Aaron Houston recently pointed out that there is a new Student Portal on the Sun Developer Network, and could be a helpful resource for both high school and college students:
Aaron also pointed out that Sun has also been kind enough to provode Sun SPOT kits for 1/2 off (bringing the price down to $300/kit) for students and teachers/professors. You can ask about the discount on the Sun SPOT Forums. On top of that, they're having a competition -- submit a proposal for a Sun SPOT idea and you could receive a FREE SPOT to implement it. You can see a SPOT at the bottom of the screenshot above.
If you're curious about Sun SPOTs, the description from the SPOT faq is:
The Sun SPOT Device is a small, wireless, battery powered experimental platform. It is programmed almost entirely in Java to allow regular programmers to create projects that used to require specialized embedded system development skills. The hardware platform includes a range of built-in sensors as well as the ability to easily interface to external devices.