Students benefit from TAMIU Books IncludED
By David Gomez Jr.
Published Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021
One new TAMIU program offers students something they might not previously thought they would receive free: Books IncludED.
Texas A&M International University offers its students free textbooks and course materials this semester through the pilot program made possible through the funding of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, a public law signed on Dec. 27, 2020. The CRRSAA, according to the U.S. Department of Education website, authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act.
Through that federal funding source, along with American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds, students receive digital- and print-edition textbooks. The ARP Act, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus passed by the 117th U.S. Congress and signed on March 11, 2021.
“We believe this opportunity provides students with a great advantage,” TAMIU President Pablo Arenaz said in a press release on Aug. 25. “Book costs are historically a burden for students. This pilot program offers parents and students substantial savings while providing the accessibility students need and in most cases, prefer. The savings students will realize can be redirected to other needs or resources.”
The TAMIU Books IncludED website shows a step-by-step process of how simple it is to attain student’s e-books or course materials.
It starts with selecting which term a student will attend, the campus bookstore will gather all the digital information and set aside physical course material, accept the digital course materials by a set date, gathering of school supplies using financial aid with a student ID, and that is all.
“I feel it’s really convenient to have our textbooks given to us,” sophomore English major Jocelin Tobias said. “Finally stepping out of [Hector J. Garcia] Early College, it’s so refreshing to have one less thing to worry about.”
TAMIU alumna Clarissa L. Hernandez wished she had a fraction of her books paid for her when she was in the nursing program back in 2012.
“If my books were paid for back when I was there, it would’ve been a relief,” Hernandez said. “My dad had to pay out of pocket for me because I didn’t qualify for financial aid, and eventually, I paid him back. Just finished right before COVID came along and with a pair of tickets to the Rolling Stones.”