College is Expensive, Here’s Some Help

FLICKR | PHOTO COURTESY It’s crazy how much we pay for pieces of paper with words on them covered by a hard cover.

The North Dakota Student Association has identified grants and funding for a free online textbook program. This was one of three legislative priorities for the 2019-21 biennium, NDSA President Jared Melville said.

Melville said there was an 82 percent increase in the price of textbooks between 2002 and 2012, which “serves as one contributing factor to the unsustainable college debt faced by students today. Today’s students are very aware of this challenge and consider how the cost of textbooks each semester impacts their debt in the long-term,” Melville said. “NDSA supports continued appropriations for (open educational resources) to give all students an equal advantage in their academic pursuits.”

Yeah, that’s one way to put it, but at least they understand. Money is already tight for college students, and racking up debt by attending a university can be a scary thing. Luckily, this program is here to help reduce the overall costs.

Essentially, there will be a free online textbook option for certain classes. This comes as a sigh of relief for students, as tuition and other costs are already vastly overwhelming. In addition to these, classes are continuing to use more online resources that result in more money being spent. Many professors, for example, use Top Hat. For those who don’t know what Top Hat is, it’s pretty much like the “Kahoot” we all know and love from high school, except it costs money and doesn’t have the catchy music. If you’re a freshman, let me give you some advice. Buy the four-year subscription. It’s $75, but it’s worth it in the long run if you have professors that use it, and you will. You also have Cengage Learning, which is even more expensive than Top Hat.

There was a consideration for additional budget cuts, but Melville said he believed it would significantly complicate the ability of campuses to provide quality education to their students. I suppose you can’t make everything cheap/free at the end of the day, so this comes as no surprise. It’s just nice to know the campus is doing things about the high overall costs of attending college. They really do care.

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