If there is one thing that college has taught me thus far, it’s that saving a couple bucks here and there makes a difference in the long run.
One easy way for me to do this is renting or buying used textbooks. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by doing this and as a student with loans, a car payment and monthly rent, those couple hundred dollars are invaluable.
But when a professor lists an access code as a required material for the class, my stomach drops knowing that this means I’ll have to buy my textbook new in order to get the access code.
On average, access codes are around $100. Coupled with the super-cool and not at all inconvenient fact that most textbooks are bundled with the access code, this means that I will probably spend $120 to $150 more than I would have if I had rented or bought a used book.
In the past when I’ve bought access codes, they really have been pointless. One was used solely for homework that the professor never graded and it really did not help me learn anything at all.
I never even opened the other one. I emailed my professor to ask if I needed the access code or if I could buy a used book without the access code, as the difference in price was more than $100.
I was told that the lab that came with the access code would greatly benefit me in my success in the class. Not sure if this meant it was required or not, I bought the access code with the new text book, spending $160.
Hindsight is 20/20, people. We never once used the MyArtsLab that came with the access code; all the homework was done with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, which you now have to pay a monthly subscription to use.
So I ended up having to sign up for a year-long Adobe Creative Cloud membership at $20 per month. All in all, I will have spent $400 for a class that is not even specifically for my major. That’s an entire month’s rent for me this summer.
It’s fine, I’m not mad about this at all.
While I do think that the materials offered by access codes can be beneficial in how students learn, I think they are extremely over-priced. All the content is online, so why does it cost so much? Shouldn’t the Internet be making our lives easier?
College is far too expensive as it is—don’t bleed us all dry by making us buy textbooks new just to get access codes.