The student edition (or the academic/school edition for that matter, which is slightly more expensive) is identical to the full version in functionality. The packaging is a little more basic!
Here in Australia at least, you are required to send a copy of your student ID to Adobe, who reciprocate with the appropriate serial number.
As Matt states, the academic version is the same. There might be a limited amount of additional Functional Content for Encore, the authoring program shipped with CS4, so there might be fewer pre-made Menus, Buttons, etc.. You'll have to check this out. Going back to when Encore was a standalone, the academic version did not have everything in this one department.
At one time, there was a stipulation in the academic versions of various programs, forbidding doing commercial work with that program. It is my understanding that this stipulation has been removed in more recent versions. Check out the EULA, just to make sure.
Also, there was a time, when one could not use the academic version in an upgrade path. I have been told that this is no longer the case, and that the academic version CAN be used in an upgrade path.
Be prepared to furnish the student ID, as that has been a requirement in the US, as well.
Hunt, just for the sake of the OP, the "Academic Version" is actually a different price to the "Student Version". The Student Price is the cheaper of the two. Academic pricing is available to schools/institutions and folk who work at them. Student pricing is available only to students with a current student ID at an approved education institution.
Also... check with your individual university to find out if they have a special purchase agreement with Adobe
Where I work, I can buy the master collection (retail about $2000) for just over $500 - or, whatever the price will be when CS5 is out
http://e5.onthehub.com/WebStore/OfferingsOfMajorVersionList.aspx?ws=bc66e4b5-4af4-dc11-89b 0-0030485a6b08&vsro=8&pmv=485a1af5-6ba0-dd11-a337-0030485a6b08&cmi_mnuMain=df783b53-081b-d e11-9c12-0030485a8df0&cmi_mnuMain_child=34109b7e-b838-dd11-abb7-0030485a6b08
I have never encountered this distinction before. Maybe it's new. In the US, I was only familiar with one such version - the Academic Version, and it did require a valid student ID. This version was the one in school bookstores and via some academic resellers. I have never encountered two tiers of such programs. Maybe something that is not in the US, or changes have been made, or I have just not encountered the two.
What is the difference between the "student" and the "academic" versions. If one has to have a valid student ID for both, there must be some additional stipulation.
Now, I was hoping that John T would comment on this, as he's with a Pacific Northwest university in the US, and knows the distinctions between the academic versions of Adobe software. Maybe he'll drop back by the thread, and clear this up for me.
As far as I know, the Academic version may be sold by any licensed reseller, upon proof of status
Both of these places are, from my past checking, less $$ than a campus bookstore, but the campus bookstore is faster... if they have a particular item in stock and ready to hand over the counter
Again as far as I know, the Student version is available ONLY direct from Adobe, again with proof of status and is, I think but not 100% sure, sold via download only... the Student version costs a bit less
Added... go here
Thanks to all for the clarifications.
I sit corrected... just received a snail-mail Studica catalog, and they DO have some products in both Academic and Student (boxed) editions
3rd and 4th row, you'll see the same product in both Student and Educational forms (Master Collection for Mac).
In my University, we (as the institution) pay around $950AUD for an installation of CS4 Master Collection, a student pays $550AUD.
Thanks for all the good info on this topic.
Final (from me) comment
If going to a Win7 computer, you might want to wait for CS5 to be released... of course, since CS5 will be 64bit ONLY, that will require Win7 64bit... the Pro version is what I would recommend
If staying with WinXP or Vista, CS4 will be fine
No difference in functionality, but you can not purchase upgrades. So if you bought the CS4 and wanted to CS5 upgrade - cant do it. You must buy the CS5 outright.