I Installed the Free “SAS University Edition” and Here’s What I Recommend: Part 1

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2021 update!

SAS University Edition is no longer available. SAS has replaced it with SAS OnDemand for Academics (SAS ODA). SAS ODA is a lot easier to set up and use, and is also free. Click here to get started with sas oda

In this series of blog posts, I walk you through installing and using free “SAS University Edition”. Here are links to all the posts:

A few years ago, I spoke at the Women in Data Science conference, as I mentioned in a LinkedIn article I wrote about how students are rejecting SAS and instead focusing on R and Python. At that conference, one of the students asked a good question:

“If you want us to learn SAS, that’s fine, but how do we get access to a copy?”

I Learned about Free SAS University Edition from a Google Ad

Then, last fall, I noticed that an ad came up when I was looking for something else in Google (thanks to our best frenemy, artificial intelligence) that suggested for me to download the free SAS University Edition, so I clicked it. It led to this entry page, but if you click through that, you end up on this long page with all the instructions of what to do to install the SAS University Edition. The same page provides instructions for Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Logo for Google which does data analytics and informatics

I took a deep breath, clicked on the Windows icon for my OS, and decided that I better explore this opportunity for my students. Because I am an experienced SAS user, I was already wary, because I know that installing PC SAS in the olden days really sucked. You had to babysit the computer all day, taking compact discs (remember those?) in and out of physical disc drives. I get the same kind of panic attacks when I see rotary phones now.

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that the computer babysitting time went down, and there are no more rainbowy compact discs full of SAS install files cluttering up my desk.

The bad news is that the process is still onerous.

Originally published February 8, 2020. Revised November 30, 2020. Conference attendees picture by Shelah Craighead, available here. Pictures of fall leaves by Sheba_Also 43,000 photos, available here. Updated formatting on February 4, 2021. Added 2021 update on November 28, 2021.

SAS University Edition is free! That means anyone can download and use it! However, it’s not so straightforward. The download page itself is long and confusing. Read Part 1 of my four-part blog post that walks you through downloading and installing free SAS University Edition!

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