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USF prof helps students beat the high cost of textbooks

Posted Jul 22, 2011 by Lindsay Peterson

Updated Aug 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM

College of Engineering Professor Autar Kaw recalls being a university student in India and having to share his textbooks with two other students.

“It was sort of a problem, especially the night before a test.”

The students in one of his classes don’t have that problem because he bought 25 copies of the textbook and put them in the library, where they can be checked out for an entire semester at a time.

He’s also started a Facebook textbook exchange program and self published three textbooks, which can be printed on demand for $50, about a third of the usual cost.

Earlier this year, the USF Textbook Affordability Program recognized him for his efforts. We should also say he’s so highly respected, the American Society for Engineering Education awarded him the 2011 National Outstanding Teaching medal.

“We need to do more” to help students in the classroom, he said. “I see students every day who can’t afford their books. We’re not Princeton or Harvard. Our students are pretty smart, but they don’t have the economic opportunities of other people.”

Go here to read more about Kaw’s efforts and other ways to save money on textbooks at USF.

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