NWTC Launches Textbook Affordability Plan to Save Students $1.4 Million in Costs
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College created a textbook affordability plan that is projected to save students over $1.4 million in textbook costs from 2021 to 2022*.
The rising costs of textbooks are having an adverse effect on student success at a national level. According to Times Higher Education, 65% of students in a large-scale study reported not buying the required textbook, even though 90% of those students acknowledged their grades would be impacted.
“For many students, paying for college tuition is already financially challenging,” said Dr. Bob Mathews, vice president of business and finance of NWTC. “We simply owe it to our students to explore every opportunity to help remove barriers to their academic success.”
As a solution to deliver affordable access to learning materials at a wide scale, NWTC implemented various cost-saving changes within its curricula to reduce the burden of textbooks fees for students. This includes:
- Open Educational Resources (OER); textbooks and resources that have an open license, permitting access at no cost. OER also allows faculty to edit the material.
- Affordable Educational Resources (AER); textbooks and resources that are not licensed to edit, but available at significantly reduced cost.
- Inclusive Access Textbooks; online alternatives of a textbook from the publisher at a lower cost.
The results of these changes will provide significant relief on textbook costs for NWTC students. For example, students within the Automotive Technician program were paying $2,200 per year on textbooks and now only pay $240. Practical Nursing students were paying $1,400 in annual textbook costs, but now only pay $362.
In addition to making textbooks more affordable, NWTC is also making it easier to purchase by allowing students to charge textbooks to their NWTC finance account. This allows them to have the textbook on the first day of class instead of waiting on funds through financial aid. Students can also add textbook fees to their payment plan rather than providing the money up front all at once.
NWTC is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College OER Network; a group collectively working to expand the use of open educational resources and share new solutions to help students lower their textbook costs.
“When we saw the impact of textbook prices on student success, this quickly became a priority for the College. We took the initiative to partner with instructors and led the way to find innovative solutions that provide high quality and affordable education that NWTC is known for,” said Mathews.
NWTC offers a variety of financial aid options to help make college affordable. To learn more about the best service for you, visit NWTC Financial Aid.
*Compared to 2017-2018, based on an average saving of $342.84 per degree-seeking student for the year.