Download Microsoft Office, Windows 8.1 Pro, and more for free--if you're a student

Save hundreds with this collection of free software for eligible students

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Going to college has its perks. Students, faculty, and staff at eligible education institutions can save a bundle on usually expensive software, including Microsoft Office, Windows 8.1 Pro (the upgrade from Windows 7), Adobe Creative Cloud, Parallels Desktop, and more.

OnTheHub is like a one-stop clearinghouse for these academic software deals. Partnering with both software publishers and universities, the network offers direct download deals as well as links to the participating school web stores.

The catch is that not all colleges and universities participate, so you'll have to search the school list for eligibility.

Good news for parents and younger students: Elementary and high school software discounts are coming to the site soon.

Of course, you can just head to the student tech section of your school's website to see what's available, and there are lots of other ways to get free academic software. Microsoft, for example, recently announced a new Student Advantage program that gives an Office 365 subscription to students whose schools license it for their faculty and staff.

Still, OnTheHub offers some exclusive academic deals, so it's worth checking out just in case you can save even more than the regular student discount routes.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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