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University of the Cumberlands Launches Free Textbook Program

University of the Cumberlands is launching a new program that will offer free textbooks to its students during the duration of the study, the school announced in a release.

Starting next year, the undergraduate students will an option to participate in a textbook loan program that will allow them to get free books, which they will have to return at the end of the semester.

The new program that is part of The Cumberlands Commitment will provide financial relief to many first-generation college students and those from working-class families.

“The Cumberlands Commitment addresses one of the biggest problems facing college students today – affordability,” university president Dr. Larry L. Cockrum said.

“We reduced on-campus tuition by 57 percent this year and will continue to maintain this new, lower rate for four years. Eliminating textbook costs is an additional way for Cumberlands to serve students and remove barriers to obtaining a college degree.”

Over the past decade, the Federal Register notice has noted a surge in textbook cost, 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.

“When students come to Cumberlands, they know exactly what they will pay for tuition, as well as room and board,” said Jerry Jackson, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, “but the cost of their textbooks has been an unknown figure until they arrive and receive their class syllabi. With this new program we hope to eliminate that unknown while providing the books students need to succeed in their classes and ultimately the workforce.”

Recently, Rice University’s nonprofit publisher OpenStax and ten colleges and universities across the country collaborated to save millions of dollars on textbook and materials costs with the use of free learning materials available on OpenStax.

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