According to the Education Data Initiative, the average undergraduate spent between $628 and $1,471 for books and supplies last academic year.
While textbook prices have been gradually increasing over the past few decades, universities have started adopting textbook affordability initiatives to help students with rising costs.
At Charlotte, business services and Barnes & Noble College have partnered to launch a new textbook initiative called First Day Complete. Beginning fall 2023, students will have access to the Niner Course Pack, an affordable bundle of rental textbooks and course materials from Barnes & Noble Charlotte.
Savings for students
The Niner Course Pack is designed to reduce the cost of textbooks and access codes. The average student will save 35% to 50% off the cost of their materials.
Students who receive a refund from their financial aid can use those funds to cover the cost of textbooks. Charges will be applied directly to students’ accounts, making the University’s payment plan available to them to help finance their materials.
A flat rate of $20 per credit hour will be billed to student accounts. For example, a course load of 15 credit hours would result in a $300 charge for required course materials and access codes.
Students will receive communications from Barnes & Noble Charlotte beginning this summer with shipping and pick up options for the Niner Course Pack.
Digital materials will be available through Canvas “Course Materials” once instructors publish their courses.
At the end of the semester, students may return their textbooks to the bookstore or buy their books at a discounted rate.
If students prefer to compare prices and buy from a different textbook supplier, they may opt out for all of their classes for the semester before the posted deadline and charges will be removed from their student accounts.
Fewer headaches for faculty
Since physical Niner Course Packs are available to students on or before the first day of class, and digital materials are delivered through Canvas, faculty also will benefit from the First Day Complete program.
Course materials and access codes will be available to students to start reading and assignments right away, without the usual delays that come with early semester textbook shopping.
The work that faculty have already done to select low and no-cost materials is reflected in the $20 per credit hour fee. If a student determines that the majority of their classes don’t require materials or use Open Educational Resources, they may opt out of the program and have their charges removed from their account.
Open Education Resources and affordability recommendations will still be available in the textbook adoption portal for faculty to choose from. The process of adopting course materials will remain the same, except the adoption deadline is now May 1 for fall semester.
Faculty, advisors and graduate teaching assistants who are interested in learning more about the program may register for the next Zoom information session scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 22.
Visit the Niner Course Pack webpage on the auxiliary services website for more information.