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National U Tackles Textbook Affordability

California's National University, a nonprofit institution serving adult learners, educators and veterans, is ramping up its textbook affordability initiative to offer students better pricing as well as expanded purchasing choices for course materials. The university partnered with Barnes & Noble College to "guarantee lower costs on new and used textbooks, digital materials, as well as offer a marketplace that may provide even more cost-saving options," according to a news announcement.

The university has also incorporated open educational resources in 48 of its courses, saving students more than $1 million a year on textbook costs. And it offers digital textbooks to active-duty military students at no cost (and at a discounted price for other students).

"Textbook price inflation has created a major barrier to degree completion for the students who ultimately shoulder the costs, and that is especially true for the diverse population of working adults, veterans, and Pell-eligible and middle-income students that we serve," said David Andrews, president of National University, in a statement. "During this period of enormous economic hardship for so many students and their families, we simply owe it to them to use every innovation and process at our disposal to reduce costs. This work is reflective of our commitment to closing gaps in access and affordability."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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