The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Free Microsoft program open to students

Empty wallets and repetitive cheap Top Ramen-like meals are commonly associated with the stereotypical broke college student. However, a new program has been recently implemented, which will save students money. On Sept. 22, Microsoft announced a new program, which provides students with Office 365 for free.

EC has not officially accepted the program into the school yet. Virginia Rapp, dean of business; Will Warren, assistant director of IT; and Dave Murphy, computer lab technician, are collaborating together to bring the program to EC.

“(We are) trying to come to consistent manner, (so) that we may present this (program),” Murphy said. “We are checking into EC policies.”

Although the program is not officially integrated at EC, students can still obtain Office 365 for free by accessing Microsoft’s website. On Dec. 1, Office 365 will also be available for faculty and staff of approved universities and districts.

“I think a lot more students will be using (Office 365),” Jessica Rico, 19, communications major. “Probably a lot more students will learn how to use it. It will really help everybody – definitely business majors who need to learn Excel.”

Office 365 – specifically Microsoft Access and Excel – are incorporated into classes at EC, such as introduction to computers in the business division.

“(Office for students) does not include Microsoft Access and we teach Access as part of our introduction to computer classes,” Murphy said. “That’s always been a problem.”

Problems like this can now be side-stepped with this free Office 365 program, opening up more educational opportunities for students.

Last year in December, Microsoft founded a similar program called Student Advantage. According to a Computerworld’s article by Gregg Keizer, there were many problems with the program’s implementation; administrators had to verify a student’s eligibility and process the Office 365 subscription.

“It was sort of convoluted, because everyone had to go through the institution’s IT department,” Murphy said. “That was an administrative nightmare.”

Microsoft removed IT from the equation, so that students could access the program themselves. Now, students can access Office 365 with their school designated emails for free.

Prior to this program, Office 365 was an expensive tool for a student’s education.

“It was a big chunk out of my bank account,” Ryan Warlich, 21, communications major, said. “I am still recovering from it.”

Fliers will be distributed with more information about this program after EC’s policies and the Microsoft program are further examined.

“We don’t want to put something out there and then withdraw,” Murphy added.

Regardless, the program is still free for students on Microsoft’s website.

“That would be an advantage for everybody,” Warlich said. “We are all students at some point.”

More to Discover