Access codes add to textbook costs

One of the latest trends for course work in education technology is access codes, and this year at Seton Hall they are becoming even more popular among science and nursing majors.

However, this trend has recently been causing confusion for students and costing them more money.

“An access code is contained in a textbook and allows students to do supplement activities online that correlate with what students are learning about in class,” sophomore nursing student Haley Ralph said.

It also requires that students purchase new books since access codes can only be used once and access codes cannot be purchased separately from a textbook.

“You have to buy a new access code,” Ralph said. “You can’t buy a used book and you can’t sell back. So you’re stuck with a book you don’t need.”

Eliminating the ability to purchase used books costs students several hundred dollars extra on textbooks a semester, Ralph said. She said she usually is required to purchase two textbooks a semester that contain these access codes.

“I think they should sell the access code separately,” she said in addition. Nursing students Ashley Prast and Jacque- line Munoz added more insight to the situation.

“Teachers don’t use textbooks sometimes and only use the access code,” Prast said. “We end up spending a lot of money on an expensive textbook that we won’t even open.”

She added, “I like access codes, I hate textbooks.”

On the other hand, Munoz noted that often times teachers aren’t even aware of the access codes.

“I haven’t had one teacher tell me about access codes,” she said.

Prast agreed that, “some people don’t even know about them.”

The students expressed their frustration at access codes when they end up in a class that only requires the code, and not the textbook. “It’s like, there goes another hundred dollars,” Munoz said.

All three of the students agreed that the option should exist for students to purchase access codes separately from textbooks in the bookstore.

Feelings were mixed on whether access codes are helpful to the nursing students in their studies as well.

“I don’t enjoy the program we are using in one of my classes,” Prast said.

However, as a study tool, Ralph and Prast agreed the online material and study-guides are quite useful and informative.

“It really helped me study for anatomy,” Ralph said, “How useful the access codes are just depends on the class.”

Erin Williams can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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