Digital textbooks save Indiana University students millions

April 20, 2017 GMT

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana University students saved an estimated $3.5 million during the 2016-17 school year by using electronic textbooks.

The office of the vice president for information technology, which runs IU’s electronic textbook program, estimates that more than 40,000 students across all campuses used at least one electronic textbook last year, the Bloomington Herald-Times ( ) reported.

Electronic versions of textbooks usually cost about 75 percent less than the retail price of printed versions.

The use of e-books is not mandatory and individual faculty members decide if they want to use them for a course. Students who sign up for a course with an electronic textbook are automatically charged for the book on their account. Faculty members like this because it means students already have the required text on the first day of class, said Stacy Morrone, the university’s associate vice president for learning technologies.


“We know sometimes students wait a few weeks before they purchase the book,” she said. “This can be very disruptive.”

The university started piloting the electronic textbook program in 2009 with a small number of faculty and students who said they liked not having to carry heavy books and appreciated the sustainability aspect of going paperless. E-books also provide new ways for students to engage with the text by allowing students to highlight important sections, annotate and search for keywords.

Morrone said the e-book program was fully launched in 2012 and now has more than 88,000 titles available.


Information from: The Herald Times,