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Thousands of students at San Antonio's Alamo Colleges will have access to free textbooks next year 

click image Thousands of San Antonio Alamo Colleges students will have access to free textbooks next year. - UNSPLASH / SHARON MCCUTCHEON
  • Unsplash / Sharon McCutcheon
  • Thousands of San Antonio Alamo Colleges students will have access to free textbooks next year.
Thousands of cash-strapped San Antonio community-college students may breathe a sigh of relief at the start of the next semester.

A new, $17 million textbook rental program is being extended to students at all five Alamo Colleges during the spring semester, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The initiative will run through summer of 2022 and be open to both current and newly enrolled students.

Those enrolled for the current “wintermester” — online courses taught over the holidays — will also have free access to textbooks through a soft launch.

“We need to ensure that students have and procure instructional materials, because that is also key to success,” Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Mike Flores told the Express-News. “Many of our students were kind of utilizing the catch-as-catch-can approach… ‘Do I buy that book or do I use that money for something else?’”

Once the program is fully operational, the district expects nearly all of its 65,000 students to take advantage, the daily reports. It will use federal emergency funds at first, but officials will assess future costs through the pilot launch, which will help them determine how to pay for the program after the summer.

Students will receive an email before the start of classes allowing them to select between physical or digital copies of textbooks and instructional materials, according to the Express-News. The rental textbooks will be issued to students through on-campus bookstores.

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January 12, 2022

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