Microsoft O365 Conversion Fact Sheet

To comply with Microsoft’s new licensing model, the University of Delaware updated its Microsoft 365 for Education licensing structure as of February 1, 2021. This compliance change requires the assignment of exclusive licensing to named users—universities no longer have the ability to assign Microsoft licensing broadly via a site license agreement.
What was the cost of the Microsoft 365 license before the licensing change? $245,000/year

What is the current cost for a Microsoft 365 License?  UD’s total, annual payment to Microsoft is approximately $302,000/year within the new license framework. 

  • UD is paying more, under Microsoft’s new licensing framework, and receiving reduced services.
  • Each new A3 non-student license purchased under UD’s current Microsoft agreement entitles the university to an additional 40 A3 student licenses. (See more about A1 and A3 licensing, below.)
  • The “limited term researcher” and “postdoctoral” employment categories were added to the A3 pool just before the new licensing structure was deployed in February of 2021.

What is the difference between a Microsoft 365 A1 and A3 license?  A Microsoft 365 A3 license allows for installation and use of desktop and mobile Office applications as well as access to Office web apps. An A3 license holder can install Office on up to five (5) systems and mobile devices, including personal devices and machines.

  • A Microsoft 365 A1 license allows access to the fully functional versions of Office Web Apps, and the Outlook mobile app on devices with a screen smaller than 10.1 inches. The use of desktop applications is not allowed.  The only two applications not available via the web are Publisher and Access.

At UD, who currently has access to the different types of licenses? See UD’s service portal information of Office 365 for more information: Office 365 for Education Service Portal

  • A3 licensing: UD students, faculty, and exempt and non-exempt staff.
  • A1 licensing: miscellaneous wage, non-university employees, adjunct faculty, visiting scholars, etc.
  • Other licensing: other licensing options are available for a fee. To inquire about these options submit a request.

Why are retired and emeritus faculty unable to install and use Office?  Access to a Microsoft 365 license relies on users having access to an enabled Active Directory account.  Retired and emeritus faculty do not have enabled Active Directory accounts.

  • As a standard security practice, Active Directory accounts are disabled after an employee changes their relationship with the University of Delaware.  When the Active Directory account is disabled, the Microsoft 365 account is automatically disabled as well.
  • In general, emeritus faculty members do not need access to Microsoft from UD.  As such, access for employees who fall into this category has been handled on a case-by-case basis, working with IT professionals in departments, colleges or the Office of the Provost. 
What would be the annual cost of adding emeritus faculty to UD’s Microsoft 365 license?  UD currently has 337 emeritus faculty members.  With current counts, the cost to cover emeritus faculty would cost approximately $18,535 per year.  There is a budgetary “true-up” process, annually, where Microsoft acquires funds from UD for each new individual added to each identified licensing pool.  Please note: Costs do not take into account IT personnel time associated with license support. Most IT units, whether central or distributed, are not resourced to support retirees.


What is the annual cost to add adjunct faculty to Microsoft 365 A3 licensing?  All adjunct faculty currently have an A1 Microsoft 365 license.  It would cost the University approximately $49,225 per year to purchase Microsoft 365 A3 licenses for the current 895 adjunct faculty. There is a budgetary “true-up” process, annually, where Microsoft acquires funds from UD for each new individual added to each identified pool. 

  • Departments tend to keep adjunct faculty active within HRIS in order to easily rehire those positions as needed--in other words, there are many individuals who fall into this employment category who are not actively employed and thus would not need access to a license.
  • Many active adjunct faculty do not need Microsoft licenses, thus, a case by case model of support has been employed.
  • Departments, colleges and the Office of the Provost can choose to pay for an A3 license for UD-associated individuals and then coordinate with UDIT for installation.  There is an existing form for IT professionals to use to make this request.

Why are adjunct faculty unable to install and use Office?  A budgetary decision was made regarding multiple HR employment classifications under Microsoft’s new licensing framework in order to control licensing costs. This decision placed the category of “adjunct faculty” role into A1 licensing.

  • With A1 licensing, adjunct faculty may still use Microsoft Office via their web browser by logging in with their UD credentials at As noted above, this includes the suite of Office applications, as well as the ability to save and share documents online.

What is the process to provide an individual (e.g., retired faculty, emeritus faculty, adjunct faculty) with an A3 Microsoft 365?  Departments, colleges and the Office of the Provost may pay for an A3 license for UD-associated individuals and then coordinate with UDIT for installation.  There is an existing webform for IT professionals to use to make this request.

If the web version of Office is not preferable, emeritus and adjunct faculty may purchase the Home Use version of Office, which includes the desktop apps, at a 30% discount (total cost ~$50.00). To acquire the 30% discount, a purchase requires a “” email address.

Licensing a single, approved user requires a manual inspection of the account which includes decoupling the reliance on Active Directory, creating or removing permissions, enabling Microsoft 365 licensing, and verifying changes.  This process requires approximately 30-60 minutes of IT administrator time for each individual.

  • The process of licensing a single account at a time could be automated.
  • Designing a new process would take approximately a month of dedicated personnel time to develop and test the process--there is currently no IT staff availability for such a project.
  • A project to successfully remove the entire University’s Microsoft 365 licenses from being reliant on an enabled Active Directory account would have severe disruptive implications to current systems, impacting seamless sign on, AD and O365 passwords will not be synced, established permissions, and other synchronizations such as passwords.  This would also impact any ongoing projects involving Active Directory and take 12-24 months to plan and implement.

How can an individual upgrade from an A1 to an A3 license? For special circumstances where an employee cannot use the web versions of Office provided under an A1 license, a department can approve and fund an A3 license for specified employees.  The cost of a single A3 license is $55.00 per contract year.


How can an individual upgrade/acquire a Microsoft license if the department is unable to pay for a license?  An individual can use the following link to purchase the Home Use version of Office, which includes the desktop applications, at a 30% discount (total cost ~$50.00). This requires a “” address:


If an individual uses a university owned machine, can MS Office applications be downloaded to that computer?  The fully featured version of Office is available on the web for A1 users and can be accessed by visiting and logging in with current UD credentials.

If an individual is using a computer owned by the University of Delaware, that person’s department may request the installation of Office 2019.  Once approval has been received, an IT professional will coordinate with UDIT to install Office 2019. 


What is the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 2019?  Office 2019 does not include Access or Publisher, does not allow usage of the fully featured web applications, and generally does not receive major new features found in Microsoft 365.  Office 2019 has limited online tools but does not include access to Microsoft Teams and live document collaboration. Access to Teams and live document collaboration is a part of the A1 license. 


How can university employees (e.g., misc wage, adjunct faculty, etc.) using a personally owned computer get Microsoft 365 or Office 2019 applications installed?  The UD licensing agreement with Microsoft does not allow for the installation of Office 2019 on a non-university owned computer.


The following link can be used to purchase the Home Use version of Office, which includes the desktop apps, at a 30% discount (total cost ~$50.00) using a “” account:


Are retirees able to download other software applications from UDeploy?  Software licensed for University of Delaware faculty and staff is not eligible for download by retirees. The software on UDeploy is distributed based on the licensing agreements with individual vendors. Per these agreements, most university-licensed software is only available to active students and employees.


Article ID: 836
Wed 4/14/21 2:21 PM
Mon 11/14/22 9:09 AM

Related Articles (2)

Information on licensing and installing Office 365 for Education.