Thomas College Awarded Grant to Increase Affordability and Access for its Students

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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WATERVILLE, MAINE, January 2018 — Thomas College has announced a new initiative aimed at lowering the cost of a college education by eliminating one of the barriers students face each time they enroll in a new course: the cost of books.

With the support of a new grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, Thomas plans to redesign 30 courses over the next three years to eliminate book costs for students by relying on free, online resources. The project is expected to save students more than $200,000 over that time span.

“When students arrive in class eager to learn but they can’t afford the required books and materials, it puts teaching and learning at a disadvantage,” said Thomas College Provost Thomas Edwards. “This project will support Thomas faculty as they move online resources to the center of course design and delivery. We will dramatically lower out-of-pocket costs for students, and help keep teaching materials both current and engaging.”

Thomas College has already made sizeable progress in lowering the book and incidental costs for students. Thomas reports an average yearly out-of-pocket cost of $800 for these items compared to a national average of nearly $1,300. Nevertheless, these extra costs can still pose a financial hardship for many students.

“By eliminating this expense, we hope to remove a financial barrier to student success,” said Provost Edwards. “At Thomas, affordability—and access—are key to that effort.”

The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

About Thomas College: Founded in 1894, Thomas College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in programs ranging from business, entrepreneurship, and technology, to education, criminal justice, and psychology. Its Guaranteed Job Program, the first of its kind in the nation, is built on student’s academic, career, and leadership preparation. Thomas is also home to the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation and the Center for Innovation in Education. Money Magazine recently ranked Thomas 23rd in the Country for adding the most value to their degrees, and data reported by the New York Times ranks Thomas in the top 15 percent of all college and universities in the U.S. for upward mobility of its graduates. For more information, visit www.thomas.edu or contact MacKenzie Riley at rileym@thomas.edu or 207-859-1313.

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