Microsoft 365, Licensing and Functionality, FAQ and Information

This page answers some frequently asked questions about Microsoft 365 Licensing and Office apps.

We want to provide additional clarity, and updates for the Microsoft License changes the campus will transition to between July 24 - July 28, 2020. 

Clarification on who is affected by the license change 

If anyone is also enrolled as a student, they will not be affected by the changes in July. 

  • Civil service staff (trade crafts, building services, and food workers only)
  • Extra help
  • Academic and Grad hourlies
  • Retirees
  • Emeriti

For more information on A1/A3 Microsoft licenses and features, including how licenses are assigned, please visit this Knowledge Base article.

  • Affected staff groups assigned an A1 license will no longer be able to personally download and install desktop versions of Microsoft Office apps on any device, including university-owned.
    • Desktop Office apps include Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.
  • Anyone enrolled as a student, regardless of staff group, will be assigned an A3 student license.
  • Postdocs will now transition to an A3 faculty/staff license and will no longer be affected by the changes in July.
  • Voicemail access and email inbox quotas will NOT be affected.

Solutions for those affected by this change

  • All faculty, staff, and students can continue to access online versions of Office apps, including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.
  • Departments have options to install the desktop Office apps for their users that are assigned an A1 license.
    • Versions of Office 2016 and 2019 can be obtained from the WebStore for University of Illinois-owned computers
    • Departments can use device-based licensing to install the desktop version of the Office 365 apps. Device-based licensing is available at no additional cost, but only available on Windows devices.


Microsoft licenses 

Allow users access to Office apps, such as Outlook, Word, and Excel. They also allow access to Microsoft services, such as SharePoint, Teams, Stream, and OneDrive. These Microsoft apps and services allow people to be productive and to collaborate in real-time in many different ways. 

This year, Microsoft 365 licenses are available in different tiers:

  1. A3 for students
  2. A1 for faculty and staff
  3. A3 for faculty and staff

*The licenses will be assigned to users based on the user's classification with the University.


Microsoft 365 Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I check my license type?

A: There are two easy options to find out which license you've been assigned. Use your browser and login to https://office.com. In the upper-right corner, click your icon or photo, then click the "My account" link. This page will show which Microsoft licenses have been assigned to your account.

  • Option 1: Click "Subscriptions" in the left-side toolbar (fig 1).
Figure 1
  •  Option 2: Or you can click the "View subscriptions" link in the main window (Fig 2). 
Figure 2

Q: How are licenses assigned for Students?

A: Licenses are currently assigned to you and your unique ID. Students will receive the A3 for Student license. Check here to Compare the features.

Q: How are licenses assigned for Faculty and Staff?

A: Licenses are currently assigned to you and your unique ID. For faculty and staff, Microsoft 365 licenses are assigned based on your employee type as it is recorded by HR. Check here to Compare the features.


Q: Do students have access to Office 365 Apps?

A: Everyone will have access to the web-based version of the Office 365 apps. Users with the A3 for Student license or the A3 for Faculty license will also be able to download and install the desktop version of the Office 365 apps. Departments have the option to use device-based licensing to install the desktop version of the Office 365 apps for users that are assigned an A1 license.

Q: Are Microsoft Access and Publisher available on device based activation?

A: Microsoft Access and Microsoft Publisher are included in the Office installation, regardless of whether it is activated by the device or the user.


Q: What do I do if I need something not on my subscription?

A: Your use of the service(s) is subject to the agreements your organization has with Microsoft. Your organization may have enabled you to use certain connected services in Office 365, which are covered by separate terms and privacy commitments. If you need help accessing a product or service, contact your IT department. 

Q: What will I experience if I lose my license?

A: The Office 365 desktop apps will verify your license level whenever your computer is online. In the event your license is changed to an A1 for Faculty license, you will not be able to create new files or edit existing files as the Office 365 app will be inactive. The error message will indicate the product is unlicensed (see below). Although the desktop apps are unavailable, all of the Office 365 "web-based" apps can be used regardless of license type.

Figure 3

Q: How can I change my license type?

A: An option to upgrade to an A3 license will be available through the WebStore if a department would prefer to provision an account with the A3 for Faculty license. License upgrades will require a C-FOAPAL for payment. The upgrade cost this year will be $65 per persons with an annual renewal.

Q: Can I purchase my own subscription to Microsoft 365?

A: If you have a purchased a personal Microsoft 365 subscription, you WILL NOT be able to sign in to this subscription using your University credentials. These subscriptions are designed for use by the general public. You can sign in to the Office 365 Web App located at: https://office.com using your University NetID and password. Retirees are also able to access their email using site.


(For Campus IT Pros):

Q: How do device-based subscriptions work? 

A: Departments have the option to use device-based licensing to install the desktop version of the Office 365 apps for users that are assigned an A1 license. Device-based licensing is only available on Microsoft machines.

Q: How can I find out a user's employee type?

A: Departments can contact their unit's HR department to verify a user's employee type. Some IT Pros will be able to get the employee type information by looking up the user's account in Active Directory.


Have Questions

If you have questions about Microsoft Licensing, please contact the support team at office365@illinois.edu








Keywords:Microsoft Office 365 License Download Email Exchange Mailbox Webstore Teams FAQ Frequently Asked Questions   Doc ID:103394
Owner:Office 3.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2020-06-26 10:17 CDTUpdated:2020-08-07 12:43 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois System, University of Illinois Technology Services
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