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What Are the Limitations of the Adobe Student & Teacher Versions?

Get the Adobe Student & Teacher Editions Discount

The Adobe Student and Teacher Editions look like a great deal. They offer big discounts, as much as 70% off normal prices. They’re available for most of Adobe’s most popular products, including the Creative Cloud (CC), Creative Suite 6, Lightroom 5, Acrobat XI, and Elements 13.  They can be purchased by anyone who qualifies – primary, middle, and secondary school students, homeschoolers, college or university students, faculty, teachers, and administrators.  Even part-time students or teachers can be eligible, and there is no maximum age limitation. They’re available pretty much worldwide in many languages on both Windows and Mac OS, and you don’t need any kind of coupon or promotion code to get the deep discounts.

So what’s the catch? Is the Academic software different or limited somehow? Is there any sort of time restriction, time limit, or time out – do the perpetual Adobe Student Editions expire? Or are they unusable for commercial purposes or paid work?

The answer to all of these questions is fortunately no: the Education products are identical in features and functionality in every respect to their standard counterparts – the only differ­ences are the prices and some of the licensing terms… The prices, as mentioned, can be a real bargain – for example, instead of US$999 for 2012’s Photoshop CS6 Extended, the price is only $349; instead of $1,899 for CS6 Design & Web Premium (the popular suite containing seven creative tools including Photoshop CS6 Extended), you get it for $599.

And for the Creative Cloud – Adobe’s current all-inclusive offering which contains the entire “Master Collection” plus much more, essentially the latest-and-greatest versions of every major industry-leading tool that they make – there is also a Student & Teacher Edition available that costs only $19.99 a month (instead of $50) which means you’re getting it for less than half the regular price for your first year. So this CC option becomes more affordable for students than the traditional educational versions, plus you get to use every­thing based on an annual membership that includes ongoing upgrades.

Install now: Get all new Adobe CC 2015.5 direct download links and free trials.

So What’s Different with the Adobe Education Versions?

Since Creative Suite 5, all Student and Teacher Editions can be utilized for personal as well as commercial use, for all academic customers worldwide. So yes, you can sell your services or anything you create, or use these products in developing a side business or online venture. And after graduation or completion of coursework, you can continue to use any perpetual software on your personal systems; there is no usage expiration and those tools will continue to work.

Generally speaking, you can also install the student/teacher versions on up to two computers (desktops and laptops), and move the software between different machines when necessary.

But it’s true there are some limitations as compared to the regular versions… though happily they are all fairly minor.  Here are the notable differences between the education editions vs. the normal (professional/commercial) versions:

  • Each eligible person may purchase only one copy of each academic product per platform per year.  Fortunately, each tool and suite and release are considered different products.  So Photoshop and Dreamweaver (for example) are different titles, as are CS6 and CC, and each suite is a different title, so you could buy these all within one year if you wanted.
  • Student & Teacher Edition software may be used on your privately-owned computer only.
  • This software is not transferrable, meaning it may not be resold or given to others.
  • You validate your status with a copy of your school ID card, transcript, report card, tuition bill, or other suitable document that’s dated within the last six months.  Or, if you just provide a school-issued email during purchase (like ending in “.edu”), then you will be instantly verified.
  • The traditional student editions cannot be upgraded to other (future) education editions – but they are entitled to receive Adobe’s discounted upgrade pricing to all regular commercial versions, –or– you can purchase another student edition if you still qualify.  However the student price on a newer release is often lower than the commercial upgrade price anyway, so you can just choose whichever is the least expensive option for you. Bottom line, this is another savings and benefit of having these editions.

So why take your chances on the risks and malware in a pirated or bootleg version when you can do the right thing instead and get the real deal – legitimate, supported, and completely safe – for up to 70% off, direct via instant download from Adobe?

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

Finally, here’s a very helpful Student & Teacher Eligibility Guide & FAQ that should answer all other questions you may have, including documentation requirements…  Importantly, note that any verification documents dated within the last six months are considered current.

See Also

Download New Adobe CC 2015.5 Free Trials (Direct Links)

Do you have any questions about Adobe’s Student & Teacher Editions?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 plus Lightroom 6/CC for Just US$9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)
  1. Nicole

    I want to purchase either Adobe CC or CS6 for my daughter who is 13 (haven’t decided yet) – but when I went to try the trial version of CC, I used her name and will submit her student ID but used my email because I’m paying for it, it came up that my email address already had an account. Then I remembered that years ago I registered a Photoshop Elements I had gotten as a gift.

    Is this going to be a problem when I try to purchase the student edition for her? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Nicole – no, it shouldn’t be a problem. Even non-students can become students again at any time and at any age, and benefit from the Adobe student discount…

      So ideally your daughter should have her own Adobe ID – and she can easily create that for free even after you’ve downloaded and installed the software onto your computer. Just sign out of the CC desktop application, and then sign back in again with the new ID.

