Free Software

There are a number of ways to get free versions of industry-standard software for educational use (no using this software for any for-profit activity).  Here’re some options available to you right now that we know are current. For the most part, all you’ll need is your account to get access to the software. These offers have been good for some time, so even if the websites change slightly, you should be able to click around to find a signup page. Then generally all you need to do is sign up or login, and verify that you’re a student by giving the website your St Olaf email address.  They’ll send you a verification link in an email to your St Olaf account, click it to verify, and you’ll be able to download software for free!

Google Apps

GoogleForEdWhat is it: You probably already know it, you love it, you’re likely already using it.  But just in case you’re not, we’d just like to remind you that you already have access to a complete office suite in Google Apps.  It does a lot of what Microsoft Office does, and it’ll certainly help you with your papers for classes.  Plus collaborative editing, and you can save your documents to common formats (like Microsoft’s .docx and .xlsx).  You can print to stoPrint right out of any Google App too.  And St Olaf IT fully supports it!

How to get access:   Just login to your St Olaf google account, usually you can find any Google App by clicking on the Google Apps icon, usually found in the upper-right corner of any Google Apps screen (including Gmail).



Microsoft Office for Education

office365logoWhat is it: Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), unlimited OneDrive storage, Yammer and SharePoint sites. *NEW* Now you can install the FULL Office applications on up to 5 PCs or Macs for free! This offer is available to students, faculty and staff.

How to get access: Go to the Office in Education website, login with your Microsoft account (or create one), verify your student status with your St Olaf email account, access Office 365


NOTE: Office for Education lasts as long as your St. Olaf account is active.


Microsoft Imagine

 What is it: The Microsoft Imagine program offers free access to Microsoft development tools, Visual Studio, server operating systems, training materials.

How to get access: Go to the Microsoft Imagine website, login with your Microsoft account (or create one), verify student status with your St Olaf email account., and then you can download software.



Autodesk Education

Autodesk_LogoWhat is it: Autodesk, publishers of AutoCAD and 3D software, basically release everything they publish commercially for free to students with an .edu account.  This includes not only most flavors of AutoCAD and Inventor, but also Maya, 3ds Max, and MotionBuilder.  The only caveat is that files created with Autodesk Education software bear education watermarks that can’t be removed. Still, this is a great opportunity for you to get free access to many industry-standard packages.

How to get access: Go to Autodesk Education, click on almost any link that says get software, sign up and verify with St Olaf credentials, download software.




wolfram-mathematica-logo-newWhat is it: The College maintains a site license to Mathematica software that you can take advantage of as long as you’re a student at St Olaf. Mathematica is a computation program used by scientists and engineers worldwide.

How to get access:  Follow the instructions on the IT webpage for Mathematica. For installations on personal machines that don’t need to be connected to the St Olaf network, you’ll tie your Wolfram ID to St Olaf’s Wolfram site license.




libreoffice-logoWhat is it: Full open-source desktop office suite, competes with MS Office. Has wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentation and other packages.  Available in most OS flavors.

How to get access: Simply go to the website and download for free.





Esri-LogoWhat is it:  Environmental Systems Research Institute publishes GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software for both the Windows desktop and the cloud.  ArcGIS Desktop is used in the ES255 course taught in the Fall, and the College has a full site license to ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro and  ArcGIS is the industry-standard GIS package.

How to get access: You can run ArcGIS yourself on personal Windows machines; contact the DiSCO for details or for access to


Also keep in mind that oftentimes there’s an open-source solution for your software needs.  We’ve included some open-source desktop office software in LibreOffice. You’ll often find open-source alternatives that won’t cost you money if you search around for them.  They might not be as slick as the commercial version, but a lot of the time you can find something that will get the job done.  Know of any other free educational software offers from major publishers? Let us know! Drop us a line: