Pricing Question

We were considering using R Studio Cloud for an upcoming class, but I have a question regarding the new pricing structure once it leaves beta on August 3rd.

  • An instructor license is $15 / month and includes 160 project hours.
  • A student license is $5 / month and includes 40 project hours.


  • What counts towards your project hours?
    • Projects you work on in "Your Workspace"
    • Projects you, or others, work on in your shared spaces
  • What does not count towards your project hours?
    • Projects you work on in others' shared spaces

So, if I create a workspace for a class that is, presumably, a "shared space," yes?

Does that mean the projects I create as "assignments" are run against my project hours?

I expect the 160 students in the course would burn through that allotment very quickly. Even if they were using their own project hours, I don't know if 40 hours per month is sufficient for a university student, especially during a compressed Summer course where they are expected to invest 15-25 hours per week learning the material.

It seems as though isn't going to be a workable solution for us if this is the case, which is unfortunate as it would have greatly simplified the course administration since we've gone online due to the pandemic.

Can someone verify my understanding is correct or correct my understanding?

Your understanding is correct - however, we do offer a fix priced plan for instruction without usage overage fees that you might want to explore. If you got to the Instructor plan page on Cloud ( and click the Request a Quote button, we'll get back to you shortly with a price for your summer course.


Hi @Robby, Will RStudio Cloud continue to be free for University Teaching? If not, then me and my 40-60 students are beeeep'ed next spring...

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Hi Leon,

For our professional products (RStudio Server Pro, RStudio Connect, RStudio Package Manager), we do offer them for free for instructional use - however, it's then up to you to shoulder any costs associated with hosting and maintaining them. We'd love to give Cloud away for instructional use as well, but we need to cover our ongoing hosting costs so that we can continue to offer the service. We've priced Cloud for instructional use as low as we can and still cover our hosting costs - and we're not looking at it as a profit generator. We're also trying to make our pricing as flexible as possible since we know each university/professor/student's situation is different, hoping to cover as many cases as possible. I would recommend you reach out to our sales team (via the Request a Quote button on the Instructor plan page: and explain your situation - they may be able to come up with something that works for you. Hope this helps ...


Hi @Robby,

Thank you for your answer - Just to be clear, an account with basic usage 1GB/1CPU is still free right? If so, is there a monthly compute-time limit?

I of course understand, that you have a business model - I just have little-to-no money, as I expect is the case for many university level classes :+1:

Yes - we'll always have a free plan, and yes, it does have a compute-time limit of 15 hours / month. All the details for the free plan are covered here (

Thanks for your understanding re: pricing - and we're definitely aware that for many universities, budgets are very tight, particularly at this time. We'll continue to do what we can to make Cloud as affordable as possible for instructional use - and I hope that you're able to find a way to make it work for you and your students.

This is happening at an awkward time for me since I just started a summer course that ends in early September after the pricing begins. After my conversation with Pete Knast, I thought that I'd be OK for the summer and wrote up my syllabus that way. My students discovered yesterday that fees would begin halfway through the course.

Since this is an intro stat course, the 15 hours may be enough. What specifically happens when a student encounters the 15 hour limit? Is all access to the related files lost? Could a student recover and download the files they'd been working on? Could the student pay a fee and recover access to their work? I thought there would be a student only plan for something like $5/month. But there's no mention of that in what's been posted.

In the future, I will utilize RStudio cloud only for the limited number of students who don't have adequate computers. I'll create an instructor account and absorb the cost of these students personally. I can afford it, but many of my students can't. A lot of them don't even have credit cards.

I hope you implement an automatic shutdown after a short but reasonable time of no activity. I think most of the time usage you see is just machines left running with no work being done.


Hey Harold- I will send you an email shortly.

I would like to get an idea of how far 40 usage hours will go for my students. When does the clock start and stop? I have not paid much attention during the alpha and beta phases, but for paid accounts starting in the fall, it will be important. It seems that I can update packages for a couple of projects and then go back to the workspace page, but when I check my account later it appears that almost an hour was added to the usage total. Does logging out stop the last running project? Does switching to another project stop the first one? It would helpful to have some tips to give to the students to get the most from their 40 hours.

