If you are a college or high school student, you can get a very valuable assortment of free software from the Microsoft DreamSpark program. As Microsoft says on the web site:
DreamSpark is simple:
It’s about giving students Microsoft professional tools at no charge
You can get things like Visual Studio 2010 Professional, SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition, Expression Studio 4 Ultimate, and Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3.
There are also links to a wealth of training resources, such as training videos, virtual labs, and the I.T. Academy Student Pass. You basically have to verify that you are an enrolled student, and then you will get access to download the software.
It is a very nice program that can save you a lot of money, whether you are a student, or the parent of a student (who would otherwise have to pay for their software).