The Norwegian developer billed its browser as the secure choice for students, and claimed the move was "in response to schools' increasing concern over potential security threats students may encounter while using less secure browsers."
Opera didn't name names, but it was referring to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which was the focus of browser attacks and suffered numerous vulnerabilities during 2004.
A number of schools, including MIT, Harvard, and Oxford University have already offered Opera to their students, the company said.
The free licenses are available for any of the Opera editions. The browser currently supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
More information about the free licensing program can be found on the Opera site.