      But even without another Adobe ID, you might still be able to change your own account details to her name etc. to get the lower pricing.

      Either way should work, since the CC licensing is based on Adobe ID rather than using serial numbers.

  2. Nicole


    Thank you so much for your help!!

  3. Tina Raczek

    I bought CS5.5 student license 3 years ago when I was in college. Since then I have a new laptop, new name and no longer use my college email. I still have the codes written down from when I used this program in college. I want to install in on my new computer. Will the old serial number work still?

  4. Shane

    if i get the program when im a student, once im not a student anymore, does anything change or its mine for ever with the same functionality ?

    • Hey Shane, it depends on the Adobe product. If it is subscription-based software (such as Adobe CC), then you’ll receive the student discount on your annual membership for as long as you continue to be a student (and within up to six months afterwards).

      If you purchase a traditional perpetual product (such as Acrobat DC Pro desktop/standalone, for example), then you pay more upfront but the product does not expire and it can continue to be used indefinitely after graduation.

  5. Marika

    My name is Marika Caruana, and I am the purchasing secretary at Bronx Theatre High School.
    I need a quote for 10 seats 5 mac and 5 pc of the ADOBE PHOTOSHOP LIGHTROOM EDUCATIONAL LICENSE.

    Marika Caruana
    Purchasing Secretary,
    Bronx Theatre High School 10X546
    99 Terrace View Ave, Rm 722
    Bronx, NY 10463
    Main No. 718-329-2902

  6. Kim

    Hi, I purchased the educational version of the master collection CS 6 a few years ago and I only put it on one computer. I am ready to upgrade to a new laptop and a new desktop. I see that I can have it on two computers but only if I don’t run it at the same time. That will be no problem.

    I no longer have my school address but I still have my license code. How do I go about removing it from my old desktop and putting it on my new desktop and my new laptop when I buy them sometime in the near future?

  7. Kenneth Fisher

    Good day

    My Nephew (20) has just started a graphic design course at a campus in South Africa. We had a bomb dropped when we had to purchase a notebook capable of running the designing software and now we need to purchase the software. I have asked for quotes locally for the student edition. Which edition has Illustrator and Photoshop (latest) going for the best price? We don’t want to buy something that won’t have what he needs nor do we want to buy something that is overkill.

    Thanks in advance


  8. Clive Richards

    Good evening,

    I’ve recently enrolled on a part-time university degree. Do I qualify for the creative cloud student edition?



  9. Hayley Sanderson

    I was recently gifted a Student and Teacher Edition of CS6, but I am not a student, I have no student ID of any form, nor will I in the future. Am I able to use this as a regular program or will I be locked out upon installing?

  10. sophie


    I bought cs5.5 student teacher a few years ago. I now want to upgrade to cs6 – can i somehow upgrade my current software, or do i have to go to the creative cloud new method? Can you still buy cs6 as an outright purchase?

    • Hello Sophie, upgrading from CS5.5 Student/Teacher to CS6 would be theoretically possible, although you may question why… Adobe actually ceased selling CS6 on their website last summer. The reason is because it’s nearly 4 years old now (from spring 2012) and increasingly unsupported; they stopped releasing updates for it some time ago as the newer CC rapidly grew and took over. With the CS6 software EOL and end of support, there are no updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on future operating systems. So at this point we’ve stopped recommending it as a good or viable option going forward.

  11. Molly

    My mom and I share a CC student account. She recently created a Behance portfolio, but cannot find a way to link it to Adobe Portfolio for the free portfolio website.

    When she is on Behance and selects Account Settings, it shows my email, which is fine, but the Behance address it shows is some kind of a generic account. When she tries to type in the Behance account she created, it says that address is taken – which is true, as it’s the address she set up for the Behance site she did, and it won’t let her use it on Account Settings.

    We’re really confused and at a loss as to how to use Portfolio with Behance without starting over and losing all the work she put into uploading our projects to Behance.

    • Hi Molly, are you talking about using different email addresses for your Adobe ID and for Behance – all under the same account? That’s not possible, as it would all be linked to a single email address.

      Otherwise, it sounds like something may have gotten crossed up on your computer and we would suggest clearing your browser cache and cookies, and/or trying it with a different web browser.

      See here for more details on Creative Cloud, Behance, and Adobe Portfolio:

      Creative Cloud Help – Adobe Portfolio FAQ

  12. Deborah Germany

    Does the Student/Teacher version of Acrobat allow you to combine multiple Files into a single PDF?

  13. Richard J Axmear

    I am a retired school psychologist, however I continue to consult for the Carson City School District in Carson City, NV. Am i eligible for the student/teacher version of the adobe premiere, or any of the adobe software?

    Richard Axmear

    • Welcome Richard – to answer your question, so long as you are employed in some capacity as a teacher/faculty, administrator, or staff with an eligible or accredited school, then you should qualify to receive Adobe’s deep education discount on Creative Cloud…

      To see if you can get it, check the criteria given in this guide:

      How to Prove Your Eligibility for Adobe’s Student/Teacher Discount

      Note that it can be pretty fast & easy now – if you can provide a school-issued email address during purchase then you are instantly verified… This may include .edu, .k12, or other domains sponsored by educational institutions.

