Western New Jersey

New program to help ease costs of student textbooks

WARREN CO., N.J. - The cost of textbooks can be a burden for students, but Warren County Community College says a new program will help ease it.

The college is the first in the northeast to ditch bulky books for an online subscription service.

Similar to Netflix, students pay a flat rate for unlimited access to all course curriculum materials each year.

"Our students are spending thousands of dollars on books, it depends on what their major is…some of those textbook costs could be $2,000, $3,000 dollars over their two-year academic journey here," said Vice President of Academics Marianne Van Dersen. 

Van Dersen said the college partnered with textbook company Cengage for the service.

She says the college hasn't set a price for textbook rentals but says it should be significantly cheaper than the average cost of books students pay each semester.

"That's a major concern of students. And what happens sometimes is because the textbooks cost so much money, some may not buy the book or buy them late in the semester, instead they will have the resources on the first day of class," said Chair of the Board of Trustees Phil Linfantem. 

Warren County Community College says the textbook subscription service will be built into the cost of tuition.

If students prefer a hard copy of a book, they are available to rent as well. School administrators say the program is set to begin in the spring semester of 2019.


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