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Florida A&M Signs with Cengage to Increase Textbook Affordability

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) has set up an inclusive access model for its students, to encourage them to purchase textbooks and class materials as a bundle deal. The institution signed on with Cengage for the company's Cengage Unlimited offering.

According to the two organizations, students will pay less than $123 each academic year for a subscription that grants them access to ebooks, study guides and access codes, covering many of the programs offered at the institution. The university reported that in 2019, the average cost of textbooks and supplies annually for students at FAMU was $1,138.

To participate in the new program, students must purchase the subscription through the campus' official bookstore. The program will be available beginning in fall 2020 through a link on the bookstore's webpage.

The decision follows on an action plan set up by the Florida Board of Governors to encourage each university and college in the state to reduce the costs of textbooks and instructional materials. The new partnership with Cengage is one of FAMU's many initiatives to address textbook affordability, which includes a bookstore price-matching guarantee program with Barnes & Noble College, which hosts the bookstore; development of open education resources; the use of "first-day" programs, which give students access on the first day of class to the materials they'll need; and $7 textbook rentals.

"The partnership with Cengage allows FAMU to help students significantly reduce costs associated with obtaining the required textbooks for their courses," said Sundra Kincey, assistant vice president of program quality for the university, in a statement.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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