After experimenting a bit, is appears that the clock starts when you start/resume a project and it stops after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you switch to another project, its clock starts while the first one keeps running for 30 more minutes.

When I logged in to update packages for three projects, it used 90 minutes + the time to update. When tibble was updated later in the day, I did it again, thus total usage for the day of 3+ hours. My tip will be to wait until you are ready to actually do something substantive with a project to do any housekeeping!

I'm still a little confused by the pricing model. I had initially understood it as: anyone could create a project, which could be copied by anyone else to use within their own account limits, facilitating things like demos for packages (e.g. the {gt} test-drive project). Is this not the case?

I have two use-cases where the above has been useful where I would not know in advance how many users would be accessing the resources.

  1. In my organization, we strongly encourage and support learners to install the software before workshops, but if there are severe technical issues that cannot be resolved by the time of the workshop, we point them to projects pre-populated with data and packages so that they can still have hands-on experience. Having the free account combined with a pre-populated project significantly reduces the barrier to entry for the learners.

  2. I am a package author and sometimes would like to demo new features for my users that may require external data or I want to demonstrate reading and writing without relying on an app/temp directory, which is a pain point for a lot of folks.

What is the Student option and where can I find details about this? It isn't listed as an option in the pricing page.

I apologize in advance for tagging @peteknast and @Robby, but considering this change is a week away, it would be nice to get some clarification on the pricing plan.

So sorry for the delay. Project hours represent how much time a project is open or running with a particular configuration, computed as (RAM + CPUs allocated) / 2 x hours. For example, working with a project for 1 hour with 2 GB of RAM and 1 CPU allocated consumes 1.5 project hours. The clock starts ticking when the project is opened - and stops when the project container is shutdown - which happens when you navigate away/close the project. Note that a project can also be executing code even after you close the UI - if that’s the case, that time also counts - I believe we limit that to a max of 4 hours, but I may be off on that exact number. There is also a time out after 15 min of inactivity. If you want to look at your past usage stats see instructions below:

Account Usage Data

You can now see usage information for your account, at the account level and segmented by space. Usage data is available from November 1, 2019, and is shown using your browser's timezone.

Click on your name on the right side of the header to reveal the user panel, then select your account. Usage information is available in the account context.

Also in a space (if you're an admin or moderator), you can just click on the little chart icon in right side of the header

If the school covers the Instructor and Student Cost then the Student piece comes out to $5/month with no chance of additional overage fees or usage restrictions. Down the road we will add an option where students can purchase from us directly which will also be $5/month for up to 40 hours plus a 20 cent overage per additional hour. In addition to these options an instructor could acquire the $15/month subscription which would afford them 160 hours per month to share amongst students and any additional use would cause a 20 cent per hour overage. To clarify these are cost are for academic institutions. Since I am not clear if that fits your use case please let me know if you need corporate options. Lastly there is a pure metered plan which is $1.73/hr per user.

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Thanks @peteknast; that helps clarify things --- I was wondering why there was discussion of a student option here but no mention of it. (Yes, I'm at an academic institution, teaching an academic course.)

I've sent RStudio an email from the quote tool requesting one but as we've just started enrolling students in the course I won't know for a while what the final numbers are, but needed a rough cost to plan for.


One more note on usage charges - we currently suspend the R session after 15 minutes of inactivity - and then suspend the container 15 minutes after that. We currently charge the entire 30 minutes as usage against your account. However, we are in the process of updating the code so that you will not be charged for the 15 minutes while the R session is suspended.

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Apologies on the delay. If I understand your use case correctly then I think you should be all set. To confirm I am happy to hop on a call with you. Please email me directly to schedule

I could not find your quote request. Which email did you send it from? Feel free to email me directly:

I am also thinking about subscribing as an instructor because 1 GB of memory is not sufficient to install rstan or TensorFlow (Stan on Rstudio cloud not working, Installation of tensorflow terminated on RStudio Cloud - #9 by wlandau).

All my projects live in "Your Workspace" and are public. When a student runs one (either in a temporary copy or saved copy) who pays for the hours? Is this different between the free and instructor plans?