Using Exchange Online for Alumni to Extend Exchange Licenses for Graduating Seniors

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Education Blog articles.



Whether in the form of socially distant precession lines, virtual ceremonies, or neighborhood drive-throughs, the class of 2020 is graduating and heading off into the world. We applaud these graduates wherever they are and wish them the very best as they turn their tassels and embrace their futures! 


With the uncertainty surrounding what our education process(es) will look like this fall, we want to make sure students have access to the resources they need. In speaking with students and educators around the globe, we've discovered that due to the unknowns of the fall semester, many graduating seniors may like to retain access to their email accounts. Under normal circumstances, a K-12 school would reclaim the licenses of departing seniors to use for incoming first year students. The Exchange Online for Alumni license type allows an institution to continue this protocol but adds the benefit of extending email access for those who are graduating. 


This post will provide you with guidance on extending Exchange licenses using the Exchange Online for Alumni license type for those who may need them. You can find this information along with other helpful information hereAssuming you have the proper administrator privileges for your institution, follow the steps below to change license type: 


  1. In the admin center, go to the Users > Active users page. 
  2. Select the circles next to the names of the users you want to replace existing licenses for. 
  3. At the top, select More options (...), then select Manage product licenses. 
  4. In the Manage product licenses pane, select Replace existing product license assignments > Next. 
  5. Switch the toggle to the On position for the licenses that you want to assign to these users. To extend access to Microsoft Exchange for graduating seniors, be sure to use the Exchange Online for Alumni as the license type.
  6. You can limit which services are available to the users. Switch the toggles to the Off position for the services that you don't want those users to have. Any previous license assignments for the selected users are removed. 
  7. At the bottom of the Replace existing products pane, select Replace > Close. 

Important Reminders: 

If you decide not to extend user licenses as outlined above, remember that when you reclaim a Microsoft 365 Education license by reassigning it back to the license pool, the student loses access to the online services and data, which means:  

  •  All data that is associated with that student account is held for 30 days with the exception of data held with Legal Hold which is kept for the duration of the hold    
  • After the 30-day grace period, the data is deleted and can’t be recovered, except for documents that are saved in SharePoint Online sites 


Remember that after moving documents out of their school OneDrive, students can continue to access and edit files with the free Office 365 for web products.


We hope you find this post helpful and look forward to providing you with continued support moving forward. As always, we invite you to join the Enable Remote Learning Community to ask questions, provide feedback, and stay on top of all things Microsoft EDU. 


Happy Learning! 


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