As I bounce from college to college and work with a number of students, I’m always surprised to see how many aren’t aware that they have access to DreamSpark. Dreamspark is Microsoft’s program to provide students with software design and development tools at no charge. The program was originally available for university/college students in the U.S., but has now been expanded to more than 80 countries and is offered to many high school students.

How do you get verified for it?

Proof of student status is required to download software and obtain product keys. On the DreamSpark website, students can verify their identity using ISIC cards, access codes ordered by school administrators, or .edu email addresses. Students remain verified for 12 months afterwards.

You can sign up / log in  here.


Azure Gaming

Azure University is what is used to grant access to Academic Azure passes to Educators and Faculty for a 5 month period and can be extended by request.   The only other options for students directly are the Azure Free Tier: Certain apps and developers can apply for BizSpark memberships as well, which will grant you $150/mo in Azure credits. Get in touch with me to find out how.

Some perks for DreamSpark:

  • Free 90-day subscription to Pluralsight training courses
  • Make Apps for Win8, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone 8 for FREE
  • Full suite of Microsoft software: Visual Studio, Windows 8, Office 365

There are two types of DreamSpark subscriptions, DreamSpark and DreamSpark Premium.

  •  DreamSpark: Every student, educator, and lab within your institution can take advantage of DreamSpark products for developer and designers.
  • DreamSpark Premium: Available only to qualified individual higher-education Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) departments for use for students, faculty, and in labs.

Windows Phone

To view a benefit and pricing information for DreamSpark Institution Subscriptions, take a look here. The price that is reflected on our website is the cost per subscription per institution or department. For further details and answers to common questions, we also have a FAQ.

Outside of DreamSpark, if you want to get started with writing apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone, I can get you dev kits and hardware to get started. If you have any questions about this, get in touch with me!



One thought on “DreamSpark

  1. Hi Dave,

    I’m a verified Dreamspark member. I’ve also taken advantage of the free Azure trial and the great development software and free training from PluralSight available for students! Awesome, thank you Microsoft 🙂

    I sent you a mail last week regarding Bizspark and help available as I have an app to release for the windows store. Did you have a chance to read it?


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