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Augustana Looks To Cut Textbook Costs

Augustana College students may have more options to afford textbooks. The school is encouraging professors to look into alternatives to traditional print textbooks.

Dr. Sharon Varallo is spearheading the initiative for finding options through Open Educational Resources. These textbooks are published under one of several different licenses to allow free use, and sometimes even editing.

"College is expensive enough," said Varallo. "And we're super worried and concerned about it. We want to make sure that all students have access to course materials. So it's just a special effort to do what we can to explore high-quality materials that won't cost our students money."

Varallo and research librarian Connie Ghinazzi asked Augustana's president for support. Now, professors are being offered small stipends to review their curricula and find more affordable textbooks. 

Varallo says now is the perfect time for review, as instructors are also preparing for Augustana's switch from trimesters to semesters.