Homework should be free at CUNY

The Editorial Board

For a substantial amount of time, the bane of students’ wallets was textbook prices, but now, thanks to the advancement of technology, another cost has taken the lead. Supplemental materials for college courses are accessed through digital platforms. In simpler terms, some homework assignments cannot be completed without an access code to the course or its required textbook online. One primary example is Cengage Connect, in which students must purchase codes each semester to do their homework assignments. These platforms are becoming more and more common in many classrooms, and the access codes could sometimes be more expensive than the required reading material. Students at Baruch College are no stranger to this, and with multiple classes come multiple access codes — and multiple wallets crying.

In a school that prides itself on social mobility, it is mind-boggling that the cost to do homework actually deters students from learning. Technology should be used as a tool to aid and supplement learning, and should not take the form of a temporary access code that expires in the blink of an eye. Affordable education is on the decline, as reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics, and will continue to decrease if this problem cannot be resolved. 

Students have to bear the burden of housing, tuition and additional costs to acquire a degree and having to pay just to pass a class is unacceptable.