In education, the term access typically refers to the ways in which educational institutions and policies ensure—or at least strive to ensure—that students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Increasing access generally requires schools to provide additional services or remove any actual or potential barriers that might prevent some students from equitable participation in certain courses or academic programs. For a related discussion, see opportunity gap. If access is denied or left unaddressed by a school, students may struggle academically or drop out, learning gaps may compound or widen over time, students may graduate unprepared to enroll and succeed in a postsecondary-degree program, or students may be unable to participate in certain courses, school programs, extracurricular activities, or sports, among other undesirable outcomes. The following constitutes a brief, representative list of the types of access that government agencies, districts, and schools may provide to students:.
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At the file level, access can be customized to enable a unique combination of privileges. For example, access can be restricted to read-only, meaning a user, program, or device can view a file but cannot modify or delete it. Or, access can allow some files to be created, edited, or deleted , but restricts that functionality for more sensitive files. This type of access is particularly important in the context of digital rights management DRM , a system for protecting intellectual property and data copyright. As a response to the rise of Internet piracy, DRM allows for widespread or limited access to a digital file while also preventing unauthorized duplication or reproduction.