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College in Missouri Unveils Free-Textbook Program

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Students taking online or evening classes at a private college in central Missouri will no longer have to pay extra fees or for textbooks with the school’s new program.

Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple says the school was looking at how to make college more affordable by getting rid of extra fees and combating the rising cost of textbooks. He hopes to make all 35 nationwide campuses more affordable by absorbing the cost of fees and textbooks, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported .

The Truition initiative applies to all the college’s evening campus and online students, who make up most of the school’s enrollment. The school didn’t extend the offer to traditional daytime campus students because they have access to financial help many non-traditional students don’t, such as scholarships and athletics, Dalrymple said.

The college has more than 1,800 evening-campus students and more than 5,100 online students who qualify. An additional 12,000 graduate and Adult Higher Education program students also qualify for the new pricing.

The program will launch in the fall 2018 semester. New students enrolling under the initiative at that time will pay $375 per credit hour, which includes all fees and books. Tuition will increase from $305 per credit hour to $335 for currently enrolled eligible students.

College officials hope the initiative helps boost enrollment numbers. University of Missouri officials recently credited their boosted freshman enrollment numbers to discounts on the cost of education under new initiatives.

“When I graduated from college and was thinking about budgeting and student loans, (Truition) can help that,” said Sam Fleury, spokesman for Columbia College. “This shows you the true cost of what college is going to be and not all the hidden fees so you can budget for your future.”

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