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Grant to ditch costly textbooks

July 9, 2016

Students at Austin Community College will soon have the option of pursuing certain degrees without having to pay for expensive textbooks.

A consortium of two-year colleges in Texas, including ACC, has been awarded a $300,000 grant to help develop courses using mainly online materials that are free or available at minimal cost to students.

“We know that students sometimes don’t buy textbooks because of the cost, which then impacts their performance in a class,” said Charles Cook, ACC’s executive vice president and provost. “Research tells us that providing free and low-cost books and materials can have a significant impact on achievement and persistence rates.”

Students will eventually be able to earn an associate degree in general studies entirely through classes using so-called open educational resources, said Gaye Lynn Scott, dean of liberal arts. That could save a student up to $4,000 compared with the cost of courses using conventional materials.

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