Why do most software offer student discounts?

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Why would they want to sell their product at a cheaper price, to anyone?

Other answer:

kain weir:
Student discounted software are cheap because they have huge limitations added. Most student edition software's are not able to be used to make a profit. The program can only be used for education purposes. In most cases you cannot even share your work using the SE publicly, only inside of a classroom or for personal educational use.
Robert J:
As Edward says.

It's called a "losing leader" or "loss leader", selling a product cheap or even below cost just to get someone to make an initial purchase, on the principle that it will generate more sales & real profit.

Inkjet printers are another computer-related example, often sold for less than the cost of the ink cartridges that are in them, if you bought them separately.

Once you have the printer, you are likely to buy many ink cartridges at a vast price & profit for the maker..

Students become wage earners. They appreciate people who help them and buy from them in the future.

If you don't offer discounts, the students won't buy from you. It's better to have a sale!

Chris P:
To create a future market for their products.

Students are far more likely to continue to purchase and use products they learned their skills on. If there weren't discounted versions available to students (who are usually of limited financial resources) then students would use free alternatives, making them more likely to continue to using the same products when they graduate.

Andy T:
Subconsciously associate these software as the GO-TO-ITEM, an investment of the propogandist mind. You are not liable to think the free and nice Open Office if Microsoft Office is what you got to use during your college years for just $150.
The Official PlayStation Expertâ„¢:
Exactly what Edward said. Plus students are usually on a tight budget, like myself, so it's nice to see companies trying to help us out in their competitive ways…

It's a sales thing, make something cheaper for an audience who will happily buy the full versions when they become illegible.

because, then students will buy their software not others' and students usually buy in a great no. like a whole class buying ableton
It's like drugs, the first one is free. They want to get you to use their product forever. So if they give you a discount NOW they make money LATER!!
It's just a nice thing to do. I like it. Don't college kids have enough expense?