Thanks to a generous $50,000 grant from Dominion Resources, Virginia State University will now be expanding its digital textbook program, with the hopes of cutting down textbook costs for students.
The grant is part of the $200,000 Dominion has donated to Central Virginia colleges to support their business and engineering programs. Grants, like the one to VSU, alleviate some of the stress of rising tuition by cutting down on other costs, such as textbooks.
According to a press release by VSU, 40 percent of students attending classes declined to buy the required textbooks, citing the prohibitive cost. Open-source digital textbooks cost approximately $20 per book, which is a far cry from the $200+ students oftentimes must shell out to have the required textbook for a class. Furthermore, a digital textbook can be updated throughout the semester, giving instructors the opportunity to add relevant and topical real-life case studies to their curriculum.
The VSU grant will equip students at the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business with these digital tools. VSU hopes that programs like this will serve to raise the student retention rate, as well as give students at least one less financial burden to worry about.