EL, I think you're talking about MS Word for Windows version 1.0, circa 1992.
Sounds about right. I did my edits in WordPerfect 4.2 and 5.1.
Do they really state assignment length in 'number of pages' in the US? In the UK it's almost always number of words (and you can be penalized for using the wrong font/size).
If it's turned in on paper instead of on disk, pages are a lot easier to count than words. Of course, they'd check for the obvious - 13 point type, 1.5" margins, etc. The professors never checked for 12.1 type, 2.05 or 2.1 line spacing, 1.1" margins, or ever-so-slightly increased spaces between letters.