Georgia Southern University says they are seeing benefits from digital textbooks

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - The high cost of textbooks used to be considered as much a part of college life at dorm rooms and dining halls.

But Georgia Southern says they and other schools are seeing a benefit from digital downloads for students and professors.

Lines in the bookstore have gotten shorter as more courses use the Day One Access system that gives students digital access to materials even before school starts. It started in 2019 as a way to help remote learners and expanded during the virtual period of the pandemic.

Universities now see the savings it gives students.

“Hard copy books can run $300 to 400 apiece for students. With digital materials, they can be updated more readily,” Dr. Diana Cone said.

More than 500 classes now use digital materials from Day One Access or the statewide “No Cost/Low Cost” digital inventory. Southern’s students saved a combined $1.7 million dollars during the last school year and more than $4 million since 2019.

“More and more faculty are becoming more comfortable using e-books, and they’re finding more resources out there that don’t charge as much to students and they get an access code.”

She says for some students on tight budgets, that savings could be the different between staying in school or not.