November 16, 2001

Microsoft Invites Home Schoolers into Its "Office"

With the release of its computer software program, Office XP Standard for Students and Teachers, Microsoft Corporation has opened up its Student License discount program to home schooled students for the first time. Office XP Standard is the newest version of what the company calls its "suite of productivity programs."

In the past, Microsoft has required that students be enrolled in a public or private school in order to receive the student discount, which allows students to purchase the program for a substantial savings-nearly 70 percent off normal retail price. However, the company is now allowing home educated students to take advantage of the discount.

The "Qualified Educational User Criteria" are not perfect. They require that potential buyers belong to a nationally recognized home school organization or obtain a letter from the local school district recognizing the home school program as an acceptable alternative to attendance at an accredited institution. Nevertheless, Home School Legal Defense Association commends Microsoft's attempt to be non-discriminatory in their educational discount program.

With this decision, Microsoft joins numerous other companies that allow home schoolers to receive student discounts.

Click here to view the student qualifications to obtain the discount.