Your child may be able to get Office 365 for free.

Office 365 Free Canada

Putting kids through school is expensive. Even public school will take shots at your budget with textbooks, lab fees, field trips, band instrument rentals, $100+ graphing calculators, reams of paper, and printer ink worth its weight in gold. These expenses add up over time.

The biggest expense of all is providing your child with the computer and applications they need to complete reports and presentations. A decade ago Microsoft Office was perhaps the worst school-related budget-buster out there, shaking parents down for high-priced physical copies of the product suite their kids needed to finish homework assignments.

In 2011, Microsoft released Office 365, which cut costs considerably for parents by doing away with physical copies in favour of charging a small monthly fee for remote access to Office programs.

For many students in Canada and around the world, the price just got even better: it’s now absolutely free.

Microsoft first made Office 365 free for students with the Student Advantage program back in 2013.The problem with that program was that it required schools to take initiative and jump through a lot of hoops before students got their free software. They worked out this kink by shifting to a self-serve model with Office 365 Education for Students, which was released in the United States in September 2014. In February 2015, Office 365 Education for Students went international.

Students who are eligible for the program will be allowed to install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, Access, and OneNote on up to 5 PCs or Macs or mobile devices. They’ll also get access to a terabyte of online storage on OneDrive. To qualify, your child will need to meet the following criteria:

  • 13+ years old
  • Have a school-associated email account (
  • Internet access
  • Go to a school that has bought and licensed Office institution-wide with Microsoft’s Volume Licensing program

Find out if your child is eligible by searching for your school here.