Larry Lee, the executive director of auxiliary services, is encouraging students to continue having trust in and learning more about UCCS’ Textbook Affordability and Access Program (TAAP) after seeing a low “TAAP out” rate.
Lee mentioned that TAAP has a 12% opt-out rate with only a few days until Sept. 7, when that window closes. He said that this is a lower opt-out rate than Auxiliary Services expected.
Lee describes TAAP as a first-of-its-kind program that aims to provide students with cheaper and easier access to course materials. The program charges students a flat fee of $22 per credit hour, which Lee said is superior to other equitable access programs.
The team still hopes to expand the program to benefit more students as it costs less for students who are taking fewer classes.
“If you’re taking nine hours… you’re not paying as much for the TAAP program as if you’re taking 15,” Lee said.
According to the TAAP website, professors have the ability to choose the materials for their classes.
Lee said that this means the program is “format agnostic” because professors can pick materials from any publisher and adopt either physical or print textbooks. The program also supplies students with additional materials, such as goggles and lab coats as needed.
While TAAP offers supplies in a way that is meant to benefit many students, Lee encourages students to “TAAP out” if it is in their best interest to do so. He noted that students have access to a value sheet on Canvas that compares the cost of buying textbooks individually with the cost of “TAAPing in.”
“The intent of this initiative is student success, period. The retail department, the entire team, myself, we are student affairs practitioners that take the student personnel point of view and the focus of developing the whole person very seriously. That’s why we’re here,” Lee said.
Lee also acknowledged that some students still won’t know what decision to make. “No matter what amount of communication we do, there’s going to be a large part of the population that’s not going to become educated in an intimate level until they actually experience it,” Lee said.
The team behind TAAP is employing communication and data analysis to address this issue. They are considering administratively “TAAPing out” students who are currently enrolled in the program but who do not have any required course materials by the day after the census date to preserve their finances.
Lee compared TAAP’s first semester as “building the plane as we’re flying it,” but he has faith that TAAP can set an example for other CU schools and universities across the country.
Students can find more information about this program on the TAAP website. Students with questions about the program can email the bookstore at [email protected] or call them at 719-255-3247.
TAAP book pickup desk located in the bookstore of the University Center. Photo by Meghan Germain.