Inclusive access textbooks are included in student fees, but many professors and students of Utah Tech University are unaware of the resources student fees are providing.
Utah Tech’s tuition and fees catalog does not highlight that online textbooks are included as a part of student fees and will be available depending on what courses a student registers for.
Each professor has the option of which textbook they want to supplement class instruction with before the beginning of each semester, but a lot of them can be free in an eTextbook form with student fees.
Textbooks are almost always required in every college course at Utah Tech under Utah’s state system of higher education laws.
The Financial Aid office posted the total estimated cost for textbooks of a full-time resident of Utah attending Utah Tech is $950 per year. This cost will increase if an individual is considered an out-of-state or international student.
Alicia Booth, instructor of the practice in communication, teaches multiple communication studies courses that use online textbooks. She said it is important to her that every student is able to access textbooks for free through canvas because she remembers how expensive they were while she was completing her graduate programs.
“Coming from being a student very recently, I understand there is a lot of need for inclusive access textbooks on this campus,” Booth said. “I always tell my students on the first day, along with keeping the textbook link in the module tab on canvas, to not go out and buy a separate one because it has already been included.”
Booth uses inclusive access textbooks in her critical communication and small group communication classes.
Booth said: “I don’t see the point in making students pay absurd amounts of money for a textbook that they will use for one semester. Knowing that when I tell the campus bookstore what textbook my classes will be using for that semester and that the university can provide an inclusive access textbook is great.”
Aliana Lomeli, a junior media studies major from Las Vegas, uses her Pearson eTextbook in Booth’s critical communication class.
“When I paid my student fees to register for the course, the textbook was included and my professor did let us know how to access it for free on canvas,” Lomeli said. “If she didn’t tell us at the beginning of the semester, I definitely would have bought one off of Amazon and wasted money.”
Booth’s critical communication course textbook is called: “Pearson eText for Critical Thinking and Communication: The Use of Reason in Argument Text” and it is an astounding $44.99 for an online eTextbook and $149.32 for a print copy.
Lomeli said: “We read the textbook weekly to know what we will be talking about in class beforehand, so having it included in the course and available on canvas modules has been easy to use and access anywhere. I’ve even read portions of the textbooks when I was in between sets at the gym on my phone.”
If students are not told they have an inclusive textbook at the beginning of the semester, they can check Utah Tech’s campus store where the staff can provide codes for ePearson’s website that allows students to download it for free if the textbook is available in an eTextbook form.
Booth said professors have to be continuously updating course material to fit the ever-changing and newest research in their field to teach their students. This translates into textbooks needing to be updated often, but their cost has continued to increase every year. Prices for textbooks have risen over 1,041% since 1977, and are not projected to become any more affordable for financially troubled students.