Opinion: Adobe Creative Cloud should be made available for UI students

For at least some students, having access to the applications would help prepare them for the future.


Shivansh Ahuja

Adobe Creative Cloud; Photo illustration by Shivansh Ahuja

Mariana Garces, Columnist

As a communications major planning to work in the media industry, I have found that most of the internships and future jobs that interest me require some knowledge of digital design. Some of the best software in the industry for this is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

However, Adobe’s programs are quite inaccessible, because they can’t just be purchased once. Instead, their programs require users to commit to a monthly subscription. This is a source of trouble for the many college students who cannot afford to make monthly payments for an application despite it being beneficial for their future. Because of this, the University of Iowa should fund Creative Cloud access for its students.

Creative Cloud allows students to boost their creativity with their vast variety of programs. Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign allow marketing, communications, and art students to advance their education by learning photo editing, graphic design, and digital painting — all of which are skills necessary for their future endeavors.

Some colleges are beginning to implement access to Creative Cloud for their students on personal devices, such as the University of North Carolina and the University of California. Each day, our world is becoming more and more digitized; thus, most colleges want their graduates to be empowered and feel confident with their digital skills.

Although some UI classes and programs teach students how to use certain applications, it is not the same as having full access to the program. Classes are limited to a period of time and to the content that the teacher sees is valuable for the student. Personal access to the applications would allow students to delve deeper into what interests them and to master their skills without worrying about how much time is left for them to take advantage of the program.

If the UI invested in personal licenses for each student — an expense of $6.7 million per year — it would make up 0.53 percent of the supplies budget. 

Adobe’s Creative Cloud gives users access to more than 20 useful applications. The entire collection of Creative Cloud costs $19.99 a month for students. This may not sound like much for people with a steady job and flowing income, but for students who can’t work full-time and live on a tight budget, that price is an expense that they cannot afford to invest in monthly.

According to the UI budget, $1.3 billion dollars are available for supplies and service. There are about 16,000 undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and an Adobe Creative Cloud license for each student would be $34.99 a month. Therefore, if the UI invested in personal licenses for each student — an expense of $6.7 million per year — it would make up 0.53 percent of the supplies budget.

Another option to decrease the potential expense of a personal license for students could be making Creative Cloud accessible for those who will indefinitely need the skills of the programs. These most likely would be art majors, communication and media majors, and marketing majors.

Proficient understanding of Adobe’s programs will provide these students the skills necessary to have their résumé stand out among other applicants.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.