Letter to the Editor | UI must expand library of open-source textbooks
March 6, 2021
As a student coming from a low-income household, going to college was a daunting task. Apart from all of the new experiences I would encounter, I was skeptical as to how I would be able to afford college tuition, room, board and, on top of all of that, textbooks.
Initially, paying for textbooks was not even a cost I had calculated in my mind. Footing the bill led to me being less likely to purchase the materials in the future, which in turn hurt my educational experience.
On average, undergraduate students budget between $1200-$1300 for textbooks and supplies each year. The average undergraduate degree takes four years to complete, which would cost students around $4800-$5200 in textbooks by graduation. Textbooks are often essential in ensuring a student understands and is able to stay on track with the course material.
One of the best solutions to solving this problem is using open-source textbooks. Open-source textbooks allow students to no longer have to worry about saving up thousands of dollars to afford the textbooks. The University needs to expand their usage of open-source textbooks. By spreading awareness and shifting the focus to textbook affordability, we can create a more equitable educational environment for students from all backgrounds.
Jonah is a senior in LAS.