RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Monday was the first day of the fall 2021 semester at Eastern Kentucky University.
For the first time, the text books students are carrying around are free for all undergraduate students.
With the free text books being able to pick up all of them and not pay out of pocket, I really appreciate it,” said junior Amya Vasser. “I feel like it’s going to help me be successful.”
University President Dr. David McFaddin says, on average, a student will save about $1,200 a year on books.
Dr. McFaddin can relate. He’s an alum and a native of Eastern Kentucky. He says it wasn’t easy for his parents to pay for his text books.
“Whether you’re coming from Appalachian or coming from an urban center, this is definitely going to make a difference in how those students get started,” Dr. McFaddin said.
About 10,000 undergrad students are eligible for free text books. The university pays for it through what’s called a book scholarship.
The total cost of that scholarship is about $5.2 million dollars in book scholarships, according to Dr. McFaddin.
Money saved, but students are also looking for normalcy as COVID-19 still poses a threat.
“It doesn’t feel normal I would say, quite yet, just because we have to keep wearing masks,” Vasser said.
The rules on campus are simple, where a mask indoors at all times and practice good hygiene. If cases continue to rise, some students are ready to adjust back to online classes if necessary.
“Been there, done that and, like I said, it’s all about adjustments. All about rolling with the punches and dealing with whatever we have,” Vasser said.
EKU has 2,600 freshmen this year.
It’s the first time in six years an incoming class is larger than the previous one.