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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Math Digital Materials Project provides free course materials to 1,200 students

Illustration by Cassie Sun
The funding for the new program will last through the end of the academic year.

In the inaugural quarter of the Math Digital Course Materials Project, 1,200 students enrolled in eight calculus courses were relieved of the all-too-familiar stress of covering the cost of textbooks. 

The project provided $87,296 in funding through the Office of the Provost for access codes to course textbooks and online homework systems for students in eligible courses. The funding will last the entire academic year.

“Course materials are such a burden,” Northwestern Open Education Librarian Lauren McKeen McDonald said. “Anything that we can do to provide greater access and alleviate that burden is a good thing for our students.”

The Associated Student Government pioneered the idea for a course costs relief program in Spring 2023. 

SESP sophomore and co-chair of the ASG Analytics Committee Adrian Ayala-Perez said senators chose math as an area of focus for funding due to the subject’s high enrollment. 

“Considering how many students use this service, we found it was very important for us and something that the university could do,” Ayala-Perez said.

Once funding was approved, the Department of Mathematics faculty successfully negotiated with Pearson Publishing Company to pay $62 for each student’s textbook and homework system. 

Math Prof. and Director of Calculus Aaron Greicius was approached by ASG and the Office of the Provost to take on the responsibility of shifting costs to the University and distributing Pearson access codes to the math students.

“I’d like to see students paying less to acquire course resources, specifically in the math department,” Grecius said.

According to McKeen McDonald, recent survey results reflected overwhelmingly positive feelings about the initiative, with instructors reporting that the program reduced friction at the start of the term and students reporting that they feel more supported by the University and that they are better able to complete their courses.

All individuals surveyed agreed on one thing: the program should be continued.


Email: [email protected]

X: @lmschroeder_

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