Microsoft Office free to students

Kendra Clark and Kendra Clark

Students have an opportunity to save money, because Microsoft Office 365 is free for all students while attending the University.

Office 365 includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and OneNote.

Director of IT Security and Infrastructure Matthew Haschak said Microsoft is giving all higher education free email and Office 365 use for all students.

“There is no way we could match that for as much as we are getting for free,” he said.

The University does pay Microsoft for support and licensing. However, students can download Microsoft Office 365 to five different devices, which include mobile devices.

Even though alumni can keep their email, they will lose all other features, including the Office 365 and OneDrive.

“Once you graduate, it goes through our system and a process that will then take it away eventually,” he said.

Microsoft announced the free addition of Office 365 in spring of 2014. The University started advertising the option early summer and in the S.O.A.R. program.

Technology Support Specialist Raquel Guzman said one of the biggest problems they have seen so far is that students don’t know where to get the free downloads.

“We have full instructions and videos on the technology website for students to use,” she said.

The way students can get the free downloads is by going to their email and clicking on the gear symbol on the right-hand side of the screen. There will be a drop down menu where the option to download Microsoft Office 365 can be seen, Haschak said.

Guzman noticed a positive response from the parents at S.O.A.R. when they made the announcement.

“There were a lot of happy parents,” she said. “But there were also a lot of freshman that were ahead of the game and had already downloaded it.”

Danee Gunka, manager of customer service for ITS, said they have been seeing a lot of students come in asking questions about the free downloads.

“It’s not slow, why this past hour we had two come in to help with installment,” she said. “But we also know that a lot of students are pretty good with technology.”

She also wanted students to know that if any updates happen, they will announce it on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

To go along with Microsoft Office, Haschak also wants students to be aware of the OneDrive they have with their emails.

“It’s very similar to Drop Box,” he said. “Students get one terabyte of space anywhere, even on their phones.”

The OneDrive can be found on the top bar in the emails, where students can upload files like a virtual USB port, he said.

“They can also share their files with other people,” he said.