eVersity Students Have Saved More than $1.4 Million in Book Costs

As one of the only higher education institutions in the country to never require its students to purchase course materials and textbooks, the University of Arkansas System eVersity has saved its students more than $1.4 million since courses launched in 2016.

Did you know the average cost of college textbooks has risen nearly four times faster than the rate of inflation in the last decade? What that means to students is that books and materials are costing them on average $1,200 per year. That’s tacked on top of continually increasing tuition, room and board rates, and a spattering of other fees and charges that are continually on the rise.

“We don’t require students to pay for books and we don’t have any fees,” said Michael Moore, Ph.D., chief academic/operating officer at eVersity, a 100 percent-online institution that uses faculty from across the diverse University of Arkansas System to teach its courses. “We’re in the business of simplifying the way students go to college in all of our processes. Having just one flat, extremely low tuition rate and no other fees or charges is one example of how we’ve been able to make it easier for hard-working people to come back and finish their degrees.”

The 2018 Student PIRGs study ultimately found that, “Schools that have invested in open educational resources (OER) generated significant savings for their students.” OER include educational materials that can be downloaded or accessed for free online while carrying many other benefits for students and professors. eVersity is one of the few institutions nationally to offer 100 percent OER built into every course which means students are never required to purchase books. The study also noted that students spend an average of $153 per course on books and materials, and by switching only the ten basic classes used in the study to OER nationally, it would save students more than $1.5 billion annually. Studies have also consistently demonstrated that courses using OER materials result in higher levels of student performance in the courses.

In addition to offering students engaging, free educational resources to complement its nationally award-winning online courses, eVersity has one of the nation’s lowest tuition rates at just $175 per credit hour. Combine that affordability with the other ways eVersity is changing the way people earn degrees — like requiring students to take just one six-week class at a time, seven times a year — it’s one of the many reasons why thousands of working adults with some college and no degree are finally making the choice to come back and complete the education they once started.

“I think eVersity is a great opportunity — It’s just so accessible and affordable,” said Terry Bearden, who earned her associate degree at eVersity and is working toward a bachelor’s degree. “You can also qualify for and use financial aid to attend. I think for working people it makes so much sense because of the flexibility in terms of when you can do your assignments and the fact that you never have to actually go on campus and carve out that time.”