Students At Alamo Colleges Voice Opposition To Bundled E-Books & Tuition

Mar 28, 2014

Students in the Alamo Colleges system may soon have certain instructional materials bundled into their tuition costs in the coming semesters. How the plan will be implemented remains to be decided, but students are already showing opposition.

In January, the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees voted to bundle electronic instructional materials into certain classes. When students pay their tuition there will be an additional cost for the pre-approved materials in the form of e-books and other items that can be accessed online.

Under the proposal, the goal is for students to have online access to their materials by the first day of class at the lowest cost possible.

At its monthly board meeting this week, several students presented a 1,500 signature petition to voice their opposition to the measure.

Alexis Morrow, a sophomore at Northwest Vista, organized the petition and said she believes it’s not the best solution to supply instructional materials like textbooks.

“For students there are definitely cheaper places we can get them," Morrow said. "We can even rent our books from the library for a week or two. It’s also forcing us to purchase them a certain place at a certain time, which [for] a lot of students, they can’t afford to pay for tuition and the textbook at the same time, which is why they wait.”

She gave an example of how the cost would affect her:

“This semester I spent $12 on a used textbook; the publisher's e-book price was $59, so it’s a big price difference," Morrow said.

The proposal includes a portion that will allow students to print their electronic material on campus for about $15. A spokesman with the Alamo Colleges said officials are still weighing how this proposal would look and were not immediately available for comment.