Whilst I don't disagree with providing students with low cost introductory material, it seems to me that many engineers (I am projecting myself here) would like to get their hands on the same tools to allow them to tinker at home. Some of our employers are not that generous to allow the use of corporate funds to develop a robot to keep the cat off the sofa, even though there may be a long term payoff in there somewhere.
I poked around the Mathworks site, but could not find what constituted a "student". Recently I had a similar experience with National Instruments and one of their student offers. In that case non-college registered students were excluded from the offer, so my interest levels diminished considerably.
It seems that these companies could offer some kind of scaled-down version with some functionality, enough to learn on, at a reasonable price or even free. For example, Matlab with just a few math functions or LabVIEW with just the basic building blocks or some limit on the size of programs you can develop.
I've used Matlab a lot in the past. Once I left academia, the only choice that would not break the purse was Mathematica Home (not quite the same though in what you can get done). I've checked recently and noticed that there is now Matlab Home, and certain toolboxes are available also for reasonable hobbyist/non-profit price. I've also tried Scilab and Octave.
@Antedeluvian: Whilst I don't disagree with providing students with low cost introductory material, it seems to me that many engineers (I am projecting myself here) would like to get their hands on the same tools to allow them to tinker at home.
I share this view as a retired engineer on a pension I still have not given up on learning. There seems to be no priceing structure, by many suppliers of software, to accomodate the non student working on learning alone. Lets face it most engineers are loners, well Crusty is.
Be like Sigasi and give a free full version up to a sensible compile limit and then truncate some of the extras after the limit is exceeded.
I think we need an Old Age Low Cost members card? Node locked licenses might be the way forward though I do hate installing node locked software. Or Why not a special deal through something like Element 14 or similar.