SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Allan Hancock College has announced a new program to help students struggling with the rising cost of textbooks.
A recent campus survey revealed students are electing to avoid classes with expensive textbooks or are taking those classes without buying the textbooks.
"Especially with the fact that there's new editions coming out each year and the fact that each edition are well over a hundred dollars, some are two, three hundred dollars at that", said AHC student Joey Trevino.
It is a financial hardship for students that administrators, trustees and donors at Allan Hancock College are well aware of.
"More than 60 percent of our students are spending well over 200 dollars a semester on text books, more than 60 percent of our students are taking fewer courses than they normally would because of the cost of textbooks", said AHC President Kevin Walthers at a press conference Wednesday announcing the Zero Cost Textbook program, "half of our students took a class but didn't purchase the textbook because of the cost."
The Allan Hancock College Foundation has provided a $40,000 grant to begin buying textbooks for students to be put on reserve at the campus library.
"Looking at these books you wouldn't necessarily know how expensive they are but some of these books are over 200 dollars a piece", said AHC Academic Dean Bob Curry, "so it adds up very quickly as our students know, it doesn't take many courses to add to a 500 dollar textbook bill."
It's anticipated the Zero Textbook Cost program will save Allan Hancock College students at least 100 to 200 dollars per semester while allowing them to pursue their academic goals.
"Most of these courses are G.E.-requirement courses that students take regardless of their major", said AHC Political Science professor Jessica Scarffe, "by the end of the grant period we're hoping to have the two year Political Science degree possible for someone to do entirely without textbook cost, it is highly likely that students will be able to do various liberal arts degrees and potentially some other degrees by then."