Several Triad historically Black colleges and universities will be using federal funding to offer free textbooks to all undergraduate students in coming semesters.

Winston-Salem State University announced on Monday it will cover the cost of printed and digital course materials for undergraduate students this fall. It will also offer a $500 book credit to all graduate students.

University spokesperson Haley Gingles says the school will cover the expenses with a portion of its federal COVID-19 relief funding.

WSSU has partnered with a Barnes & Noble College program which ensures delivery of the materials to students on or before the first day of class.

In a news release, WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson said the program is “a game changer for many of our families by eliminating a significant educational expense.” The school estimates it amounts to an average savings of about $650 per student.

N.C. A&T State University announced last month it will cover the cost of instructional materials for undergraduates for the next two years, also using funding from the federal CARES program.

According to an A&T news release, a national survey shows that 65 percent of college students didn't purchase textbooks last year due to economic hardships exacerbated by the pandemic.

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