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De QUEEN, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Cossatot Textbook Rental/Open Educational Resource Program has saved students more than $1.57 million during the last four years.

Fifty-four percent of the courses at UA Cossatot do not require a textbook and instead use OER materials to supplement instruction. For the remaining courses, students pay a $30 rental fee per course to cover books required.

UA Cossatot is the first college in the state of Arkansas to implement a textbook rental and OER program. The program was created in 2015 with the sole purpose of removing barriers to education for students. In 2018, the program received an award from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education improving institutional efficiencies.

"Developing and maintaining this unique program has been one of the most challenging projects I've undertaken, but it is also the most rewarding," said UA Cossatot Director of Educational Resources and OER Specialist Relinda Ruth. "Amazing faculty, staff, and students continue to make this program a success."

In 2018, the college became the first higher education institution in Arkansas to join the Open Textbook Network and in 2019, Ruth was selected to serve on the OTN Steering Committee and as chair of the newly formed ArkLink OER Task Force. She will continue serving as a state OER leader in Arkansas and work with other institutions to promote the use of open resources.

— From UA Cossatot

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