I remember being severely dissapointed about two years ago when I wanted to download the free students version of Maya, the so called PLE (Personal Learning Edition), but since Maya had already been acquired by Autodesk (before: Alias), this was no longer offered. I also wasn’t able to find any mirrors for that online, but today that PLE would be a far outdated version, so it wouldn’t be that useful anyways.
As I figured out yesterday though, Autodesk seems to have introduced this service again. Not only do they offer Maya (2012 and previous versions) as a free download if you’re a student, but also a pretty large range of other tools. Take a look at the list.
All you have to do is register a free account and state the name of your school. After downloading you receive your serial that seems to keep the product active for three years.
I’ve got no idea since when the so called Education Community has been active, but I definitely want to send a great Thanks to Autodesk for it!