We have "required" students to use Bible software, and we do think it is an excellent investment not only for seminary but for their lifelong ministry, but we are also aware that it can be a significant investment. We encourage students to bring their systems to class so that they can use the software as we go along, but for those who don't have a portable system or who have not purchased the software, we have installed Bible software on quite a few seminary systems to which they have access.
Now, what Bible software should they get? There are some free options which work quite well. I recommend e-Sword, LaParola, or The Word. These are fine programs, but they aren't as fully capable as one of the big three: Accordance, BibleWorks, or Logos. So, which of these should a student get? Ideally, we would all have the same operating system (and same version of said OS) and the same Bible software package (and same version of said software). Up to just a couple years ago, this was impossible because of the Win/Mac divide, but it really wasn't too big of a deal because we had so few Mac users. Today, I'm seeing many more Mac users, so the issue has become more complicated. With some limitations, it has been possible all along to run Accordance on a PC using the Basilisk emulator and to run BibleWorks or Logos on a Mac using one of the Windows emulators. Logos, commendably, was the first to develop both Win and Mac versions. Accordance has recently announced work on a Win version. BibleWorks is cooperating with CrossOver to provide an easy way for it to work on a Mac.