Undergraduate Students to Get Free Textbooks with EKU BookSmart

Published on December 14, 2020

Eastern Kentucky University announced today, for academic year 2021-2022, every undergraduate student will receive their required textbooks for free. The initiative, called EKU BookSmart, is a new and innovative program developed by EKU and powered by the long-standing partnership between the University and Barnes & Noble College. BookSmart will provide all required textbooks and course materials for students on all Eastern Kentucky University campuses, as well as eCampus students. Textbooks and course materials will be delivered to students in a customized Big E Box, or they can be picked up at the Barnes & Noble @ EKU Bookstore on campus prior to the start of classes.

“EKU BookSmart was developed by our EKU team as the first program of its kind in partnership with Barnes & Noble College in Kentucky. With today’s announcement, it’s undeniable that Eastern Kentucky University is the School of Opportunity,” said EKU President Dr. David McFaddin. “Over the last year, we have been focused on adding affordability and accessibility elements to a program we call the EKU Advantage. With the addition of free textbooks to the EKU Advantage, a college degree from EKU is now more accessible and affordable than it has been in many years. We are investing in our students so they will be prepared to succeed when their classes begin.”

“Barnes & Noble College has proudly partnered with Eastern Kentucky University for over twenty years, and we are very excited to support the University in bringing the EKU BookSmart program to life. We know that this program will go a long way in driving affordability, access and achievement for EKU students,” said Michael P. Huseby, chief executive officer and chairman, Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. “We believe that all-inclusive course material delivery models are the future of higher education, and with the launch of EKU BookSmart, our partners at EKU are proving that they are leaders in the education space.”

The EKU Advantage, now with the added power of the BookSmart Program, ensures EKU students of a scholarship model that rewards high achievers, helps low-income students, keeps a keen focus on the service region, and does so while continuing to deliver high-quality programmatic offerings that will give graduates the skills needed to power their communities with EKU degrees, and so much more.

“Because of the BookSmart Program, no EKU student will have to drop an undergraduate class because they realize they can't do the work without the book they couldn't afford to buy,” said Dr. Tanlee Wasson, senior vice president for student success. “No EKU student will choose not to take an undergraduate course because the books are more than she can afford. No EKU student will have to weigh the cost of an undergraduate textbook against meeting essential needs like food, housing, or transportation.”

“Eliminating financial barriers to success is our job,” said Barry Poynter, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We’ve all seen the national studies showing an average annual cost of textbooks for an academic year at about $1,200. Removing a barrier to academic access and student success of this magnitude is opportunity in action. We are directly reducing the cost of attendance at EKU by providing textbooks and course materials to our students, and also providing some additional stability.”

The EKU BookSmart program will reduce financial barriers and lead to greater success for our students. All undergraduate EKU students will have the required textbooks and course materials they need to be successful no matter where they are--on campus or online. For more information about EKU BookSmart, go to: https://go.eku.edu/books.