Karen Hellyer
Digital Arts Teacher

Justifying Annual Cost of CC / Benefits to School

Greetings! I'm finally getting our school to switch from our perpetual, 500-seat site license of CS6 Master Collection to CC. Our budget admin is weighing the pros and cons of continuing to provide access to all Adobe products for all students, staff and faculty, due to the increase in cost. Our Ed Tech director is trying to negotiate with Adobe Education about this, but communication has been spotty.

We are a 1-to-1 laptop school with a Mac Lab for digital arts classes in electronic music production, video, photo, animation and publication arts. Without access to CC on their PCs, students in those classes are limited to working only during class time and after school. Additionally, other students do use Adobe products provided on their PCs for other classes.

I'm wondering how your school does it. What's possible? Is it necessary for kids to use Photoshop, or is there a free product that students can use instead? (Yes, that's a question I was asked. How would you respond???)


  • Acrobat
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Photoshop
  • After Effects
  • Bridge
  • InDesign
  • Lightroom Classic
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Alastair Bartlett

Posted on Sep 17, 2017 3:44:32 PM Permalink

​Looks like they are changing the CC education licensing (in the UK anyway). IT told us it's going to be priced per machine again. I've also noticed that my personal subscription is £10 a month more than they are charging new members!

Rebecca DeWeese

Posted on Jun 6, 2017 9:50:22 PM Permalink

We are having similar issues. We purchased licenses for computers in the lab at our school, but I am often there at lunch and after school because the students do not have access at home. I would love to know if anyone has a solution to this issue. I have even had students who purchased at home because they wanted more access, but then they cannot open it at school because our version has not been updated and theirs is new.

Sinoxolo Jaca

Posted on May 9, 2017 10:11:28 AM Permalink

​Hello everyone, am a beginner and i have difficulties in Adobe Premiere Pro 2014, anyone who can assist me?

Karen Hellyer

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 5:05:53 PM Permalink

​Hi Steve,

Good ideas for schools who go with yearbook publishing companies. I did yearbook as a class and we worked with a small, local printer, so that wasn't an option. However, we did go through SHI to get a great deal on Adobe CC for all of the school-owned machines.

Steve Mann

Posted on Apr 12, 2017 6:48:33 PM Permalink

​This is not an exact reply to your question, but food for thought...

I previously worked for a yearbook publishing company. Some of the schools we worked with had either no budget for software or very small budget, and simply could not afford Adobe applications. At a lot of these schools, part of the contract for the yearbook was to provide "X" number of copies of Adobe software, or a specific amount towards site license etc... all based on the number of yearbooks sold.

The company I worked for would simply include the cost in the yearbook price. So a $40 yearbook became $75 etc.

It was a win-win. The teachers were motivated to get kids to buy yearbooks (because it got the needed software), the kids also wanted the software so they got mom and dad to buy the yearbook... and the company I worked for sold more yearbooks.

We purchased the software for the schools through SHI (I agree I don't know how they sell for less that Adobe - maybe Adobe owns them?).

So don't be afraid to at least ask your yearbook rep about software or discounts on software...

Neil Smithson

Posted on Mar 3, 2017 9:53:37 AM Permalink

​One thing I can't help but think is, why do Adobe Train the Trainers, who are effectively teaching/preaching the virtues of Adobe and the software not get a free CC licence?

Jennifer Cochran

Posted on Jan 8, 2017 7:11:07 PM Permalink

​In our district it goes school by school. The school must fund any programs they use on computers. This year I received a grant for 9 computers to have CC. Our program is small but it would have been nice to have more. (16) There is all this STEM talk but no support from the district in individual school. A little discouraging.


Posted on Jun 28, 2017 4:40:00 PM Permalink

You may want to look into the K-12 Site license through the Adobe VIP program. Your reseller should be able to assist with pricing but should be less than $30 a computer.

Karen Hellyer

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 2:38:26 PM Permalink

Good news. Through SHI, we were able to obtain a license for every school-owned machine. The annual price is based on the number of FTE, not the number of students. This makes it VERY affordable. I'm not sure how they do it, or why Adobe doesn't offer it this way, but we're happy to be able to offer it to all of our students, any time they need it.

Alexandra Laser

Posted on Sep 6, 2016 9:44:33 AM Permalink

Great news, how do you de that ?

Heidi Edwards

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 4:12:36 AM Permalink

Our school has been using CC for about a year or so now. Every student has access to it on any school laptop and desktop. I guess one argument against your current model of access it that it is not universal. Only students who have the time after school, or are enrolled in a subject such as technology and design can use it. Having broad access means that other subjects can use it seamlessly it at any stage of their program. Other aspects of our school community use the subscription as well, Our marketing department are able to produce fliers and posters in house, and here in the library we use it to create visually appealing posters and elements to go on our web opac.

giovanna iannicelli

Posted on Mar 21, 2016 9:49:14 AM Permalink

Hi we have just made the switch. It has made such a difference as we now have access to software that is part of the CC suite which we did not have under CS6 (due to our licensing). Industry standard software which our students are using.

