Subscription is expected to save students hundreds of dollars on course material annually
By Heather Johnson
Florida A&M University (FAMU) recently entered into a partnership with a company that will allow FAMU students to obtain thousands of ebooks, study guides and other materials for less than $125 each calendar year.
The agreement with Cengage will offer subscription-based access to course materials through Cengage Unlimited beginning this fall. FAMU students will be able to purchase a subscription from FAMU’s bookstore for $123.36—less than the cost of most hardcover textbooks. The subscription will include course materials for many of the programs offered at FAMU.
“The partnership allows FAMU to help students significantly reduce costs associated with obtaining the required textbooks for their courses,” said Sundra Kincey, Ph.D., assistant vice president of program quality for FAMU.
With the average student spending more than $400 annually—and some spending significantly more—the cost of course materials is a top financial concern for students, according to a recent Morning Consult survey. This partnership helps alleviate some of the financial stress by offering unlimited access to course materials across 70 disciplines and 675 courses.
“The cost of course materials are a barrier for many students and our partnership aims to address affordability issues while providing access to quality learning—whether in person or online,” said Fernando Bleichmar, executive vice president and general manager, higher education and skills at Boston-based Cengage, which provides course materials to almost 10 million college students.
In 2019, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) approved a system-wide action plan to provide students with access to quality and affordable textbooks and instructional materials. The partnership with Cengage is one of FAMU’s key strategic initiatives to address the goals and expectations of the BOG and FAMU Board of Trustees.
“FAMU has a strong commitment to ensuring that our students have access to a high-quality, affordable education,” said Maurice Edington, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This resource will help reduce some of the financial barriers that our students encounter, providing access to modern educational technology offerings and enable our students to become more successful during their educational tenure.”
To participate, FAMU students must purchase the subscription through FAMU’s official bookstore. It will be available beginning Fall 2020 and may be accessed via a link on the University bookstore’s webpage.