Eastern Kentucky University announced the booksmart program in December of 2020 and after the recent Board of Regents meeting, the program is estimated to cost the university 5.9 million dollars.
This program is designed to help undergraduate students receive free books while attending EKU for the upcoming academic year.
The program is set to start in Fall 2021 and will cost the university an estimated 5.9 million dollars according to the 2021-22 operating budget that was approved by the Board of Regents on June 17.
“The booksmart is a direct investment in our students,” senior vice president for finance & administration, Barry Poynter said. “To make textbooks and materials available to students on day one.”
Poynter said that textbooks will be available on the first day for students at the Barnes & Noble bookstore located in downstairs Powell on EKU’s campus. Although, students can also go through a portal and have them delivered by mail.
“We are really treating this like a book scholarship for all students,” Poynter said. “We’ve built it into our budget.”
Poynter said the program will help remove a financial barrier for students to attend the university and be successful.
“We hope that more students are attracted to the university because of this program,” Poynter said.
Poynter said that students will not have to apply for the program, it will be calculated when registering for classes.
“This is going to generate a materials list of textbooks that are required for your courses,” Poynter said. “We’ll provide that to Barnes & Noble and they’ll package those up and get those to you before classes.”
EKU has partnered with Barnes & Noble to provide the free textbooks for all EKU undergraduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Poynter said an event will take place during Big E Welcome this year to launch the program.
“We are going to have a huge party for people to come and just experience the Booksmart program first hand and get your books at the Big E Welcome,” Poynter said. “All kinds of cool things are planned to roll this thing out this fall.”
For more information on the new program, visit go.eku.edu/books.