Microsoft today announced a special offer whereby college and university students can purchase Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $69.99 starting February 1. Not coincidentally, that date falls right after the expiration of the current deal on Windows 8 Pro, which lets anyone upgrade for just $39.99 online.

“Windows 8 offers the best for work and play and with the new Start screen that makes it super easy to organize, access and find what matters most to you,” a Microsoft blog post notes. “With Windows 8, students can download apps from the Windows Store like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote for taking notes in class or Skype to stay connected with friends and family.”

This offer applies only to eligible students, faculty, and staff, and requires verification of eligibility prior to purchase. Those who are eligible can purchase up to five copies of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade each year.

Even if you do qualify, however, you should rush to save an additional $30 and purchase Windows 8 Pro before the end of day Thursday: That’s when the current $39.99 offer ends. And as I discussed in Windows 8 Tip: Buy the Electronic Upgrade Now, Install It Later, you don’t need to install the upgrade immediately. You just need to buy it.

And in related news … In addition to the special offer for students, Microsoft is soon embarking on a Windows Campus Tour where it will visit over 150 universities around the US during the spring. The tour kicks off at ASU on February 18-22.