MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) is a Microsoft software program available to academic organizations (mainly colleges and universities). The instiution pays an annual fee for the MSDNAA service, and the institution's departments, students and staff can acquire licenced copies of Microsoft software. The list of software each college and university gets is dependent on the agreements made by that particular organization, and specific software is available for specific departments.
The software can be used in coursework and personal non-commercial projects. Students may continue to use these products for non-commercial purposes, even after they have graduate, however, the software may not receive updates.
MSDNAA software is accessed through a dedicated website run either by e-academy or by the university/high school itself. The service run by e-academy is called E-academy License Management System or ELMS. Access is determined by the MSDNAA agreement, but is usually given to students who meet certain requirements (such as being enrolled on a science/technology/engineering/mathematics course).
Despite its name, an MSDNAA account is not a true MSDN subscription, and cannot be used to access the subscriber's section of the MSDN website or its downloads.