Thanks to the awesome Canadian MVP Lead Sasha Krsmanovic for informing me of some other deals for students:
Microsoft DreamSpark Professional Development and Designer Tools for students at no charge.
MSDN Academic Alliance However your school must be part of the program and there are restrictions. You may have to ask if your school belongs to the program. Hmm, there’s even an offer for high schools*. Now that’s one for the keeners**.
I have no idea if these are available in your country as I’m posting from a Canadian perspective.
* Back when I was 13 or so I knew that computers looked quite interesting so I took a introductory book out of the library. I simply couldn’t understand what the few snippets of code in the book meant. A summer later the local college offered a free two week course during the summer months to high school students to teach you programming in WATFIV. (WATFIV is a student version of the Fortran compiler.) By the end of the first week the instructors were taking me aside and teaching me more topics. Oh this was all on punched cards.
I asked if I could come back during the school year and if it would cost me any money. They said sure and don’t worry about the cost. So in between playing on the high school football and rugby teams I basically taught myself to program. I also dabbled in PL/C and assembler and took a digital circuitry/PLC course involving NAND gates and such. Needless to say I very much enjoyed myself.
And mom had nice cardboard note paper for the next ten or fifteen years from the punched card ends that didn’t have any holes. I have no idea how many trees I was responsible for taking down during that era. I was also quite glad to get a job using terminals instead of punched cards.
** Keeners – insert term of your choice for that one person in a hundred or a thousand who has an intense interest in a topic. And yes I was one during my teens. Well, still am.