Students to receive free Microsoft Office

Trey Crumbie

Starting this week, students will be able to get Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at no cost at all. The package includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher. 

Robert Owen, vice president for Information Technology, said he was thrilled that the programs will be available for students.

“I think it’s going to be a significant value to them, I’m sure it’s going to be,” Owen said.

The free assortment of programs comes from the Microsoft Student Advantage, a program available to WKU and other universities who are Microsoft volume license purchasers, or those who buy Microsoft Office products in bulk.

John Bowers, director of Academic Technology, said IT wanted to deliver the programs to students as fast as it could.

“We were real excited about the student advantage program when we first heard about it and we got on the ball to offer it to students just as soon as we could,” Bowers said. 

Bowers said an email would arrive in students’ TopperMail account this week instructing them on how to download the programs.

Bowers said around 20 IT employees participated in a test run to make sure the programs worked properly before releasing it to the public.

The programs can be installed on Windows, Macs and mobile devices, including iPads. One student can install the applications on up to five electronic devices. 

Full-time and part-time students will be able to use the software as long as they are enrolled at WKU. Following a student leaving WKU, the individual will not be able to use the programs. Although the exact time for when this will happen has not been confirmed, Bowers said the programs stopped working within a week during the trial run.

Faculty and staff are not completely excluded. WKU employees are able to get Microsoft Office for a significantly reduced price under a separate program.