Textbook program to be extended in fall 2019

Newswire photo by Jeff Richardson | The university will provide textbooks to first-years and sophomores starting next fall. The textbook program is one reason tuition was raised.

A pilot program that has covered the costs of textbooks for first-years in 2018 is being extended to include sophomores and the next crop of first-years in 2019.

The textbook program ill continued to be paid for with money from a general fund, which includes money collected from tuition. According to Student Government Association Vice President Alfredo Mercedes, the recent five percent increase in tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year is in part the result of the extension of the textbook program. The five percent increase covers general inflation, will help subsidize residential laundry, among other things, and affects all students.

According to Dr. Jude Kiah, Assistant vice president of ConneX, the program is intended to be universalized to all students eventually. Mercedes stated that Xavier wants to be at the forefront of other school in preparing its students for success.

Sophomore Lawrence Sadornas sees the textbook program as a positive addition to campus. “I’m gonna be honest with you… I refuse to buy my textbooks because they’re $200, $300, and that’s way out of my budget. I don’t want to ask my parents and stuff like that.”

ConneX worried that students may not return provided textbooks or that they would not be able to to get enough books for each student. Neither of these problems have materialized.

Kiah noted that ConneX found through a survey that 30 percent of students on Xavier’s campus had no books at all and 70 percent of students did not have all of their books for their classes.

“For the first time, a majority of Xavier students have all of their textbooks on the first day of classes,” said Kiah. “We wanted to remove the possibility to not being able to afford books off of the table so that the textbooks can be a tool for success instead of an obstacle.”

ConneX is currently waiting on GPA and other data from current first-year students to evaluate whether the textbook program may lead to success in the classroom.

Junior Abby Morton sees the value in providing textbooks. Besides the price tag, required books may not be used often enough in classes to justify the expense.

Morton was frustrated by the program’s limit to first-years and sophomores given that it is funded by the tuition increase. “Having it increase for everyone and not having us receiving the same benefits or the same kind of things that everyone else is going to have access to with that increase is frustrating.”

By: Joseph Cotton | Staff Writer