The question arose about the availability of student versions or trial versions of 3DSMax;
as mentioned if you go to http://students.autodesk.com there is a Student Engineering & Design community sponsored by Autodesk. Within this site at the software downloads page there is :
Autodesk 3ds Max
30-day Free Trial Version OnlyBring 3D film effects to the big screen. Generate realistic characters for a top-selling game. Create rich and complex design visualization. Autodesk® 3ds Max® 9 3D animation, rendering and modeling software lets game developers, design visualization professionals, and visual effects artists maximize their productivity and tackle challenging animation projects.