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officeMicrosoft already offered a way for students to receive Office products for free through its Student Advantage program, but required that schools set up accounts and initiate service in order for students to gain access to the software.

Now Microsoft is making it easier for young scholars to nab an Office 365 license on their own. The company announced today that students 13 and older who are attending a school that has purchased Office organization-wide for all faculty/staff via the Microsoft Volume Licensing program can access Office 365 by signing up here and entering a valid school-provided email address.

Qualified students will receive the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher; installation on up to five PCs or Macs; 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage; and Office Online.

The program is available for those in the U.S., and Microsoft will expand this globally later in 2014. The company also said today that teachers and faculty can now receive free Office 365 ProPlus subscriptions if their schools have purchased an organization-wide Office license.

Here’s a video guide for students that are interested:

Update, 4:45 p.m. —

Many students appear to be having problems with their Office 365 activations. Here’s what Microsoft just sent us in response:

Thanks to everyone who has signed up and installed Office 365 Education for Students. We are excited to see the response and we are monitoring feedback to make sure students have a great experience. It you are not able to activate your Office 365 installation, please try activating again in 10 minutes using the same email address and password. If you are still experiencing an activation issue, please post your question at http://community.office365.com/en-us/f/172.aspx

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