NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University received approval to participate in a textbook program that will save students money on textbooks beginning this fall.
IncludED is a partnership between the NSU Marketplace Campus Store and NSU Auxiliary Services that will allow students to rent or purchase digital textbooks at a reduced cost. The charge will be posted on the student’s myNSU account along with tuition and fees that can be paid along with other university charges or using financial aid.
“The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors challenged universities to address the cost of textbooks and this is NSU’s response to assist our students,” said Jennifer Kelly, assistant to the provost for academic support and auxiliary services. “The average savings is 62 percent or $114 per course.”
Partnerships like IncludED are being implemented nationwide, but Northwestern State is the first institution in the University of Louisiana System to put the program in place, Kelly said. If successful, other schools in the system will follow NSU’s model. The plan was approved by the UL System Board of Supervisors in June.
IncludED will be an opt-out program for NSU students. Students will receive an email from the university and from the campus bookstore that will direct them to a landing page with detailed information that will show courses, rental costs and how much the student is saving. Some accounting books, for example, can cost up to $350 but the cost through IncludED will be $60, Kelly said.
There will also be a link in myNSU to inform students about the program and books that are included. Students may receive additional emails from textbook publishers such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill or Elsevier. Textbooks for 135 courses will be available., Kelly said.
“We piloted the program with select math courses in Fall 2018 and success rates went up from 70 percent to 90 percent. Professors and students believe the improved success was due to accessibility of materials on the first day of class,” Kelly said. “Students often do not buy a textbook because they can’t afford it or they don’t have their financial aid yet. This addresses textbook affordability and also allows the student to be prepared with all materials the first day of class.”
NSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel agreed that response among students and professors was very positive.
“Professors and students alike appreciated having access to materials on the first day of class, so instruction was able to begin immediately,” Handel said. “We believe this access provided a strong platform for student success, and course evaluations show that students were able to embrace the material throughout the semester because of the digital access.”
Handel said NSU worked the greater part of the past academic year to study which textbooks could be delivered through the IncludED platform to provide significant cost-savings to students.
Students with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the NSU Marketplace Campus Store at (318) 238-3630 or email@example.com. For a question about billing, students should reach out to Student Accounting at (318) 357-5447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.