On Thursday, the representative of a subcommittee of Indiana State University’s (ISU) Affordability Task Force, Jeff Harper, presented his panel’s findings to the ISU Board of Trustees in order to push for cheaper textbooks and supplies for students.

According to surveys conducted by the subcommittee, nearly a third of non-freshmen students indicated that they do not purchase all of the required texts for their courses and twenty percent reported that they waited to see how often books were used in class before buying them. Faculty members were also surveyed by the committee, showing that eleven percent did not use bundled supplement materials that often accompany textbook packages, seven percent said they repeatedly switched required texts, and ninety percent indicated they considered prices before placing their orders.

The Affordability Task Force is pushing for the approval of a course-fee experiment to be initiated in Fall 2012 that will gauge student interest in paying for eTextbooks and determine if it will save them money. The plan would involve five to eight 100 and 200-level courses which would require students to pay a course-fee for access to electronic versions of textbooks published by McGraw-Hill. The subcommittee claims that the students could save as much as 30 percent with the digital textbooks.

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