Yeah...stata has such a big place in academia precisely because it is cheap.
SAS is the one that currently runs almost $10k for the starter package for an individual user...although they now offer a free version for students.
Of course now that R exists...that is changing. R is free, so while older folks (and thus people like your TAs, teachers, and advisors) might be more familiar with Stata, it becomes harder and harder to argue that a class should be based on something that costs $$$ when there is a free option that works just as well and is widely used both in industry and academia.
Also, I am not fond of Stata. Wasted a bunch of time recently trying to replicate results from a dataset converted over from Stata...because Stata has fucking case sensitive variables and it turned out I was using the variable named order instead of Order...and they represented completely different things.