Gaining access to resources is one significant advantage of attending college. Such resources may include a field on which to practice sports, science labs or even office space. Computer labs, however, are a critical resource that nearly everyone in the student body may utilize at some point during college.
Computer labs often include software that many students may not have on their personal computers due to cost or accessibility. Math courses may require students to utilize specific software programs to illustrate math problems, for example. Art and music courses may also make use of software to demonstrate and teach different concepts. Some courses may be based on learning how to use specific software programs. Graphic design students may need to learn Adobe Photoshop as a critical component of their education. Computer labs ensure that all students have access to such programs.
A core component of college is the requirement to write essays and reports. Computer labs offer students who may not have a computer or necessary programs to write their essays for free. Students may also use computer labs to collaborate with fellow students on essays, as multiple students can gather in the computer lab to work at once. Students can also make last-minute changes to an essay while on campus, rather than returning to their dorm or apartment to access their computers.
Computer labs on college campuses offer unrivaled access to research opportunities. Many scholarly websites and journals are only available to college students using computers on the school's network. Additionally, computer labs are generally equipped with high-speed Internet access at speeds greater than those in many students' homes. Students can, thus, research subjects with greater ease and access more content using higher-quality connections.
Many computer labs on college campus provide students with a certain amount of free or cheap printing for printing essays, projects, take-home exams or notes. Printing costs are often charged to a student's account, rather than paid upfront. This can allow a cash-strapped college student to print schoolwork with ease without worrying about costs right away.
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