Ok, so I've gone over several posts regarding this topic and I'm still confused. In many, it is mentioned that the Student and Teacher version was cheaper than the traditional Academic/Educational version and it appears that the traditional Academic/Educational versions are no longer available, leaving the Student and Teacher versions as the only versions for student discounts.
This appears not to be accurate, however. On AcademicSuperStore, I see 2 different versions of CS5.5 Master Collection. One Student and Teacher and one Academic. The Academic version is almost $300 cheaper and requires you to be enrolled in a "qualifying" school. In that particular product page, the only thing it says about the licensing and pricing is this:
"This Academic edition has the same features and capabilities of the retail version, and is shipped to you in a factory sealed retail box. However, this version is able to be sold below the retail price because of an educational discount."
As you can see, it mentions nothing about the possibility for commercial use or upgrade capabilities, etc. I called AcademicSuperStore but they referred me to Adobe for license clarification. All they could tell me is that the Student and Teacher allows for commercial use, upgrade to commercial license of future releases, and prevents the ability to sell your license (all of which, I already knew). They gave me no confirmation that this was the same for the $599 Academic version though. I checked Adobe.com but the only specifics about licensing for educational products were only in reference to the Student and Teacher versions. I'm going to try to call Adobe today but due to work, I'm not sure I'll have time to stay on hold and wait for a rep if the wait time is too long.
No matter what, the student discounts are a great deal but if I can save almost $300, I'll take it. I just don't want to spend $600 on something that I can't upgrade later and can't use commercially when I'm done with school. That's what makes the Student and Teacher versions so attractive. And if that's the only way to ensure this possiblity, I'll just shell out the extra $300 for the Student and Teacher version.
So does anyone know anything about this? I've seen a lot of conflicting opinions on this but I'm kind of hoping I have missed a good, solid answer in the many threads on this topic.