Adobe to no longer provide Creative Cloud to students

Written By Caitlyn Scott, Co-News Editor

An email sent to students on behalf of the Information Technology Services (IT) announced that the university will no longer provide Adobe Creative Cloud programs on personal machines or for home usage. 

On August 18, 2022, the IT department stated that the previous year of access for all students was only available for a limited time by Adobe to accommodate for COVID-19 safety measures within schools and offices. 

Please note that access to University Provided Adobe Creative Cloud programs is not available on personal machines, or for at-home use, as this was only available as a temporary COVID-19 measure provided by Adobe for a limited time,” the email read.  

According to Adobe’s official website, the Creative Cloud package includes more than 20 apps used for “photography, design, video, web, UX, and social media” productions- which the university will only provide limited access to on-campus.  

Associate Vice President of Information Technology Services Tim Wilson said although Adobe will no longer provide these programs for free, many would still be available without the need for a subscription to students only within the university’s computer lab.

“Thayer 212, which is part of our 24-hour open computer lab, has the full suite of Adobe tools available and is always accessible except when there is a class. Other labs have some of the targeted Adobe tools,” Wilson said. 

Along with Thayer Hall 212, computer lab 200 [which is also located in Thayer Hall] will only provide students with access to Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, Illustrator, and Lightroom on the lab’s 20 PCs. 

The lab’s five Mac computers, however, will carry the full suite of programs.

Both levels of the University Center Library [UC 100 and 200] will also provide only Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, Illustrator, and Lightroom on 16 PCs.

Endpoint Advisor for IT Kevin Walsh says that Adobe tailors their software for MacOS more than Windows (PC), which is why availability is not balanced within the computer labs. 

“Technically speaking, the current 24-hour lab Windows machines are not powerful enough hardware-wise to run most Adobe programs. A Windows machine would have to be built specifically to run Adobe products at that high level,” Walsh said. “You also have to consider that Windows machines have several different manufacturers [like Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc], where Apple is the only one building machines with MacOS.  Apple now builds their own processors for their Macs as well, and the bottom-end version of that processor is very powerful in comparison to some bottom-end Intel or AMD processors that you could get in a PC. The same applies here to graphics- which is a heavy concern in products like Photoshop and Premiere.” 

“The full Adobe suite is 35 to 40 GB, which can be prohibitive in some of the PC labs. Macs do generally start with a bit more storage from a baseline perspective. While this is a factor, the main problem would be more related to processor and graphics card concerns.”

With programs being restricted to certain software’s, the IT department recommended to students in their email that if they are unable to use the computer labs to access their work, students can find discounts on Adobe’s website for access both on campus and from home. 

“We’re grateful to Adobe for providing access to its Adobe Creative Cloud on personal devices during the pandemic, and it’s not surprising they would return to their original software rights agreement at this time. Students can access these services on campus, and Adobe still offers student discounts for their software on its website,” the email further stated. 

Individually, access to all Adobe Creative Cloud apps would cost $54.99 a month, although a “back to school special” is offered on Adobe’s website for $19.99 for the first year only for students and teachers. 

University Marketing and Public Relations Managing Director Lou Corsaro told The Globe that if the university purchased Adobe Creative Cloud to continue free subscriptions for students, the cost would be $180 per student in contrast to the discounts that students could buy individually. 

With this, many students have called upon the university to find a way to extend access to all Adobe Creative Cloud programs on campus and from home. 

“The free usage of the Adobe Creative Cloud was definitely something useful for all students at Point Park,” Senior multimedia major Tran Le said. “With students paying tuition that is being raised every year and parking [not being free for commuters], the free Adobe Creative Cloud [access] has assisted students financially.”

Along with Le, Freshman Cinema Production major Evan Manion expressed dismay over the university not offering an extension of Adobe’s limited time offer, expressing how it would create challenges for students who rely on the programs for their courses. 

“I think this would affect any student who uses [Adobe Creative Cloud] for classes like cinema production, business managing, web design, or advertising designs,” Manion said. “Those majors require a lot of editing and programming and Adobe makes it easy to allow students to create what they are envisioning.”

Manion also believes commuters could be impacted by these changes as well. 

“Say you are at home doing your homework for other classes and now you have to edit a project for class that can only be accessed on Adobe. Now you have to take the trolley, bus, or find a ride to campus to edit,” Manion said. 

Sophomore broadcast production and media management major Alex Zahniser, says that without free at-home access to these platforms, commuting to and from campus will now become a greater challenge. 

“This will make it challenging trying to complete my assignments while I’m rushing around trying to get home and whatnot,” Zahniser said. “Considering that Point Park is a big school for commuters, I think that they should continue to offer at home and personal device access to Adobe as it will just create issues otherwise.” 

Upon reaching out for comment, Communications Professor Thomas Baggerman and Senior Director of Media Services Fred Angiolieri did not provide statements on behalf of the university regarding Adobe Creative Cloud programs access.