Back in July, Microsoft unveiled a new approach to distributing their much vaunted Office Suite with a new subscription model, called Office 365. Instead of having to buy a new copy of Office every couple of years in order to take advantage of the new features in each new release, Microsoft will instead allow consumers to pay for Office annually at $99.99, allowing them to receive every upgrade and enhancement for the new versions Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and our favorite note-taking software, OneNote, instantaneously.

But for students, the software giant has devised an even more attractive model: instead of having to pay the 99.99 price tag every year, full or part-time students can instead purchase Office 365 for $79.99 for a period of four years when registering with a .EDU email address. Not $79.99 every year, mind you, but a one-time payment that is good for their entire college career. That amounts to just $1.67 a month, less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks. And if a student has additional post-graduate work to do after the four-year period has expired, they may renew once more for an additional four years of use at the same cost.

Knowing that getting college students to invest in anything over $50 can be a challenge, Microsoft has included quite a few special features into Office 365 University to make the offer more appealing. Office 365 University may be installed on up to two computers, but may also stream it from any computer by accessing Office On-Demand, and downloading any documents saved to the cloud with Microsoft Skydrive. Additionally, Office 365 University will offer an extra 20GB of storage on Skydrive to students, amounting to an impressive 27GB of storage in total. Not only that, but Microsoft will also provide 60 free minutes of Skype calls a month to help sweeten the deal even more.

Since Office 365 isn’t due out until the first business quarter of next year, Microsoft is instead enticing the higher education demographic with a special offer: by purchasing either Office 2010 for PC or Office 2011 for Mac, students will get a subscription of Office 365 University for free as soon as it becomes available next year in 52 markets worldwide. We definitely recommend this offer as a good way of saving money while still getting some of the best software available.