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Providing free textbooks for college students

Newswatch 16's Emily Kress talked to students in Luzerne County about what this means for their education.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A university in Luzerne County is forming a new partnership to help students start their classes on the right foot.

Students at Wilkes University will no longer have to buy their own textbooks.

For students going to college, the cost of textbooks each semester can quickly add up.

"I'd say typically $80 to $100, probably in that range, but it's still a lot," said Wilkes sophomore Owen Barnes.

"Probably a couple hundred dollars," said sophomore Kayleigh Depew. 'I'm in nursing, so we require a lot of textbooks and everything."

Wilkes University has announced a first-of-its-kind program in our region. It's called "Colonels are Covered" through Barnes and Noble. Undergraduate students are provided with textbooks and other related materials at no cost to them.

"The research is clear — if students don't have the resources and textbooks they need at the beginning of the semester, they really struggle to get through that semester and get the grades they want," said Wilkes University President Greg Cant.

Sophomore Zachary Paraway says because the cost of books is so high, students often resort to sharing with other classmates to save money.

"I've learned I have friends, and we can just pick and choose what books we buy, and we just share, so we work together to try to provide the funds for everyone," Paraway said.

The Colonels are Covered program at Wilkes will start this fall. A month before classes start, students can take a look at what they need for each class and then choose to have the books sent to their homes or delivered to the campus bookstore.

Students at Wilkes University tell Newswatch 16 this new program will take away part of the stress of preparing for a new semester.

"I feel like not having to pay that extra money and knowing you already have the resources and materials to learn is going to be very helpful," Barnes said.

"I feel like it makes learning a lot easier for students, especially those who struggle. Being a college student, it's hard to work," Depew said.

"It means I'm more prepared. It means I don't have to go to my friends, wait on them to get a book or we have to meet in a group. I can be in my room studying, or I can be at home and study," Paraway added.

At the end of the semester, students will simply send the textbooks back at no charge.

Wilkes joins a couple of other schools in Pennsylvania that at already take part in the program through Barnes and Noble. There are 80 schools around the country.

Wilkes announces its new free textbook program!

Textbooks are expensive. But starting this fall at Wilkes, COLONELS ARE COVERED! That’s right - today Wilkes University announced its new STRESS-FREE textbook program! It means your textbooks and course materials are on us…for real. Starting the fall of 2023, your textbooks and course materials are paid for, and will be delivered to you or ready for pickup before the first day of class. Visit the COLONELS ARE COVERED link below for all the deets! Wilkes University Admissions Wilkes University Alumni Association https://news.wilkes.edu/2023/02/22/wilkes-university-to-provide-free-textbooks-and-course-materials-to-students/

Posted by Wilkes University on Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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