If you have a new Mac, your options are fairly limited. Adobe stopped directly supporting the Mac when they moved from OS 9 to OS X, at FM 7.1, which you can still run if you have a Mac old enough to support Mac OS 9.X, directly or through emulation, which Mac provided through Mac OS 10.5. On newer Macs, you have to run FrameMaker under Windows, which requires installing Windows on a Mac, which can be done on pretty much on any Intel-based Mac, which includes any made in the last couple of years.
There are several different ways of running Windows on an Intel Mac, not to mention several varieties of Windows. Avoid Windows Vista, but XP or 7 should be OK. For info on installing Windows on a Mac, since I am lucky enough to have an old Mac and have not done it, I just Googled "Installing Windows on a Mac" and got 43,600,000 hits, so bon appétit!
Here is some more recent info:
1. If you decide to do PC emulation, buy Windows on a disc, not a download; I could not install from the disc image I downloaded from Parallels. Both VMWare and Parallels are downloadable.
2. Depending on the version required for the course, the older the FM version, the cheaper it will be to find, and the same goes for Windows versions. (Google to find them for sale.) I know FM 7 will run on Windows 2000 and Windows XP, because I have done it. Win 7 does have a nifty feature for running earlier version of Windows software: you can get Win 7 to pretend to be any of several earlier versions of Windows, on a per-application basis, which it remembers, and runs every time you use that application. Haven't used Win 7 enough so far to form a clear impression, but so far so good. I'm running FM 7 as if it were in Win 2000.
OK, with 10.6, you definitely have to run FM under Windows. I would go with Parallels Desktop, which is about $70, unless there is a student price. Given that FM 10 is what everybody else is using, I'd try and get student pricing on FM 10 and Windows 7. You install Parallels on your Mac, then install Windows in Parallels desktop, and, finally, FM in Windows. FrameMaker is still the best technical documentation tool out there, so I am afraid you'll just have to bite the bullet and get it. I know nothing about academic pricing, but I assume David does. I think you are on the right path.
Unless you have another reason to run Windows on your Mac, it may be simpler to just borrow a PC from someone.
Information posted January 26, 2010 and provided by firstname.lastname@example.org.