August 31, 2017 Melissa Lamar

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(August 31, 2017)  For the first time starting this fall, students from all 12 CSCU community colleges will receive a 10% discount on all new textbooks purchased from on-campus bookstores and online.  CSCU has entered into a 5-year agreement with Follett Higher Education Group that will save students an estimated $1.16 million per year on books and includes an investment of $250,000 in design and infrastructure upgrades to campus bookstores. Follett will also match the price if a student finds a new or used textbook for a lesser amount with another vendor such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The community colleges will also receive $250,000 from net book revenue to be used for student financial aid.  

“The high cost of books is a constant issue we hear from students that directly impacts their educational experience and sometimes their ability to attend our schools,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian. “We want to do everything possible to lower the cost of higher education for our students.”

“This will save me tons of money,” stated Luis Cruz, a music major at Manchester Community College. “I can now use the money I would have spent on my books to help pay for my music lessons.” Cruz estimates the new program will save him $200-300 a year. After earning his degree at MCC, he plans on transferring to a music conservatory and pursuing a career in music production.

Andrew Albert, President of the Tunxis Student Government Association and student representative on the system-wide bookstore committee, comments, “The cost savings are obvious. I think it’s nice to see action being put to student concerns.”

Asnuntuck Criminal Justice student Allison Kilty commented, “I think it is pretty great. It really helps save some money. It’s definitely useful.” Allison is expecting to graduate in May of 2018.

“As the industry leader in course materials, providing affordability options for students is a major focus for Follett,” said Clay Wahl, president of Follett Higher Education.  “Because of this focus and commitment to two year schools, we’ve worked to establish statewide community college contracts with Connecticut. We look forward to working with the Connecticut community college system to deliver innovative and affordable programs like Price Match and OER courseware for their students.”


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