UF students will now be able to access expensive programs thanks to the university assuming the costs of the former pilot program, UFApps.
UF Information Technology decided to fully fund the app that included programs such as Mathcad, SPSS and Microsoft Office indefinitely because of its major success in its pilot stage.
UFApps attracted about 15 percent of the student population, or 7,500 unique student visitors, according to an article by UFIT.
“Pilot program usage numbers were impressive, and with more students being part of UF Online and distance learning classes, making these software programs available through UFApps means we are helping the students who are not necessarily in Gainesville,” wrote Tracy Gale, UFIT communications manager, in an email interview.
Instead of trekking to campus to access expensive software in computer labs, students can now use these programs for free on their own computers and mobile devices.
The Serif Design Suite would cost $419.96 before taxes, according to the suite’s website. This is just one of the 28 applications offered for free by UFApps.
Michelle Licht, a 21-year-old UF economics senior, said she thinks the program is useful for some students, but not all.
“I think it’s hard to get a program that’s useful for the tens of thousands of us,” she said.
The program is a hub for math- and science-related applications, like Minitab and Matlab, but offers a few applications for non-STEM majors as well.
Kyle Scharps, a 20-year-old UF religion senior, said UFApps isn’t very useful for him because he already owns the necessary software for his classes and doesn’t have much use for the other applications.
“The cool amenities aren’t really necessarily pertinent to classes I’m taking right now,” he said.
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 6/3/2014 under the headline "UFApps permanently free for students"]