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Kentucky State U Offers Free E-Textbooks for All Students

Beginning this fall, Kentucky State University (KSU) will provide all of its students with free e-textbooks for their courses in an effort to boost student success rates by providing equitable access to course materials.

According to Aaron Thompson, interim president of the university, some students can't afford to buy traditional textbooks that can cost between $100 and $300 each. "We want our students to be successful, and numerous studies have shown that if students do not have their books during the first few days of school, their success rate is seriously diminished," he said in a prepared statement.

The university partnered with Pearson to launch its Digital Direct Access initiative, which provides students with digital course materials, along with around-the-clock technical support and Smarthinking online tutoring services. The program also provides course instructors with data analysis of students' online learning activities.

Pearson is offering the university e-textbooks for a flat fee that is up to 60 percent less than the cost of traditional textbooks. In turn, the university is offering scholarships to all of its students to cover the cost of the e-textbooks, making them essentially free for the students.

"We want to ensure that all our students have equitable access to required course materials the very first day they walk into the classroom," said Candice Jackson, acting vice president for Academic Affairs of the university, in a prepared statement.

For students who don't have a computer to access the digital learning materials, the university offers the option of renting a computer for a small fee or using one of the campus computers available in the dorms, computer labs and library.

Kentucky State University is located in Frankfort, KY and serves approximately 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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