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IT Purchasing Tips

Student/parent computer and software purchasing guidelines

Looking for contact information for repair and service vendors?

Hardware Sources - Optional

The college has standardized on Microsoft Office. For the best Office discount, please see the next section, which follows this hardware information.

The vendors in this section have discounted hardware, not Office software.

HP Academy Academic Discount Store has been discontinued.

You can still shop here: HP Home and Office Store

Beginning in 2013, the majority of Windows PC hardware purchased by the college will be HP rather than Dell. However, for personal use you may purchase any brand. We listed HP and other brands because of their academic discounts.

Dell's academic site - Skidmore member ID = US53830003

The Skidmore Shop is an authorized Apple campus store (discounted academic pricing)
Contact Bob Carlton, 518-580-5491 (voice) or 518-580-5496 (fax)
or via the shop's web site.

Apple's academic site for purchasing hardware and software.

Microsoft Office at Special Academic Pricing

The college has standardized on Microsoft Office. If you use another program like Apple's iWork or OpenOffice, faculty and other employees may not be able to read your documents. You could also have trouble if you email documents to yourself and then try to work on them in a campus computer lab or office. The IT Department recommends that you use Microsoft Office.

Student Orders - Class 2014 until Graduation

Until you graduate, you may purchase a 4 year subscription to Office 365 University here.

If you are going on for an advanced degree, you next school may also have a discount program.

Student Orders - Classes 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 (not 2014):

Office is available free to the 4 classes named above. You purchase online and during installation, the program inspects your computer and downloads either Office 2013 for a PC or Office 2011 for a Mac.

Because the software is very large, you might want to do this when plugged into Ethernet or a cable modem rather than on Wi-Fi. Also, once you begin the download, do not put your computer to sleep until you finish.

Log into the Outlook Web App at and click the settings menu (gear icon to the upper right). Choose Office 365 options and then choose software on the next screen.

The newest Office is not compatible with Windows XP or Vista.

The Macintosh version requires a recent version of OS X, 10.5 or newer.

If you are asked for your Microsoft account during installation, use your Skidmore email address and password. Because our email is at Microsoft, you have credentials for their services.

PDF directions are available.

Employee Orders for Home Use:

Qualified employees may order Office through the Microsoft Home Use program for approximately $10 per download or slightly more if you want a disc.

Get instructions for employee home use orders.

Note 1: Many new computers do not come with a disc drive. Although the disc copy is very inexpensive, please consider whether you can use it. Does your computer have a CD/DVD disc drive?

Note 2: If you download Office, you are responsible for backing up the downloaded software. You could use an external hard drive, for example. Then if your computer has to be wiped during a repair, you can reinstall your software.

Other Student Software

Mathematica for Students - directions for downloading

SPSS Student Software - Information regarding student purchases

Adobe Creative Suite (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, etc.)

Rather than making a purchase, students can access the Adobe Creative Suite on any of our public lab machines (Scribner Library, computer classooms, etc.).

If students want Adobe products for their personal machines, they can rent Adobe Creative Cloud Student & Teacher Edition for $19.99 per month with a minimum one year sign up ($119.88). That provides cloud access to all Adobe Creative Suite products for as long as the monthly fee is paid. We are not sure how long the $19.99 price will be in effect; it may be a temporary sale price. Order online here: 

Faculty and Staff Software

College owned computers:

IT holds licenses for Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Dreamweaver, ChemDraw, Fetch, 
Mathematica, SAS (limited number), Stata, and SPSS.
Request these college licensed products by help ticket.

Amos Structural Equation Modeling from SPSS: The college does not hold a license but will purchase individual copies for faculty with a need.
Please request Amos by help ticket.

The college owns a limited number of licenses for Oracle Calendar for use by employees. You may download it yourself or make a request by help ticket. Downloads are on the IT Software Tips page.

SPSS modules are licensed selectively. Those selected by the college are listed here.

Some software packages are licensed in limited amounts for use in labs but not your office. Examples include ArcGIS (GIS lab and Harder 108), Atlas ti, and SketchUp.

There are no campus licenses for other software such as Adobe Photoshop, Parallels Desktop (which is also unsupported here), QuarkXPress, and Finale. These unlicensed packages are purchased by individual departments, not IT. One source for discounted academic software is CDWG whose education sales number is 800-808-4239. Another source is SHI whose phone is 888-764-8888.

Faculty home/personal computers:

IT holds licenses for Fetch, Mathematica, and SPSS. Request the software by help ticket.

Faculty may also request Mathematica for home here.