RICHMOND, Ky. (WDKY) – Eastern Kentucky University has announced all undergraduate students will get their textbooks for free in the 2021-2022 school year.
The initiative is called “EKU BookSmart.”
“The cost of textbooks at Eastern will be zero,” says university president Dr. David McFaddin. “When they get there they’ve moved in, they know about their housing, they know about their dining, they know about their tuition and fees, but the books are kind of that last hurdle.”
McFaddin says EKU is the first public university in the state to do this. He says over 60% of the student body are the first in their family to go to college or are low-income students.
He says he thinks back to 25 plus years ago, as a first-generation college student from Appalachia, and explains a few dollars can stand in the way of completing coursework.
“I’ll never forget thinking about the fact that I worked all summer a summer job and that all of the money I had left was going to be just there to pay for those books for that semester,” McFaddin says.
McFaddin says the initiative will be especially helpful given the impacts of the ongoing pandemic. He wants to ensure one thing for future Colonels.
“No student is going to start the semester worried about whether or not they’re ready to get to work,” McFaddin says.
While this initiative is for the 2021-2022 school year, McFaddin says he hopes to keep bringing it for years to come.