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University, bookstore deliver courseware savings to students

The University piloted an inclusive access model through its partner the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore in 2016. Inclusive access, also referred to as digital course content access, is a method of delivering access to online interactive courseware content on the first day of class.

This model allows The University of Toledo Bookstore and faculty to negotiate with publishers to offer a lower price than traditional print text materials. Students benefit because the price can be 50 percent to 80 percent lower than equivalent pricing for printed textbooks, according to Colleen Strayer, general manager of the University Bookstore.

Colleen Strayer, general manager of the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore, center, and UToledo students, from left, Caprice Hannah, Maddy Silveous, Shayla Kazmierczak and Grant Wright held a check for more than $47,000 to be used for textbook scholarships.

“Digital course content access is all the excitement in college bookstores today,” Strayer said. “It is yet another way we are striving to lower student costs.”

UT increased the number of digital course content access courses from one to 13 for fall 2018 and added an additional eight courses for spring, with a total estimated enrollment of 5,400 students, according to Strayer. The University anticipates savings to students for the 2018-19 academic year to be estimated at $360,000 across all courses.

“Course content and its delivery will continue to evolve, which makes this an exciting time to be a college bookstore manager,” Strayer said. “I look forward to sharing new opportunities with the University community going forward and continuing efforts to cut textbook costs.”

The UT Foundation, in partnership with the University Bookstore, awarded more than $32,000 in textbook scholarships to 64 UToledo students this semester. The University Bookstore contributes annually to the Student Scholarship Fund, making it possible for the UT Foundation to award numerous scholarships each semester.

UT Foundation President Brenda Lee said, “Their willingness to help our students manage the costs associated with attending college is fantastic. We appreciate the partnership and their willingness to help our students.”

Since spring semester 2018, with support from Barnes & Noble, the UT Foundation awarded $47,000 to 84 students. Barnes & Noble plans to continue supporting UToledo students by contributing $15,000 annually to the textbook scholarship fund.

Senior nursing student Christopher McCoy, who received a textbook scholarship, said, “I would like to thank the bookstore one million times for selecting me for this scholarship. They do not understand how much this scholarship has benefited me. I am a first-generation college student and receiving this scholarship proves that my hard work is paying off.”

Supporting UToledo students with textbook scholarships is Strayer’s favorite part of her job. As an alumna of the University, she aspires to meet the students who have received the scholarships and learn more about their plans and goals for the future.

UToledo student La’Quita Jackson said, “I am a grandmother and mother of six children; receiving this scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and my family. We are very grateful for Barnes & Noble’s generosity.”