Wilkes University To Provide Free Textbooks and Course Materials To Students

by Web Services
Colonels Are Covered: Wilkes University's Stress-FREE Textbook Program

Colonels Are Covered, powered by Barnes & Noble College First Day Complete®, will launch this fall for matriculating undergraduate students. 

To help ensure a successful college experience for students, and to address the rising costs of books and course materials, Wilkes University will provide required course materials at no cost. The initiative, called Colonels Are Covered, is offered in partnership with Barnes & Noble College First Day Complete® and will launch this fall.

Colonels Are Covered covers the cost of textbooks and course materials for all new and continuing matriculating undergraduate students. It ensures that students have learning materials prior to the first day of class, which leads to better student preparedness, performance and outcomes. 

Wilkes is the first school in the region to offer the program. Wilkes is among three Pennsylvania schools–Juniata, Robert Morris and the University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg–and approximately 80 total schools nationally to partner with First Day Complete®

“Studies show that students perform at their best when they are prepared with textbooks and learning materials before classes begin. The cost of books should not be a hindrance to student success. This program ensures that all of our undergraduate students automatically receive course materials prior to the start of the semester and at no added cost.”

Wilkes President Greg Cant

According to recent studies conducted by Barnes & Noble, 85 percent of students delay purchasing course materials and 50 percent say it has negatively impacted their grades. 

“This reaffirms our commitment to the students that Wilkes has historically served, many of whom are the first in their family to go to college or may be of high financial need. Colonels Are Covered is the epitome of access and inclusivity, ensuring all of our students are prepared with the tools they need to succeed,” continued Cant.

For some students, the program can save them as much as $1,600 per year, based on financial aid borrowing limits for books and course materials. 

Approximately one month before classes begin, students will be prompted to review their courses and select how they would like to receive their course materials. They then receive an email when their materials are ready, either by picking them up from the Colonel Corner, Wilkes University’s campus store, or with tracking information as they are shipped to students.

At the conclusion of the semester, students will be provided with instructions on returning their books in a free and convenient manner. If students prefer to keep their materials, they may buy them at that time.

Wilkes student Megan Makovsky, Fleetwood, Pa., serves as the president of Student Government. As a pharmacy student in her final year of her undergraduate studies, she reflects on the impact the program will have on students considering Wilkes.

“I almost never wanted to buy textbooks because of the costs associated with them. Providing course materials for students free of charge is something that shows just how much our University cares for its students,” said Makovsky. “Though I won’t be here to take advantage of the program next year, I am confident it will alleviate some financial stress and set students up for success by having their textbooks ready when they arrive on campus.”

The program applies to fall and spring semesters for degree-seeking undergraduate students starting in fall 2023. It covers all required textbooks (print or electronic), lab manuals and access codes for digital content. 

More information can be found at wilkes.edu/covered.

View media coverage:

• WNEP-TV: Providing free textbooks for college students

• WBRE-TV/WYOU-TV: Wilkes program gives students free textbooks

• FOX 56 WOLF TV: Wilkes University Offers Free Textbooks to Students

• The Citizens’ Voice: Wilkes University to provide free textbooks and course materials to students

• The Times Leader: Wilkes launching free textbook and course material program

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