Student Use Benefit Licenses

Education customers licensing all Knowledge Workers for qualifying products will be eligible to order free student use benefit licenses for corresponding products.

A Knowledge Worker is an employee (including a student employee), contractor, or volunteer who uses a product or qualified device for the benefit of the institution or within the user’s relationship with the institution. In other words, Knowledge Workers are Faculty and Staff.

A qualifying product license enables an institution to order either 15 or 40 student use benefit licenses, dependent on the qualifying product. If a qualifying product is purchased via a suite/bundle, the supported faculty:student ratio is up to 1:40. If the qualifying product is purchased standalone, the supported faculty:student ratio is up to 1:15. For specific qualifying product, see table below.

Table taken from Microsoft Product Terms documentation for September 2018

It is important to note that not all products are necessarily included in the corresponding student use benefit licenses.

For example, the components that make up the Student Use Benefit license for Microsoft 365 A3 (see table on the right below) are not exactly the same as the ones that make up the Faculty license for Microsoft 365 A3 (see table on the left below). As at April 2018, there are two components that are available in the paid-for license but not in the free Student Use Benefit license. If students need to make use of those components, then the educational institution would need to buy the “Microsoft 365 A3 for students” license, which is a paid license.

Comparison of components in paid and free Microsoft 365 A3 license

The other difference is in use rights. Taking the same example, the paid-for faculty licenses include Windows virtualization rights and access to on-premises servers (CALs); the free student use benefit license for Microsoft 365 A3 does not include Windows virtualization rights and access to on-premises servers. Again, if students need to make use of these rights, then the institution needs to purchase licenses for them.

From the list below, you can see that there are two types of licenses that can be assigned to students. You will need to determine if the free license includes all the components that are required for the students. If not, you will need to purchase a paid license for the students.

A tip is to check the Product Terms documentation released every month for the words “Student Use Benefit” to find the restrictions on these licenses by product.

Types of Microsoft 365 A3 licenses

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