Posted: November 16, 2020
Even before the pandemic, Manchester Community College worked to help students save on textbook costs, which can be unpredictable and among the highest non-tuition expenses for students. Now reducing financial burdens on students during these complicated and challenging times, is more important than ever.
"NoLo” courses feature free or low-cost (under $40) materials. Most of the NoLo resources are available online rather than in print and are also called Open Educational Resources (or “OER”.)
At MCC, NoLo classes increased by 52% from last year. In Fall 2020, there were 72 unique “NoLo” courses offered in 189 sections and used by more than 2,000 MCC students. This represents two-thirds of all students attending classes in person or online during fall semester. Upcoming Spring 2021 courses will feature almost as many — just look for the NoLo designation in the schedule of classes!
Both faculty and students say NoLo resources have been a game-changer. The MCC Department of Business Studies began incorporating Open Educational Resources in the Fall of 2018. “Students have responded positively to the supplemental materials integrated into their courses and were relieved when they learned that their textbooks were free,” says Chari Henry-Wilson, Chair of the MCC Business Studies department.
“Depending on when a student had ordered the textbook, it could potentially take up to three weeks before they would receive the book. By integrating OER, all students start the semester with the vital resources required for the course, essentially reducing time and stress in searching for the lowest priced book through a third party.”
Rick Conway of Dover, is a first-year Management major at MCC, returning to school after 20 years. He estimates that the NoLo materials he’s using in three of his Business courses save him almost $800, compared to what he spent on traditional textbooks last summer.
“Since I'm trying to pay for my books out of pocket each semester, this has been a big relief,” Conway says. “Another advantage is not having to carry three heavy textbooks. My current position at work allows me to do my reading on my down time, so having the books online has been a huge help.”