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Adobe Creative Cloud: Licensing Options for Students and Ineligible Employees

Licensing options for people and computers not eligible through the university Adobe agreement


Classrooms and labs

Students may use Creative Cloud on shared university computers in classrooms and labs.

Personal purchase options

Students may purchase from Adobe for $19.99 per month with Adobe’s Student & Teacher Discount program at

Students may be able to purchase a one-year license for $150 per year: A limited number of licenses are available through the College of Design.

Can researchers purchase Adobe Creative Cloud licenses for their students to use on their personal computers using grant funds?

  • No. Direct grant funds cannot be used to purchase student licenses for personal computers.
  • The recommended path from the COS Research Office is for faculty to increase the amount of pay to the student so that the student can purchase a license themselves.
  • Please direct questions about this policy to the COS Research Office

Can departments purchase Adobe Creative Cloud licenses for their students to use on their personal computers using state funds?

No, it is not permissible to purchase licenses for personal use with state funds.

Please direct questions about this policy to the COS Office of Finance and Business Management.

Employees – Temporary, visiting, other

Shared Computers

Any active employee, including temporary employees, may use Creative Cloud on a shared university owned computer that has a Shared Device License. These are computers used by multiple people. For example, a computer at a reception desk, a kiosk, a lab computer or would qualify.

Unpaid appointments, separated, retired or inactive employees

If these individuals need access to Adobe Creative Cloud on university computers, they will need to use a shared university computer that has a Shared Device License. Alternatively, the department may purchase a license directly from Adobe at list price (check with your departmental business officer to ensure this is an allowable expenditure.)

Personally purchased software on university owned computers

Personally purchased software may not be installed on university owned computers for legal and compliance reasons. However, there are no restrictions on logging in to Adobe Creative Cloud with a personal account provided no software is installed, updated or removed from the university computer.

Employee purchase options for personally owned computers

Departmental purchases for employee owned computers

If an employee is eligible for a named user license (a license assigned to a specific person), the license will allow them to install the software on up to two computers, which can include the employee’s personal computer.

For active, permanent employees, complete the request form here and choose Adobe Creative Cloud Named User License.

Temporary employees are not eligible for a named user license.

Note that all purchases must be for work-related purposes and not simply the employee’s personal use.

Computers owned by another agency (e.g., USDA, collaborating entity)

“Shared device licenses” (licenses assigned to particular computers) cannot be used on non-university owned computers.  Contact the agency that owns the computer for options.

Free and Low Cost Alternatives

Some free and low-cost alternatives to Adobe products are provided here: