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Microsoft Office Licensing Remediation Project

Overview

Microsoft recently announced that desktop applications offered through Microsoft 365 Apps (previously known as Office 365 ProPlus), previously provided at no cost, will require a per-person license fee. The university offered the desktop applications to all students, faculty and staff when they were free. Now that there is a per-person cost for these applications, OIT will be changing how Microsoft licenses are assigned in order to better manage our limited number of Microsoft 365 Apps licenses in a cost-effective way.

This licensing adjustment could mean that you will no longer be able to use Microsoft desktop applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. However, faculty, staff, and students will still have access to Microsoft Office Online which allows you to use most Office applications (excluding MS Access) online through a web browser.

We will continue to update this page with upcoming deadlines and other important information as it becomes available.

Project Status

This is an active project. 

Project Dates & Deadlines

  • January 31, 2022: Alumni accounts will lose access to Microsoft Office 365 apps and  files saved in CU Boulder OneDrive. Learn more on the Alumni FAQ.

Project Information & Resources

Alumni FAQ 

Why will I no longer have access to Microsoft Office 365 applications for free?

In your previous role as a student at the University of Colorado Boulder, you were given access to Microsoft’s online and desktop Office 365 applications (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) through an educational license.

Pursuant to our licensing agreement with Microsoft, we are only able to offer these educational licenses to active faculty, staff, students. Alumni who require access to the platform in order to perform work in a volunteer capacity for CU Boulder may also be eligible (see question 3 below for more details).

When will I no longer have access to my Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications through my existing license?

You will no longer have access to your Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications after January 31, 2022.

I’m an alum who is working for CU Boulder in a volunteer capacity. How can I ensure I will still have access to Microsoft Office 365 applications in order to perform my volunteer work?

Alumni who require access to Microsoft Office 365 desktop and online apps in order to perform work for CU Boulder in a volunteer capacity may be eligible to receive a license. If you are in this situation, contact your sponsoring department. You will need to be entered into the university’s human resource management system as a Person of Interest (POI) in order for OIT to provision you with a license.

If I have files stored in Microsoft OneDrive, what will happen to them after January 31, 2022?

Your documents will no longer be available to you.

If you have documents in your CU Boulder OneDrive that you would like to retain access to after January 31, 2022, it is critical that you copy or move these documents to a new location, such as a personal hard drive or a non-CU Boulder Microsoft account that includes OneDrive. More information about obtaining a non-CU Boulder Microsoft account can be found below. We suggest you not move a large number of files to your CU Boulder Google Drive as Google is ending unlimited storage for education and enforcing limited quotas.

Please be advised that we will not be able to recover files from your CU Boulder OneDrive after January 31, 2022.

Does this change impact my CU Boulder email account?

No. You will still be able to access your CU Boulder email account, whether that is through Gmail or Outlook on the web. In addition, your ability to forward your email to other email providers will not change.

What are my options if I still need access to Microsoft Office 365 applications?

Microsoft offers both free and paid options, depending on your needs.

If you require access to the desktop applications and/or a larger amount of OneDrive storage (1 TB), Microsoft offers individuals and families a variety of purchasing options that run approximately $70-120/year. Otherwise, you can access the online apps and up to 5 GB in OneDrive storage for free.

Please be advised that if you choose one of these Microsoft offers, the OneDrive that comes with it will not be the same CU Boulder OneDrive you have access to today. You will need to relocate your existing CU Boulder OneDrive files to your new non-CU Boulder OneDrive (or other location like a hard drive) if you would like to continue to access these files after January 31, 2022.

Retiree FAQ

Why will I no longer have access to Microsoft Office 365 applications for free?

In your previous role as faculty or staff at the University of Colorado Boulder, you were given access to Microsoft’s online and desktop Office 365 applications (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) through an educational license.

Pursuant to our licensing agreement with Microsoft, we are only able to offer these educational licenses to active faculty or staff, including emeritus faculty and working retirees, and those individuals who are performing work for the university in a contractor or volunteer capacity.

Are all retirees impacted by this change?

Microsoft’s online and desktop Office 365 applications will continue to be available to emeritus faculty and CU Boulder retirees who are employed by the university (working retirees). In addition, retirees who require access to online and/or desktop Office 365 applications in order to perform work for CU Boulder in a volunteer capacity may also be eligible to receive a license.

I’m an emeritus faculty. How can I ensure I will still have access to Microsoft Office applications?

Emeritus faculty will automatically be included in the group of individuals who continue to be given a license to access both Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications.

If you are emeritus faculty and received an email from OIT that notified you that you would be losing access to Microsoft Office 365 applications, you may be incorrectly entered into the university’s human resource management system. Please check with your former department.

I’m a retiree who volunteers for CU Boulder. How can I ensure I will still have access to Microsoft Office applications in order to perform my volunteer work?

Retirees who require access to online and/or desktop Microsoft Office 365 applications in order to perform work for CU Boulder in a volunteer capacity may be eligible to receive a license.

If you are in this situation, contact your sponsoring department. You will need to be entered in the university’s human resource management system as a Person of Interest (POI) in order for OIT to provision you with a license.

When will I no longer have access to my Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications through my existing license?

You will no longer have access to your Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications as of March 31, 2022.

What will happen to the files I have stored in my Microsoft OneDrive after March 31, 2022?

Your documents will no longer be available to you.

If you have documents in your CU Boulder Microsoft OneDrive that you would like to retain access to after March 31, 2022, it is critical that you copy or move these documents to a new location, such as a personal external hard drive or a new personal OneDrive. More information about obtaining a personal OneDrive can be found below.

Please be advised that we will not be able to recover files from your CU Boulder OneDrive after March 31, 2022.

If you need assistance with relocating your files, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Buff Techs as soon as possible. The process of relocating files, especially when done over a residential internet connection, can take a considerable amount of time depending on the size of the files you are moving. We encourage you to not wait until the last minute to complete this process as staffing and available times to assist may not be available when it is convenient for you.

How will I access my email after March 31, 2022?

On April 1, you can continue to access your CU Boulder email through Outlook on the Web, Google, or any other provider to which you forward your email. Learn more about Outlook on the Web.

What are my options if I still need access to Microsoft Office 365 online and/or desktop applications?

You can create a personal account on Microsoft’s website to use Office Online for free.

For access to desktop applications, Microsoft offers individuals and families a variety of purchasing options for both Microsoft Office 365 online and desktop applications approximately $70-120/year. These licenses come with the same amount of storage (1 terabyte) that you receive with your existing CU Boulder account today.

Please be advised that the OneDrive you will have access to if you use either of the options above will not be the same OneDrive you have access to today. You will need to relocate your existing files to your new Personal OneDrive (or other location like a hard drive) if you would like to continue to access these files after March 31, 2022.

Contact Us

If you have project-related questions, send an email to oithelp@colorado.edu with Microsoft Licensing Project in the subject line.