if you're applying to an art school, they might like artrage's nifty oil paint as one or two of your pieces,
but given most art-schools prefer traditional media, I'd vote for freeware at this point.
you can purchase cheaper student licences of photoshop and painter for a fraction of full retail price when you get in,
and I'm not sure if your school is digital-friendly too.
on the fourth day of glitchmas my painter™ gave to me
four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace