Kent State to offer low-cost textbooks

Daniel Moore

Kent State, along with 13 Ohio universities, announced Wednesday a joint program with the largest worldwide free-textbook publisher, which offers student access to no- and low-cost books.

Flat World Knowledge sold 1,000 licenses for digital texts and study aids to the Ohio Board of Regents, which will distribute them to the participating 14 universities in the University System of Ohio. The Board of Regents aims to “encourage faculty to use innovative digital learning materials in their courses and drive down out-of-pocket costs for students,” according to a press release.

“The University System of Ohio works hard every day to provide student with low-cost options that promote student learning,” said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. “This innovative pilot will evaluate cost-effective options for Ohio college students and set the stage for significant system-wide savings.”

The program requires faculty who choose Flat World digital learning materials for their courses to first participate in a research project about student learning.

“Skyrocketing textbook prices are a major contributor to the cost of higher education,” said Eric Frank, president and co-founder of Flat World Knowledge. “This new partnership creates a framework for reducing college costs and improving learning outcomes. Everybody benefits from equal access and choice of educational materials.”?

The Kent State Bookstore was not immediately available for comment.

Libby Goetz, a senior nutrition and food major, said she spent about $200 on books last semester by renting three online and buying one. She said the state’s purchase of the licenses was a nice thing to do.

“I would join the class just for the teacher if they (accepted the free books),” she said.

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].