January 31, 2018

Thomas College using grant to save students $200,000 in textbook costs

Thomas College aims to save students $200,000 in book costs over the next three years thanks to a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation.

The Waterville institution will use the money to redesign 30 courses during that time to allow students to use free, online resources, instead of buying books.

"When students arrive in class eager to learn but they can't afford the required books and materials, it puts teaching and learning at a disadvantage," Thomas College Provost Thomas Edwards said in a news release. "This project will support Thomas faculty as they move online resources to the center of course design and delivery."

He added: "We will dramatically lower out-of-pocket costs for students, and help keep teaching materials both current and engaging."

Thomas College said it has already made sizeable progress in lowering students' out-of-pocket costs to an average of $800 a year. While that's less than the $1,300 national average, the school said the amount still poses a hardship for many students.

The Davis Educational Foundation, which is based in Yarmouth, was established as a public charitable foundation in 1985. According to its website, it has provided more than $111 million in grants to over 157 institutions.

Thomas College, founded in 1894, has about 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, of which 67% are the first generation to attend college.


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