Dr. Belinda Aaron, Vice Chancellor for Finance at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, recently presented a session on “Changing the Bookstore Model for Student Access & Success” at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Annual International Conference on Teaching & Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas. The session focused on how UAHT determined that the cost of textbooks was a barrier for students and, consequently, created a new model for providing access to college textbooks.
In August 2015, the college made the transition from the old college textbook model, in which a private textbook vendor located on campus sold books to students, to the new model, in which the college purchases the textbooks and rents them directly to students. The new model also involved the creation of the “Iron Horse Depot,” which is operated by the UAHT Foundation to supply students with classroom supplies and college accessories.
Under the old model, UAHT students were spending an average of $1,200 per semester for new textbooks and an average of $960 per semester on used textbooks. With the new UAHT Textbook Rental Program, students are only spending an average of $320 per semester on textbooks.
“The cost of college textbooks is one of the leading cost barriers preventing students from obtaining higher education. In some cases, UAHT students were paying more for textbooks than they were for tuition,” said Aaron. “The faculty and staff at the college have fundamentally changed the campus textbook model to better serve our students. Combined with the lowest tuition in the State of Arkansas, UAHT has broken the cost barriers to higher education and made it possible for everyone to attain their educational goals.”
For students who participate in the book rental program, the cost of textbooks for classes on the U of A Hope-Texarkana campuses is only $20 per credit hour plus tax. For example, the cost of a textbook for any three-hour course is only $60 plus tax.
For more information about the UAHT book rental program or to register for spring classes, please call 870-777-5722.