When it comes to text documents and spreadsheets, Microsoft Office is the be-all and end-all office suite—but it's not cheap. Paying anywhere from $140 to $400 puts a big dent in your bank account, especially if you're a broke college student eating ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Something that I wish I would've known about during college is Microsoft's HUP (Home Use Program). With HUP, any employee or student of an organization that has a Microsoft volume license is eligible to purchase Office applications for use on their personal computer at a fraction of the full price—$10 to be exact.
To find out if you're eligible for Microsoft HUP, head over to the HUP website and select your location, then type in your work or student email. It will ask your for a program code, but if you don't know it, you can just use your email. I used my old college email address and was greeted with this:
If your email address is eligible, you can purchase Microsoft Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and many more programs, for only $10. You can get a license for two computers in your home, but they both have to be on the same platform. If you have both Windows and Mac, you can't mix and match, so you'll have to choose one.
If your work or student email address isn't eligible, ask your school or employer to sign up for HUP. All they have to do is login to the Volume Licensing Service Center with their Microsoft account to activate HUP, which will then provide the program code needed. You can find more information on how the program works here.