March 12, 2012
Tuition and textbooks – two of the biggest expenses students face in higher education.
Long a fixed, inevitable cost, textbooks can run students up to hundreds of dollars per course. Now SNHU, long committed to keeping tuition affordable, is finding ways to save students money on textbooks as well. It’s an important goal – a recent study showed that nearly 85 percent of students who dropped out did so for financial, rather than academic, reasons.
"We’re trying to keep the costs of their education down," says Amy Stevens, associate vice president of eLearning at SNHU. "These are real textbooks; they're written by real faculty and peer-reviewed (just like traditional textbooks)."
$100,000 and Counting
SNHU students have saved more than $100,000 on textbooks since the university began working with Flat World Knowledge earlier in the academic year. The company provides free online textbooks that can be downloaded to students' computers or even printed for a fraction of the cost of a brand-new traditional textbook.
The printing option is particularly valuable for students with limited Internet access, such as active-duty military, Stevens says.
Common Core and More The ebooks are available for more than 25 undergraduate courses, including many in the common cores – the ones taken by the most students. The list includes ECO 201, ENG 101, POL 210, OL 215 and many more.
The next step: waiting for Flat World to develop more ebooks and looking at other possible sources, Stevens says.
"We're really focused on student success and making sure the expense is affordable," Stevens says.
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