The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSU partners with major book retailers to offer more eTextbooks

More than 5,000 affordable eTextbooks will become available to students this fall, after the CSU partnered with major book store retailers.

The discounted eTextbook prices are part of the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions Program. Launched in 2010, the Learning Solutions Program was started as an initiative to help control the cost of education for students. CourseSmart, Cengage Learning and Follett (book retailers) have partnered with the CSU school system to offer low-cost academic content for students and faculty.

CSU students will be able to save more money in their pockets by taking advantage of the new eTextbook program, which will arrive later this year. Students will also be able to rent eTextbooks at a cost savings of 60 percent or more, said Stephanie Thara, a CSU spokesperson.

According to Thara, this amount saved is derived from the average costs of eTextbooks compared with the averaged costs of purchasing print textbooks.

Thara also mentioned students will have the option to print out material from eTextbooks but will only have access to the eTextbook for just the length of the academic term, which means although it is digital, the material will only be available for just that current semester.

Erika Camacho, 18, a biology major, said she supports the CSU school system partnership to save students money.

“I think it is better for students to rent eTextbooks,” Camacho said. “With the economy crisis most students are trying to work a part-time job to afford their bills. And another great thing about eTextbooks is that it supports going green and helps the environment out.”

Amy Berger, Matador Bookstore director, said the CSU system and the Matador Bookstore are focused on providing affordable choices for our students.

“I think it is great that we are able to provide another option for students with eTextbooks,” Berger said. “Whether it helps them save money, or fits their learning style better, I think having as many choices as possible is key.”

Cengage Learning announced a partnership with CSU on Feb. 22 to join in helping students to have affordable options, according to Lindsay Brown, a spokesperson for Cengage Learning.

“Cengage Learning is sensitive to the tight budgets of today’s students and offers a menu of lower cost options and price points to meet the education needs of all students, regardless of budget,” Brown said.

Brown stated the three-year contract will allow more than 400,000 CSU students on 23 campuses to access Cengage Learning eTextbooks.

“Generally, students can expect to see a 50 percent savings on a digital textbook versus a print textbook,” Brown said. “This agreement provides further discounts on eTextbooks for CSU students.”

Brown said the partnership will provide eTextbooks for all academic disciplines and departments.

Stephanie Sandoval, 18, major undecided, said she will also support eTextbooks because the cost is much cheaper.

“Why not save money and put it towards rising tuition?” she said. “I have an eTextbook and it is very accessible and easy to use.”

In the 2011-12 semester, CSU saved students approximately $62 million by providing lower and no-cost print and digital alternatives to new textbooks. That figure is expected to increase to almost $118 million in savings for students through the shift of using digital alternatives, according to a CSU report.

Bryana Ramirez, a freshman biology major, said that she has an eTextbook and it cost a lot less than spending money for a regular textbook.

“My eTextbook cost me $ 30 versus $120 I spent for a printed textbook,” Ramirez said. “I will definitely invest in the CSU program, because you can have access to your eTextbook on any electronic device, and it saves paper.”

eTextbooks can be rented by CSU students through their campus bookstore. The digital textbooks will be available through laptops, desktops, tablets and various other devices, and can be accessed online or offline and include interactive capabilities such as note-taking and highlighting.

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