OCC’s ‘Box of Books’ first in the nation program to slash textbook, technology costs for students

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga Community College is now the first public college in the nation to partner with Barnes and Noble College on a new model to significantly reduce the price of textbooks and technology for students.

OCC students will now pay for textbooks at a rate of $21.50 per credit hour rather than the sticker price. Previously, the average cost of a textbook was $81.72.

First-year student Caleigh Rosenbaum was in line Friday to get her “Box of Books” for the semester.

“I went in and I told them my name and 30 seconds later, I had all my books,” Rosenbaum.

The pricing is predictable and based on a student’s registration.

Rosenbaum tells NewsChannel 9, “I feel like that’s a really big help. It’s a load off of my shoulders and my parent’s shoulders that I don’t have to worry about getting all these books together and about sorting out all those prices because it’s added onto your tuition. It’s just a really helpful tool.”

When looking over data the past few years, the school found fewer than half its students were actually buying all of the books they were expected to be using each semester.

OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill says, “How can you be successful? How can you learn the material? How can you do your homework if you don’t have the books necessary?”

Students will also have the option to purchase a Chromebook laptop for $250

“Precisely because we saw students trying to do term papers on their phone, that was the technology they had and we know that’s again, not setting them up for the kind of success we want for our students,” Crabill tells NewsChannel 9.

Students who are eligible can apply financial aid to purchase the textbooks and the Chromebook.

Students without adequate financial aid can also apply for an OCC scholarship to support these costs.

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9

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