Starting from the next contract renewal, but no sooner than August 1, 2024, all school tenants will be granted 100TB of free pooled storage across OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange. Additionally, A3 and A5 subscriptions will receive an extra 50GB or 100GB of pooled storage per paid user. From February 1, 2024, users of Office 365 A1, a no-cost subscription, will be limited to a maximum of 100GB of OneDrive storage per user within the school tenant's 100TB of pooled storage.
Tools for Transition
To aid schools in this transition, Microsoft plans to provide a set of free tools to manage the process from end to end. These tools will help visualize current storage allocation and usage across OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange, and will assist in managing stored data and end-of-life files that are no longer needed. Schools will also have the option to purchase additional incremental storage or explore cost-effective Azure storage options based on their needs.
Office A1 Plus Retirement
The Office 365 A1 Plus program, introduced in 2015 to ease the provisioning burden for IT of moving users to the cloud, will be retired on August 1, 2024. Office 365 A1 Plus is a free Office subscription that includes Office desktop apps for qualified schools that purchased Office institution-wide for faculty and staff. After all existing Office 365 A1 Plus licenses expire on this date, schools will have the choice to utilize Office 365 A1, a no-cost option, or Microsoft 365 for Education suites at discounted rates.
Reason for the Changes
Microsoft has stated that the changes are due to the increase in stored files, data, and unused accounts over time, which is not sustainable from a cost or environmental sustainability perspective. The company also mentioned that this situation puts education institutions and their students at risk for a data breach. The changes aim to help schools reduce some of the security risks associated with legacy storage and data sprawl, a top concern for 80% of IT Leaders, while also benefiting our shared environmental footprint.
School IT admins can see their school's current storage profile and access the new storage management tools in the M365 Admin Center. For more information about the storage changes and a demo of the new tools, Microsoft has provided step-by-step guidance and best practices to help schools determine and implement appropriate storage policies.