ACD Announces Launch of $17 Million Free Textbook Rental Initiative
December 1, 2021
The Alamo Colleges District together with Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), a leading solutions provider for the education industry, today announced for Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters, all returning and new students will receive their required textbooks for free. The new and innovative program, called AlamoBOOKS+, will provide all required textbooks and course materials for students on all Alamo Colleges District campuses.
A partnership between Alamo Colleges District and Barnes & Noble College, a BNED company, will enable the District to implement a new course material delivery model that will eliminate the cost of textbooks and ensure all students will have access to all their textbooks, digital materials and instructional materials across all courses by the first day of class. As a part of this new partnership, Barnes & Noble College will also take over the management of the District’s five college bookstores. Each location will be a premier Barnes & Noble College bookstore, designed to meet the needs of the Alamo Colleges District’s students and faculty, providing dynamic social and academic hubs for each campus.
The District plans on investing up to $17 million from Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grants to make the Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 offer possible to the more than 65,000 students it serves.
“It’s too often that our students go without the textbooks they need to succeed due to financial difficulties,” said Dr. Mike Flores, Chancellor for the Alamo Colleges District. “We know through our faculty and focus group discussions with our students that many of them either go without textbooks during their studies, or even have to take on an extra shift at work to cover the cost of their course materials. We are committed to helping our students every step of the way and that includes making this investment for our students to succeed. While the free textbook offer stands for two semesters, we will continue to look at ways we can further alleviate these costs for our students in the future.”
Before the start of the term, students will receive an email from their campus bookstore, prompting them to select their preferred delivery method. The campus bookstores will prepare the materials for each student, and notify them when the materials have shipped or are available for in-store pickup. Digital materials will be delivered directly to students through their school’s LMS. The campus bookstore will continue to support students throughout the semester and work with them to return any free rental course materials that are due back at the end the term.
“We look forward to working with the Alamo Colleges District to enhance the student learning experience through this new model of course material delivery,” said Marc Eckhart, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for Barnes & Noble College. “AlamoBOOKS+ will ensure all students are prepared to begin learning on day one, driving greater student success while also offering a more affordable and convenient way for students to obtain their course materials. We know AlamoBOOKS+ will deliver convenience, flexibility and ease of use and greatly benefit this campus community.”
According to the College Board, the average two-year college student spends more than $1,400 on books and materials over an academic year.
AlamoBOOKS+ is one of many ways the Alamo Colleges District is providing universal access to educational materials. In addition to expanding strategies to reduce the cost of educational materials, the District has launched a number of initiatives to address the digital divide, such as loaner laptops, hotspots and park and learn internet access across its campuses.
For more information on AlamoBOOKS+ visit www.alamo.edu/booksplus