ASU becomes an official Adobe Creative Campus

Every ASU student now has free access to all Adobe Creative Cloud software

After years of many students having to pay Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions to complete homework assignments and projects outside of the classroom, ASU is now offering subscriptions for free for the first time to students. 

Feelings about the new offering are mixed, with some students expressing gratitude for the free access and others wishing it would have come sooner.

ASU students have had access to Adobe CC for programs like Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign and Illustrator via campus computers, but projects often require hours of work outside of class.  

Therefore, many students in years past had to pay out-of-pocket for subscriptions to access their work when they aren’t on campus. Adobe offers a discounted rate for students and teachers for $19.99 a month. But for many, a monthly subscription is still a large expense.  

According to the University Technology Office, at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, ASU became one of more than 30 institutions that are official Adobe Creative Campuses. The partnership between Adobe and the University means all ASU students now have free access to more than 20 Creative Cloud applications. 

Faculty and staff may also request access to Adobe CC through the University, but there is a $36 fee per user per year to access the programs.

Kyle Bowen, executive director of learning experience at ASU, said the University decided to offer the programs for no additional cost with the interests of both students and teachers in mind.

“From a teaching standpoint, there’s a big difference for a faculty member between believing students have what they need and knowing that they do,” Bowen said. 

When asked why ASU didn’t decide sooner to provide all students with free access to the software, Bowen explained that the new partnership with Adobe is what truly allowed the University to offer the programs at no cost. Without it, the free subscriptions would have never been possible, he said.  

Cameron Wick, a senior graphic design major, said her grandparents have been paying for her subscription to Adobe CC for more than three years and uses the software for most of her school-related projects, ranging from web mockups to animations. 

Wick said she is choosing to not take advantage of ASU’s free subscription because she doesn’t want to lose all of her work from her original subscription. Wick said she wishes the University offered free access to Adobe programs a long time ago. 

“In the first place, I think ASU should have just offered it for free because that is a lot of money that you’re asking of your students on top of all the printing we have to pay for ourselves and tuition,” Wick said.

Anna Nygren, a senior graphic design major whose parents pay for her Adobe subscription, said she spends 30 to 45 hours a week using Adobe programs for school-related projects. Nygren said part of her decision to get her own subscription was access to school computers wasn’t always reliable.

“There are limited computers,” Nygren said. “You can’t guarantee that when you go to school that you, pre-COVID, would have found a computer to sit and get some work done.”

Nygren said access to Adobe CC is a necessity for students and professionals in design, photography and video fields. 

“The industry runs on the Creative Cloud, so not knowing those programs, you’re setting yourself up to fail,” Nygren explained. “When you look into a designer’s toolbox, Creative Cloud has to be there.”

Reach the reporter at and follow @kaceywilson_ on Twitter. Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

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