computer screen.
Leren Lu/Digital Vision/Getty Images

What is Included for Eligible Students and Teachers

The free Microsoft Office accounts for students and teachers include the latest available desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher (Office 2019 for Windows or Office 2019 for Mac). Not only that, but these desktop programs can be installed on as many as five PCs or Macs as well as up to five mobile devices.

These desktop applications integrate with Office Online, the browser-based version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The important thing about Office Online is that it allows you to collaborate on a document in real-time with other students or teachers. If you do need to work offline, you can save locally then sync changes after a connection is reestablished.

The offer also includes free storage in OneDrive. Documents saved to OneDrive can be accessed across all your mobile and desktop devices. The Microsoft 365 Education plan typically allows educational institutions to offer the Office and OneDrive experience plus sites, free email, instant messaging, and web conferencing. You may need to check with your school for details on these components.

How to Determine Your Eligibility

This program has been in effect for a while, but now it is easier to determine whether your school is a qualifying institution.

Checking for eligibility requires a school email address. Next, visit the appropriate website to further investigate the possibilities for your school:

What Administrators of Eligible Institutions Need to Do

Administrators don't need to do much. This is the elegant thing about Microsoft's offer, as described on their Office in Education site:

"There are no administrative actions your institution needs to take to enroll. You can simply communicate the availability of Microsoft 365 Education for Students to your students using content from our toolkit. Access the toolkit. Contact your Microsoft representative with specific questions about the steps your school should take."

For Non-Eligible Students or Teachers

Your interest may prompt important conversations on behalf of the other students or teachers at your school. If your school is not eligible, contact your school's administration to request that they reach out to Microsoft regarding failed eligibility.