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Cengage Launches Program to Provide Free Course Materials to HBCU Students

Cengage is launching a new program that will provide free course materials to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

In collaboration with United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the program will provide 1,000 students from HBCUs with free access to more than 22,000 Cengage course materials, online homework access codes, study guides and more.

UNCF will select students on the behalf of Cengage for the semester-long subscriptions to Cengage Unlimited program. Five hundred subscriptions each will be awarded for the Fall 2019 semester and the Spring 2020 semester.

“Every student should have an equal opportunity to succeed, and having the right learning materials can have a critical impact on performance,” said Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage.

“The high cost of textbooks have prohibited this for many students. This is why we launched Cengage Unlimited – to make quality learning more affordable. UNCF has helped thousands of learners, enabling opportunity for minority students through its financial support and public advocacy. We are proud to partner with UNCF to ease some of the financial burden these students face and ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to reach their full potential.”

To be eligible for the program, students need to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, write an essay, obtain a letter of recommendation and demonstrate financial need. Applications for the fall semester are being accepted through August 29, 2019.

The Federal Register notice has recorded a great surge in the cost of textbooks, with 88 percent rise in 2006-2016. The average cost increased to $1,263 for four-year college students and $1,458 for two–year schools in 2016-2017.

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of College Stores’ (NACS) annual survey found college students spending $415 on nine required course materials during the 2018-19 academic year. In 2019, 83 percent purchased materials, while 89 percent reported using a variety of free materials.

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