Photoshop and Illustrator can do many things, but neither was intended to be a PDF editor. You can open and change things in a PDF with either, but it's better to not work that way unless it's your only option. Maybe a better option for you is to get a month subscription to CC, and give them files that they can use. Other than that, you could still edit the PDFs in Acrobat with markups, and let the school read the markups and use their IDCC to make the edits that you suggest on the actual files.
Thank you Migintosh, but I will be working on this project for over a month, and then also have the learning curve of a new software. I may have to edit correction myself, which I know how to do in Ps. If I upgrade to Ps cc, is there no other way to bring in a layout created in Id other than as a pdf file? png? Something that will open in layers in Ps or Ai. I am surprised I cannot find options, as I can work on a file both in Ps and Ai, going back and forth as needed. Is this not possible with Id cc?
If I upgrade to Ps cc…
Just to be clear, you are asking about Photoshop cc? I don't see how that would be a good choice in editing InDesign files. You would need to have the school send you a PDF that you would need to open in Photoshop, which would rasterize all of the text, making it uneditable. I've never tried to edit anything with text in Photoshop, so if there is a way to keep the live type, I'm not aware of it, but even if you could keep live type, Photoshop's text abilities are very basic. InDesign is what you really need to use, and if the school has CC files, I don't see any way you can edit files that they could use without using InDesign CC. At the very least, you would need to use some version of InDesign, if not the CC version, but then you would have to deal with the problems that can happen when sharing files of different versions.
And if you are considering editing with Illustrator, your type will likely break apart. I made an example that I'm posting as a screenshot.
I copied a paragraph of my response to you, pasted into InDesign, exported as a PDF, then opened the PDF in Illlustrator. The upper paragraph is live, and the lower is the Illustrator that I placed below. They look the same, but I have changed the color of the live type (after the export) to show you how it breaks apart. The first magenta bit is one text fragment. When the font changes to bold, it creates a new fragment (shown in green), then a third (in blue) when it goes back to Roman. The whole second line (in yellow) has been converted to outlines, so I can't edit it at all. If I wanted to remove two of the magenta words and insert 5 different words, the rest of the line wouldn't flow. That's what you're up against if you edit with Illustrator.
ID is the only real choice, and if they have CC, you should be using CC.
I've never tried to edit anything with text in Photoshop, so if there is a way to keep the live type, I'm not aware of it,
As far as I know, the only PDFs that can be opened without complete rasterization in Photoshop are those created in Photoshop and saved wtih Photoshop Editing Capabilities.
This is NOT a viable workflow. If you need to edit ID files you need to use ID. Even if you open pages in Illustrator and are able to edit, the text is not going to reflow properly from page to page.