What's the difference between the commercial version of Avid Media Composer and the academic version? Functionally there are no differences between the two; they both have the same features and functions. Third party applications are still available when purchasing Media Composer. The only difference is that you're not supposed to use the academic version for profit.
With the academic version, students also get free upgrades for the next four years after registering the product. Free upgrades are delivered and fulfilled directly by Avid to all registered Student Edition customers.