In today’s digital age, laptops have become essential tools for students, replacing traditional pen and paper. Responding to this trend, companies are introducing educational programs tailored to the tech-centric learning environment. Figma, a cloud-based design tool, has recently made an announcement that it is providing free access to its platform for all K-12 students in the United States, in collaboration with Google for Education. The initiative, initially launched as a beta program last year, granted free access to Figma and FigJam, a collaborative whiteboard, to 50 high schools nationwide.
While Figma does offer a free version, it has certain limitations, allowing users to create only three files per program. However, schools can now enjoy complimentary access to Figma Enterprise, the company’s most advanced tier, which typically costs $75 per person monthly. This upgraded version includes unlimited files, individual and shared project options, dedicated workspaces, and a range of sophisticated design features, among other benefits. To make use of the program, schools are required to have Chromebooks, but those with non-Google systems can also apply for access. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 94 percent of schools provided laptops and tablets to students who needed them during the 2022-2023 school year.
Figma’s future has faced uncertainty since Adobe’s announcement in September 2022 to acquire the company for $20 billion in cash and shares. Antitrust regulators in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union have initiated investigations into the potential violation of antitrust policies. The US Justice Department was the first to raise concerns in February, preparing an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK followed suit in May, launching an inquiry into the agreement. Recent reports have indicated that European antitrust regulators plan to initiate their investigation into the merger later this year.
Despite the uncertain outcome of the acquisition, the initiative to provide free Figma access to students shows great promise. Educators who participated in the beta program have shared positive reviews, and now educators across the US can sign up to bring Figma to their schools. Additionally, Figma is expanding its partnership with Google and will introduce the Chromebook program to Google schools in Japan, marking the beginning of its global outreach.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Figma, free access, US students, design tool, antitrust investigations
What is Figma offering for US school students?
Figma is offering free access to its advanced design tool, Figma Enterprise, for all K-12 students in the United States. This includes unlimited files, individual and shared project options, dedicated workspaces, and more sophisticated design features.
How can schools access Figma for their students?
Schools can access Figma for their students by signing up for the program. They will need Chromebooks to utilize the platform, although schools with non-Google systems can also apply for access.
Is there a limit to the number of files students can create in Figma?
With the free version of Figma, users can create up to three files per program. However, through the Figma Enterprise tier, which is available for free to schools, there is no limit on the number of files students can create.
What is the status of the Adobe acquisition of Figma?
The Adobe acquisition of Figma, announced in September 2022, is currently facing antitrust investigations. Regulators in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union are examining the potential violation of antitrust policies. The outcome of these investigations remains uncertain.
Can educators outside the US participate in the Figma program?
While the free access program for US school students is currently limited to the United States, Figma is expanding its Chromebook partnership globally, starting with Google schools in Japan. This suggests that educators outside the US may have access to Figma in the future.