Scott Winland

Posted on Mar 2, 2016 6:39:04 AM Permalink

Our developing media program is soon to make take the plunge into CC as well. I'm also curious as to how this is working out for everyone. Are the individual students responsible for purchasing cloud subscriptions (as they would for text books?) or are your schools buying a set number of subscriptions per lab, per year? Thanks.

Bertha Kirschten

Posted on Feb 28, 2016 9:50:15 PM Permalink

Hi Karen

We are switching to CC this fall. I thought that there were some pretty good discounts through Adobe Education -- something in the $30 per student range when buying large volumes of licensing?? We are going with device licensing in our school because we are a small school.

I believe that the big advantage of going with CC is that we are teaching students on current industry standard software and the software updates are available immediately without having to purchase new box sets of the software. I am a CTE teacher and part of my requirements to keep state funding is to verify that we are using industry standard software. If I was still using CS3 (that is where we are jumping from to CC) I can't in good faith say that I am teaching to current industry standards. We are trying to prepare our students for college or the work force, so when we send them out to the work force and they have been trained on old versions of software, they are not ready for the job. An example is the recent upgrade in Muse that allows for responsive web design - responsive web design wasn't even in the picture when previous versions of the software came out and now it is the big movement in web design. If we aren't using current products, we can't teach students what is happening in the field.

Adobe has released some amazing free apps for iPad that work as stand-a-lones or in conjunction with the full software apps. Students can do quite a bit with them in reality, but they are not going to be able to do the powerful things they can with the desktop apps. My students are currently playing with these apps - and what I find them very useful for is editing photos, etc to use in their Voice or Slate presentations. They can take pictures on the fly with their iPads, edit them and insert them directly into their presentations - all on one platform.

Yes there are a few free apps out there that are pretty amazing - one that I have used recently is Pixlr - online photo editor very comparable with Photoshop and it does play well with Google (we are also a Google school with one-to-one Chromebooks). The ability to use Pixlr on the Chromebooks is very helpful.

We have a lot of things going on in our school - we have iPads, Chromebooks, desktops, we use the Google Classroom platform, but all computers are loaded with MS Office and it is the preference for all staff. I also teach Office because it is still the industry standard and students need to know how to use it (I feel that Google is a great tool for collaboration and research, but it isn't the only tool that students should have access to). So far, I have been able to get all devices and platforms to play well together and the kids are doing great things.

Sorry - back to topic (I get pretty excited when I think of all the things we have going)! I was able to sell my administration on going with CC because we will have the most current version at all times. I was able to make a very good case because last fall, we purchased a CC 2015 license for me to use and get up to speed with for this coming fall. When I went to design a new school website, I opened Dreamweaver and didn't have a clue what to do because there was so much change between CS3 and CC. I literally closed the program and my laptop and went home and cried because I couldn't even start a web site. It took me three weeks to get a plain jane website going in the new version, versus something that used to take me about 2 hours to have up and running. I still have problems with the new DW and am not at all comfortable with it. (But I discovered Muse, and will be using that to revamp our website this summer!) I NEVER want to put my students in that position, by having them think they are trained on a software, only to find they literally know nothing because they were trained on old software. I

Jayanthi Sridhar

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 7:12:26 AM Permalink


This is a question for which I would like to see the responses.Students who use mobile phones at home find the photo editors easy to use and constantly ask if Photoshop /After effects can be downloaded for free.Wish we had a free to download offer sometime of the year at least - this will definitely help in reaching out to more students.

Maris Herr

Posted on Feb 21, 2016 12:45:32 PM Permalink

Hi Karen,

I was asked only last week if I thought that the school I'm at should move to CC from seats for CS6 or not. Weighing up the pros and cons I had to say no. Currently the students have access to CS6 in labs but not on their individual devices. So far students only working at school hasn't been an issue but that may change.

The student devices (netbooks) wouldn't handle CS and add to that a lack of high speed internet and using hardwired desk tops becomes attractive in terms of getting things done. In answer to your question; there are alternatives out there and it is a matter of hunting for those that will work with the system and budget in place in your school. I do need to say that none of the alternatives I've found so far are as good as anything offered in CS6, but sometimes we all have to work with what is available, not the best that is available..?

The other problem is the rise and rise of Google Docs as the preferred platform for everything... I'm finding that it doesn't play well with other software at all and I'm having to change a lot of the interactive element in the notes I give students so they can simply access them. At this stage I assume that we will be staying CS6 but would love to hear how others, particularly in regional Australia, are dealing with the problems?

Cheers Maris

Karen Hellyer

Posted on Feb 21, 2016 6:19:07 PM Permalink

Thanks Maris. We are running into compatibility issues where students are using CC applications at home, then coming back to CS6 at school and not being able to work in the lab or on their school-owned laptops. Also, a lot of the new training available is geared towards CC rather than established CS6 products. My preference is to go the CC route. I'm a little surprised not to be hearing from more people on this topic. Thanks for your reply, and good luck!

Maris Herr

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 12:31:24 PM Permalink

Hi Karen,

The focus on training for CC is frustrating.... when so many of us in education, not to mention an awful lot of professional design houses are still running CS6 (or earlier). The best solution I've found so far is YouTube, it can take some hunting but there is usually a video demo out there.