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Aiken Technical College introduces new program to help students save money on textbooks

Aiken Technical College, in collaboration with its bookstore operations partner, Textbook Brokers, is launching a new program to help students save money on textbooks.

The Ready for Success program will begin with the Fall 2023 semester, which starts Aug. 21. Under the program, enrolled students will pay a flat fee of $24 per credit hour to cover the cost of course materials. For instance, a student enrolled in a three-credit hour course would have just a $72 fee to cover course materials for the class.

Currently, textbooks can range in price from about $75 to more than $300, according to
Aiken Tech Controller Betsy Cline.

“Ready for Success ensures the affordability, availability, and accessibility of course materials for all students. Students will receive all required course materials, whether in digital or physical format, and be ready for success from day one of class,” said Cline. “We want our students to have every opportunity to succeed and meet their academic goals.”

Students who choose not to participate in the program can opt out through the end of the add-drop period for their enrolled term.

The Ready for Success program is the latest in the College’s efforts to minimize financial barriers while ensuring students have the resources they need to succeed in their courses.

In recent years, the College’s Library Director, Katie Miller, has worked closely with faculty to identify opportunities to include open educational resources in their courses.

According to Miller, open education resources are textbooks and other resources intentionally created and licensed to be free for students to use.

As of the upcoming fall semester, Aiken Tech will have 20 courses that have implemented open educational resources.

“Open Educational Resources give students access to their course materials from the first day of class, and they are able to own and access those materials forever. This is particularly helpful in the digital age as many publishers only allow limited-time access,” said Miller.

The addition of the new Ready for Success program to the growing OER efforts will helpwith overall student success, said Dean of Student Success and Retention Crystal Ratliff, Ed.D.

“We pride ourselves at ATC for knowing our students and their needs,” said Ratliff. “This includes understanding the possible barriers that our students may face. For some students, the high cost of textbooks can impede their ability to successfully complete their program of study. It is our hope that the implementation of the Ready for Success program is one more step that we can take to help minimize student costs and positively impact success rates.”

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