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- Access codes remove the ability to share textbooks or borrow from the library, which is especially difficult on those students that already face financial hardship when paying for college.
- Including assignments, quizzes and tests in the electronic format requires students to purchase the product instead of having the ability to opt-out.
- Switching to an entirely electronic format eliminates any kind of oversupply, and thereby the used book market.
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There is nothing wrong with the access codes, in and off themselves. It’s the fact that they are not reusable and may force students into buying course materials who might have otherwise found a free or low-cost alternative. Whether or not the textbook industry will change their stance on access codes remains to be unseen. After all, access codes are relatively new to the textbook market. But for now, students lack the freedom to choose to buy the access codes or go without, which means an increase in profits for textbook companies, according to U.S. PIRG. Do you use access codes for your college courses? Do you love them – or hate them?