Textbook affordability is a hurdle to students, especially those with low-income. Starting in Fall 2016, CSG started researching tools the university can use in order to ensure textbook affordability for all students. Three main methods are currently being looked into.
The first, a book bazaar, would connect students wanting to sell and students wanting to buy used books. The marketplace will be a place where those who bought books in previous semesters can sell them to those now taking relavent classes. CSG is planning the bazaar beginning of the Spring 2016 term.
The second method involves strengthening the current library loan system with new books from the most popular UM classes. The library loan system allows students to borrow required materials for classes for limited periods of time in order to study or do homework. CSG is determining which books to buy on metrics involving which are relied on the most in popular classes.
The third tool CSG is currently researching is the use of electronic textbooks and its potential fit within the UM system. Online tools like Unizin offer exciting opportunities to cut costs for students while eliminating the need to carry around books. CSG is compiling analytics from universities currently offering online textbooks.