About the Academic License, keep in mind it's "for non-commercial classroom use only"
The non-commercial part is obvious and limiting enough, but the learning & classroom restrictions are a lot more damning: it means you can't use it to release a free game or free applications.What are the limitations of the Academic editions?
The Academic edition can be used only for learning in an academic or classroom environment. Educational institutions cannot use the academic version to produce software for use within their institution to commercial licenses.
So it's for your own learning use, arguably that of you fellow students & teachers, but you can't compile and release anything made with it on PGD or the broader internet.
Legally speaking, even using it for an entry to the PGD Challenge isn't allowed as the judges aren't your teachers, and the entry is subsequently made available to the general public.
The only really usable cheap edition for hobbyists is the Starter one, but the icense only makes it practical for free software. The Starter edition $1000 limit on revenues is what is limiting it, as it applies to revenues, rather than sales (so everything that is a revenue from an accounting point of view counts towards it, and that encompasses far more than sales).