Texarkana College helps with textbook costs

Texarkana College helps with textbook costs

The average college students spends about $910/year on textbooks and supplies.
The average college student will spend about $910/year on books and supplies.

It's a lot of money that sometimes students don't have.

"$200-300 for just these 3 and I still have more to go," said Bria Page.

Page is a second year student at Texarkana College.

Even teachers know the high cost can be too much.

"A typical class over here, for example Organic Chemistry, the textbook is $342 and the lab book is $150," said Dr. Catherine Howard."Add those together and it's a tremendous amount of money for just one class."

So to help students keep their wallets full, Texarkana College is trying a new program called OpenStax.

"We have to change our teaching method and our delivery method to keep students learning," said Howard.

OpenStax is a Rice University-based publisher that offers free textbooks.

They're in the form of PDF or E-Books online, and students can download them for free.

"To give you an idea, the Chemistry book last semester was $322, this year it's free, that's the difference," said Howard.

There's a small fee to get a hardcopy or lab manual.

Even then, students will save.

"I know next semester my books will be expensive," said Page. "I think that'll be wonderful."

"You don't want to throw up another road block by making it hard to afford textbooks," said Howard.

Right now, OpenStax offers textbooks for six Texarkana College classes.

School officials will evaluate the program in about a year, and if all goes well, more will hopefully follow.

Overall, OpenStax is expected to save students up to $400 per course.

Over the next five years, school officials say it'll save Bowie County Residents about $1.2 million.
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