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BOG Approves Ebooks

September 24th, 2009 by flanews

The cost of a college education in Florida just got a little cheaper. The University Systems Board of Governors approved a pilot program today allowing college students to access some of their textbooks online for free. As Whitney Ray tells us, students whove spend hundreds on books are excited about the potential savings.

FSU Senior Stephanie Smith prefers reading a textbook to studying online, but she spent 200 dollars on books this semester and could be persuaded to change her mind.

I could stand to look at a screen if it was free, said Smith.

Well now some of it is free. The University Systems Board of Governors approved a pilot program giving Florida College Students unlimited access to 120 Ebooks.

Students who still want a book they can flip through can have one of the online books printed for about 50 bucks.

The books wouldnt be the same quality as a typical hardback text, but they would cost about half as much. Students are excited about the potential saving.

Saving money is definitely good. Id put that money toward food and housing expenses, said Michael Lucas.

Some have less dignified plans for the money.

More important things like beer and alcohol, said Senior Dwayne Wolfe.

FSU Business Professor Wayne Hochwarter stopped using textbooks four years ago. Hochwarter says the rapidly changing economy makes it hard for him to find a book thats not outdated.

We try to be as timely and as current as possible. Textbooks dont always allow that, said Hochwater.

But the push for a paperless campus is being opposed by the multibillion dollar textbook industry which wont go down without a fight. The pilot program is called Orange Grove Text Plus and is being spearheaded by the University Press of Florida. For more information on the new program or to see what titles are available for download go to www.theorangegrove.org/

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