December 15, 2018

Students hope to credit books to account

Senior Adam Schneider proposed a program which would allow students to charge textbooks to their student accounts at the spring 2012 Delegates’ Agenda. Schneider realized students were struggling to cover textbook costs. Schneider and two other delegates surveyed Webster University students to determine how widespread the problem is. The survey revealed that one out of 20 students could not afford to buy their textbooks. Statistically this would mean that one student in every class did not buy textbooks, according to Webster’s student to teacher ratio.

Sophomore Kanaissa Hollins said that despite receiving financial aid, she would like to have a program that would help her purchase her books.

“I usually spend $150 out-of-pocket for books each semester being able to apply that to my student account would help a lot,” Hollins said.  “If I didn’t have my scholarships and had to worry about tuition, I’m not sure how I would afford to pay for my books.”

The survey also indicated that students who are financially able to purchase books, preferred to buy textbooks from outside sources such as Chegg, or textbook.com to save money. Schneider used his research as grounds to implement the program. He said the initial proposal received positive feedback from attendees and from members of the administrative board.

“It seemed like (the board members) were going to consider going through with it, or some form of it,” Schneider said.

At the following Delegates’ Agenda meeting, administrative board members said funding for programs such as money for textbooks, financial aid refunds and emergency loans were sufficient for accommodating the needs of students.   The problem with these programs is that they are not always time efficient, Schneider said.

Though other concerns, such as students getting deeper in debt by implementing this program, were raised. Schneider said the fact that Webster does not own the university’s bookstore is one of the reasons stopping the changes from happening. Instead it is owned by the Follett Corporation. When asked if applying the textbook program to Webster’s bookstore would be an issue for Follett, Follett Director of Public Relations Elio DiStaola said further research and investigation of the program would be needed before they could give any answers.

Schneider said he refuses to give up on pursuing this option.  According to the delegates’ survey students would be more likely to purchase books from the university’s bookstore if they could charge books to their account. Schneider said he will continue to research other ways to assist students financially with book purchases, and won’t stop until a policy is in place that can make it easier for students to purchase books for their education.

 

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