Athabasca University

Software for AU Students


Eligibility: Our verification process will not allow you to proceed if you have never registered in a course, or have not recently been enrolled in a course. Verification by our system does not guarantee your eligibility for the software available via the link below. For example some software may require you to be currently taking a course, not just registered for an upcoming course.

It is your responsibility to read the software agreements to ensure you are eligible for any software you purchase.

Compatibility: The newer versions of Microsoft Office will not run on computers with older Operating Systems such as Windows XP, Mac OS 10.4. Please refer to System requirements for the new Office to see if the version of Microsoft Office you want to purchase will work with your computer.

New Authentication Method: We have updated the authentication method for software purchases at onthehub. You will also no longer need to create a separate account at onthehub, and students will no longer need to submit a course registration or similar documentation to onthehub to prove they are a current student. Student access will begin shortly before your course start date, and continue for the duration of the course. When you sign into the onthehub store you will be taken to an AU web page to authenticate with your AU credentials, the same credentials you would use to log into the myAU portal. If you had an existing account with onthehub you will lose access to your purchase history for that account. If you need to access this purchase history for some reason please contact the ITS Help Desk.

Microsoft Verification: If you are prompted to verify your purchase with Microsoft, regardless of how/where it was purchased, you will need to:

  • Go to this web site:
  • When you are prompted to enter a verification choose the "Get Support" link located at both the top AND bottom of the page.
  • Then choose Contact support from the next web page that appears.
  • Next will be a pop-up form to complete. Once the form is completed you will then be able to chat with a Microsoft representative

Microsoft Verification for students outside of North America: If you are prompted to verify your purchase with Microsoft, regardless of how/where it was purchased, you will need to:

  • Students outside of North America should use this link: Shop Now to purchase their copy of Office 365 University instead of the link below.
  • Call Microsoft at 1-800-642-7676 to Register.
  • During that call, Microsoft will need to adjust your region to account for that Athabasca Univeristy is in Canada, but you are not.
  • Also during that call the phone agent can assist you with the Verification process.

Documentation for Verification of Eligibility (If Required): Some vendors may require additional documentation before you can install your software.

  • Undergraduate Students - For undergraduate students a Confirmation of Course Registration e-letter is typically sufficient. If you do not currently receive e-letters, please login to MyAU and activate your e-letters by clicking the enable link under the My Letters heading. (Do note that previous letters, generated within the last 6 months, will appear in the MyAU portal upon e-letter activation.) If you have questions about our e-letters, please visit the Electronic Letters FAQ page.
  • Graduate Students - E-letters are not available for graduate students, but other documents are also usually acceptable. An unofficial transcript, available from the MyAU site, may be sufficient. The software vendor should provide a list of acceptable documentation if required.

Re-Installing your MS Office suite: If you have the install disc: Insert and follow the prompts. When you are asked for the Product key and/or validation key, enter the appropriate key you received with the original purchase. If you did not order a disc, or purchased a version where there was no disc option available: You will need to run the MS Office installation file that you downloaded after purchase, or re-download the software if your download period has not expired. When you are asked for the Product key and/or validation key, enter the appropriate key you received with the original purchase. If the above does not work for you: Please contact onthehub and/or Microsoft.

AU Student Select License / Academic Versions

AU has established agreements to allow students to purchase software at a reduced rate. Software available under these agreements is provided through a single supplier. This includes software from a few different companies, including Microsoft.

In order to verify your student status, you will need to authenticate using your AU student ID and password. Our system will then confirm that you are an active student, currently registered in an AU course.

Partial Product List: Subject to change without notice

  • Microsoft Office for Mac
  • Microsoft Office for Windows
  • Microsoft Visio


Update: The online retailer we use, OnTheHub, has discontinued Microsoft Office 365 University. They still have non-educational versions available at a discount when compared to retail stores. If you want to purchase University Edition you can still do so through Microsoft. The above Microsoft Verification process may still apply.

The DreamSpark program offers free Microsoft software to students enrolled in COMP courses.

Further information can be found here:


  Athabasca University - Canada's Open University
This page was updated by
ITS Help Desk