The cost of higher eductation continues to outpace the income of many American families, creating a growing population of students unable to afford postsecondary education. Textbooks, although a small contributor to the total expense of higher education, have been targeted as one potentially manageable solution. Across the U.S., undergraduate students pay approximately $900 each year for course texts (Zomer,2007). At Daytona State College, the average cost for course texts is $125-150 per course. Moreover, textbook prices vary across disciplines, with the highest costs being in science and math courses -- disciplines that are national priorities for education. Thus Daytona State College is considering three possible solutions to reduce the cost of textbooks (funded through a USDOE Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant). These solutions consist of a Textbook Rental Program, E-Book Program, and Netbook Rental Program.
Textbook Rental Program
Most of the existing textbook rental programs are based on print-based textbooks (i.e. not electronic books). Many of these programs are successfully providing increased access to textbooks in specific courses, programs, or across the institution. Students are assessed a rental fee... (view more)
Electronic books (or e-books) are accessed as downloadable files through the Internet. CourseSmart is a publisher initiative to create the availability of textbooks. Students have the option to purchase access to the textbook or to rent it for 180, 360, or 540 day terms. E-books are advantageous because they can... (view more)
Netbook Rental Program
Netbooks are smaller, lighter versions of full size laptops. Features such as large screens and optical drives are sacrificed in the pursuit of ultra portability and battery life. The very title “Netbook” is derived from the main purpose of these devices: ease of access to the Internet. Netbooks are very adept at running the...(view more)
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