Are Access Codes Necessary or Just a Scam?

If there’s one thing that can be mutually agreed upon by most college students, it would be that college is just plain expensive! Between the thousands of dollars just to sit in a classroom and the couple hundred bucks to but textbooks that you might only crack open once during the semester, it sometimes seems as if universities have a vacuum attached to the bank accounts of their students to suck out their funds as they wish. However, the internet’s takeover of every aspect of our lives adds another expense for college students: access codes.
For those who are lucky enough to have not been required to buy one, an access code is basically paying the price of a textbook just to do homework assignments online. The codes have a corresponding physical textbook that must be purchased new. Yes, that’s right. If a professor asks students to get a textbook with an access code, the book usually can’t be rented or purchased used at a lower price because the codes that come with them can only be used once and last for about six months. If you don’t want to buy a brand-new book, then there’s the option of getting a used one and purchasing the code separately, but it’s often much cheaper just to get the new book. Then, once the semester is over, the book is pretty much useless because the code is already used and the student is basically stuck with it.
Colleges have existed for centuries without the need for internet. Of course, that’s partly because the online world didn’t exist until a couple decades ago. The internet has made education a million times easier, bringing an abundance of information to the palm of your hand within seconds. Seriously, how on Earth did people write research papers before the invention of the internet? It’s also now easier to turn in assignments without the need to submit a physical copy or to leave your computer.
I don’t know how other schools are, but mine has a platform called D2L (Desire to Learn) where professors can upload assignments and students can turn them in. Through it, I can also get links and pdfs of readings, post in discussion boards, communicate with my professors and check my grades. If this exists for free, then why do I need to pay to get access to similar content?

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