New offerings – Self-service Student Advantage Signup for Students and Faculty/Staff Office 365 ProPlus benefit


More great news for students and faculty staff.  Launching today we have Office 365 ProPlus for Students (aka Student Advantage) available as a new self-service sign up option.  In addition, today we are announcing that you can use the same qualifying benefit for faculty and staff available on December 1st, 2014.


What is Student Advantage and or Faculty/Staff Office 365 ProPlus benefit exactly?

If your school/campus qualifies for both offerings, you can provide students and fac/staff (December) with full offline copies of Office 2013 Professional Plus, Office 2011 for Mac, and Office for iPad on up to 5 machines and 5 tablets per user at no additional cost. Please see my other blog post here for Student Advantage eligibility and a more in depth definition.

What link can I send to students for self service Student Advantage?

Send them here for self-service sign up:

What does self-service Student Advantage mean exactly?

There are now TWO options to provide Student Advantage and Faculty/Staff benefit(coming in December):

Option 1) Traditional Student Advantage – this is where your IT staff creates an Office 365 Education tenant, obtains Student Advantage licenses (and in the near future faculty/staff also) from your reseller, assigns these licenses to your students and fac/staff in the tenant (populated via Dirsync, etc) via Powershell or GRAPH API (see here for samples scripts), and then students and fac/staff download Office 365 ProPlus here and log into Office for valid usage.


Option 2) Self-Service Student Advantage – this is what is launched today where customers without Office 365 Education tenants can provide students an option to obtain Office 365 ProPlus without having IT setup a tenant, without having to obtain licenses from a reseller, and without having IT having to assign Office 365 ProPlus licenses to users.  Existing Office 365 Education tenants can also use self-service for auto-account creation and/or auto-assignment of Student Advantage licenses to users for easier enablement of Student Advantage.

What are the requirements for self-service Student Advantage to work?

There are four requirements:

1) Student must have an academic email to validate they are a student. Student would sign up using their academic email.

2) Institution must be eligible for Student Advantage – 100% of institution must have A3, Office 365 ProPlus, or Office via Volume License. Check with your reseller for eligibility if you are unsure.

3) Student must be age 13 or over

4) No ADFS for federated login with their Office 365 Education tenant AND the need for auto-account creation.  Self-service account creation does not work with federated logins to Office 365 Education however self-service license assignment does work with federated logins.

Which direction should we leverage option 1 or option 2?

This all depends on your current situation with Office 365 Education. I laid out a few use case scenarios:

No current Office 365 Education tenant

If you do not have Office 365 Education and have no current plans to rollout Office 365 Education you can leverage option 2 (self-service) to provide Office at no additional charge for your students. The benefit is the school or campus does not need to really do anything to make this work as it is fully student self-service option.  If at a later point, IT wants to gain control of this self-service tenant this option is available. See the FAQ for more details on an institution taking over a self-service tenant under ‘manage a tenant created by my students’ section.

Have Office 365 Education tenant but not Student Advantage 

If you have an existing Office 365 Education tenant such as A2 for students only but have not yet obtained the Student Advantage licenses or assigned them. Option 2 (self-service) could be used to provide auto-assignment of licenses for your students and fac/staff in December within your existing A2 only tenant. This will avoid the additional step of using a reseller to obtain licenses and the scripting the Student Advantage licenses.

Have Office 365 Education but only for Fac/Staff but no plans for Students

If you have a tenant only for fac/staff but no plans for students. Option 2(self-service) would also be a good fit as you do not have to provision students nor assign licenses, etc. You could either allow the students to create their own self-service tenant if the academic email is different for auto-account and auto-license assignment or you could allow or not allow students to auto-account creation and auto-licenses assignment within your faculty/staff tenant by registering their academic email domain in the tenant. If the academic email is the same, you could allow or block this feature within your tenant.  See the FAQ here under ‘Prevent students from joining my tenant’ section.

Have no academic email for students (K12) or under 13 users

If you do not have academic email for students or want to provide Student Advantage to children under age of 13 then the only option here would be Option 1(traditional). See my blog post here under “where can I obtain my Student Advantage license”.

Have an Office 365 tenant, have ADFS for federated login, students share the same academic email domain as fac/staff and do not have students created in tenant

For this scenario, you will have to leverage Option 1(traditional) as we do not support the auto-creation of accounts in a federated (ADFS) login scenario.

What about student support for Option1 or Option 2?

The best bet for support issues for students is to point them here as there are step by step guides and the top error codes.


For more information please see the Self-Service Student Advantage Sign up FAQ here.

Comments (2)

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  2. Anonymous says:

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