Information Services offers KSU students free Microsoft Office

Emily Mills

Kent State’s Division of Information Services is providing free Microsoft Office to all Kent State students.

A Flashline email distributed Aug. 6 said students could get free access to Microsoft programs including Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel for multiple devices. 

“Kent State has been a longtime partner with Microsoft,” said Jason Wearley, executive director of Information Services. “It’s a great progression for us in our partnership with [them].”

Microsoft has a location in the University Bookstore and has offered students Microsoft Office for a discounted price in the past, but Wearley said discussions with Microsoft began about six months ago after Chief Information Officer of Information Services, Edward Mahon, gave his approval to try to provide students with the free software.

Michael Kavulic, director of Information Services Communications, said the division saw this as the next logical step to provide students a better education.

“In Information Services, one of our goals is to provide students with the best technology here at Kent,” he said. “We offer students software they’d otherwise have to pay for for free. It will let them be more successful in school.”

According to the Information Services website, this is part of the Microsoft Student Advantage program, a partnership between Kent State and Microsoft to provide students with the newest versions of the software.

Any full- or part-time student is eligible to receive the software and will be able to access it as long as he or she is enrolled in classes, with the membership continuing for two years after they are no longer enrolled. Faculty and staff members, however, are not eligible.

Each subscription license allows students to register up to five devices with the software.

Wearley said the version students will receive is Microsoft Office 2013 and that it will update automatically if any newer versions come out.

“It’s really the latest, greatest version,” he said.

Kavulic said students appear excited about the free software.

“We’ve been surprised, and pleasantly so, at the responses we’ve been getting through email and social media,” he said. “Students really seem to be excited, and it’s satisfying and rewarding for students to share their stories thanking us for providing software they wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford.”

If students have already purchased Microsoft Office, Wearley said they can try to get a refund for it if the purchase was recent. However, for students who have had the software for a while, he said the chances of receiving a refund are slim.

To sign up for the software, visit and follow the instructions on the website.

Emily Mills is the principal reporter for Contact her at [email protected].