EKU Expands EKU BookSmart Program to Provide Free Books to All Students


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All students – undergraduate and graduate, on-campus and online – will receive free books beginning in Fall 2023.

Eastern Kentucky University recently announced the expansion of its EKU BookSmart program. Since Fall 2021, EKU BookSmart has provided undergraduate students with free textbooks. Beginning Fall 2023, the program will be expanded to graduate and doctoral students online and on-campus, making EKU the first public university to offer free textbooks to all degree-seeking students.

According to the College Board, the average undergraduate student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials over the course of a year. EKU BookSmart was created to provide students with an additional level of financial support in their education and lower the overall cost of attendance. Based on the College Board estimate of textbook costs, to-date, EKU students will have saved a combined $25 million through EKU BookSmart.

“At EKU, we don’t want the cost of textbooks to stand in the way of education. EKU BookSmart has provided tens of thousands of undergraduate students with their textbooks completely free since its start in 2021,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “We are proud to expand this program to now include all degree-seeking students, making education accessible and affordable to all who seek it.”

EKU BookSmart, in partnership with Barnes & Noble, works as a textbook rental program. After registering for courses, books are gathered, packaged, and shipped to students free of cost through EKU’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Students also have the option to pick up their books on campus. Once the semester is over, students return their books to the EKU Bookstore or can purchase their textbooks at a discounted price.

“The BookSmart program is excellent for all students. It allows students to save a significant amount of money,” said junior music education major, Adriana Steele. “Before the BookSmart program, I spent $400 on books in my first semester. I remember hoping I had enough aid to get a book voucher. I can’t personally afford to pay out-of-pocket to rent or buy my books, but now I no longer have to worry about that.”

To learn more about becoming an online student, visit go.eku.edu/FreeBooks-Online.

To learn more about becoming an on-campus student, visit go.eku.edu/FreeBooks-Campus.