      Also be aware that verification documentation from anytime within the past six months is still considered “current” by Adobe for the purposes of eligibility. So even if you finished school employment/study or graduated some months ago, you may still qualify.

  14. Dr. R Jorgensen

    My MacBook Pro is on its last legs and I will have to buy new Mac Stateside this summer (I’m Europe-based). How difficult will it be to transfer/re-install Adobe from this computer to that one?

  15. Robert Walden

    I’m doing a workshop for our non-profit Farming Leaning Center on old photography and photos and how people can save and share them as part of their history and local history. I have been a PS user since 3.0 but want to demonstrate some techniques in Photoshop Elements which would be more useful as many will be somewhat elderly. Then what I would like to do is purchase or at least pay for a copy of Elements for our small local library for people to use. Would this be considered an OK use for the Educational version?

  16. Hi there !

    Please, if its possible to provide a link and to quote the exact line in Adobe’s End User License Agreement where it states that the educational version is permitted to generate commercial work?

    Thank you very much!

  17. MJ

    Hi, Can I qualify for the student/teacher edition if I am a substitute teacher at an accredited institution?

  18. Jerry

    Hello ProDesign,
    Can I still purchase the Student/Teacher Edition of Adobe CS6 Master Collection for Windows?
    If so, what is the highest OS I can run on Windows and not get glitches?
    I want to avoid how to figure out a workaround, which I have read about with some of the CS6 Apps and the El Capitan OS X.

    • No, sorry Jerry – Adobe ceased selling CS6 standalone on their website last year. The reason is because it’s over 4 years old now (from spring 2012) and increasingly unsupported; they stopped releasing updates for it last summer as the newer CC rapidly grew and took over. With the CS6 software EOL and end of support, there are no updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on the latest or future operating systems. So at this point we’ve stopped recommending it as a good or viable option going forward.

  19. John

    Hi! I am a registered home-schooling parent in Australia, can I qualify for Student/teacher version? thanks

  20. M

    Do alumni qualify for discount?
    Many alumni have college email addresses but some say… name at

    • Interesting question. That could work, but only if you are a recent graduate because the eligibility requirements (linked in our previous comment above) specify that you must be an active/enrolled student or teacher either currently, or at anytime within the past 6 months.

  21. Michelle

    Hi. I subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud for students for my daughter last year. She is still a student this year, doing her honours in Media and Design. When I tried to renew the subscription through the South Africa resellers that we originally subscribed through, I was advised that all the licenses had been sold out and was offered another package at substantially more than what we would have paid with the student discount. Is there any way we can still get the student discounted version for my daughter for another year. Her subscription comes to an end on the 4th September 2016 and we cannot afford the package that was offered to us.

  22. Hi there and thank you for this opportunity to clear something that’s on my mind since few weeks.
    I have the student edition of Adobe CC and I am about to finish my studies. How long after my graduation may I keep the student edition before I have to upgrade to the normal price?

    Thank you very much!

  23. Michelle

    Thank you for your response. Unfortunately re-sellers are the only option for us in South Africa. I have had a “chat” with Adobe who informed me that they do no sell the discounted student edition directly to the South African public, only to accredited re-sellers. The following is an excerpt from an email I received from the re-sellers that I originally acquired Adobe CC from:

    “We are unfortunately completely sold out of our student licenses for this year and won’t be receiving new stock until the ordering period opens in February 2017.

    We are able to offer you the full VIP package, which is currently on promotion until 2 September 2016.”

    What I don’t understand is why there seems to be a limit on the amount of “student licenses” available. the full VIP package is 3 times the price of the discounted student package and, at R14.49 to the dollar, it is expensive. I am not sure that I will be able to scrape up the money in time to go for the VIP package (USD358) even though I know it is quite a good price in comparison to the usual annual rate.

  24. Michelle

    No worries. We managed to scrape the money together and get the CC for Teams package offered. We originally bought the student discounted CC package from Learning Curve based in Cape Town and have bought from them again. They have been very helpful and extremely efficient. It would seem that they only buy a certain amount of licenses per year and they were all sold out by June. they do not buy again until next year. When I looked at the links that you put up in your previous post, Adobe seems to not sell the student discounted package directly to any of the African countries, with the exception of Algeria and Egypt. Many thanks for your input and help. It has been interesting.

    • Great, glad to hear that you got it sorted out Michelle – and thanks for letting us know!

      We had never heard of anyone running out of software licenses before, but Adobe says they are always expanding the geographic reach of Creative Cloud – so what you hear today may be different tomorrow, as the offering and platform continues to grow.

      Usually, when and where possible, the fastest/best/easiest/cheapest route is just to go direct to the company itself.

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