In continuing the series on gauging student and faculty opinions on TAAP, The Scribe hosted a tabling event in Dwire Hall on Oct. 26 for the College of Business.
While the TAAP program was met with overall support from business students, some students expressed their concerns and frustrations with being automatically opted in to the program. Others enjoyed being opted in automatically because it was convenient.
Gage Nix (he/him) — sophomore in international business
Nix was originally TAAPed in but wouldn’t have stayed in the program if he had known more about it.
Since he only needed one book this semester that was on Amazon for $30, Nix found out it wasn’t worth staying in the program because it would have cost him $308. However, he had discovered this past the census date, meaning he could no longer TAAP out.
“People who don’t really understand what the TAAP program is, and say their books are cheaper, they’re still paying $22 per credit hour. That’s pretty expensive when you don’t need those books,” Nix said.
Despite being past the date, Nix was able to get a full refund, but only because his book was not in stock.
Nix thinks that degree programs with cheaper materials are subsidizing more expensive programs, which is his biggest complaint with TAAP.
“If you have like a medical degree, I think it is worth it, but people who don’t have an expensive major, they’re the ones paying for other people’s books,” Nix said. “It’s kind of scammy. If you don’t know about it, and you don’t understand what the TAAP program actually is, then you’re definitely getting scammed out of a lot of money.”
Nix feels that students being automatically TAAPed in is contributing to the problem.
“I don’t like how you’re forced to TAAP in. I feel like everyone should be TAAPed out and you have to TAAP in if you want to do that,” Nix said. “But then it would break the system because obviously, people like me are the ones paying for the medical books.”
Nix said he will not be using TAAP in the future. “I’m on the losing side, but I can see why people would be in favor,” he said.
Derek Novotny (he/him) — junior in PGA golf management
It wasn’t a big decision for Novotny to stay TAAPed in. He didn’t mind the program automatically opting students in because it made things easier for him.
“It’s nice [because] I didn’t have to worry about what books to buy,” Novotny said. “I didn’t have to do anything extra, so that’s what I’m all about— making it as easy as possible.”
Since the majority of his course materials have been online, Novotny didn’t notice much of a difference this semester compared to previous ones. Novotny’s only problem with the program was the lack of communication. “I didn’t even know that it was happening,” he said.
Novotny is in favor of seeing TAAP continue in the future. “For my sake, anything that makes things less confusing and less complicated is always better,” he said.
Victoria Ford (she/her) — senior in business administration
At the beginning of the semester, the TAAP program was confusing to Ford. “I didn’t really understand it, but it seemed like if I didn’t TAAP in, then I wouldn’t really know what else I would need to do,” she said.
Ford has mixed feelings about being automatically opted into the program.
“It’s good because then you don’t have to worry about things, but then if you didn’t want to be enrolled and you didn’t know how to opt out or [know] if that was an option — being able to know that that’s a possibility is kind of important,” Ford said.
While Ford thinks the initial communication from TAAP was good, she wishes she would have gotten more information about what the cost difference would have been.
“I did hear from some people that some of the textbooks they were getting would have been cheaper if they didn’t use TAAP, and I don’t know if that would have been something that would have affected me,” she said.
Despite this, Ford is in favor of seeing TAAP used in the future. “It gives the opportunity of having all of your materials in one spot,” she said. “Then you still have the option of opting out too.”
Zeke Barr (he/him) — sophomore in business marketing
Barr TAAPed in because he felt the program tied in nicely with his degree, noting that all of his books are already online and tied to his homework. He has enjoyed the convenience of TAAP.
“I don’t want to go out and buy my textbooks. It’s just easier if it’s built into my tuition,” he said.
One issue Barr had was getting the right book for his class. “There was one book that I had for one of my classes where the wrong edition was adopted, but they fixed that before the end of the first week,” he said.
Barr also works as the student marketing coordinator for the Campus Store. He advised students to take the initiative to learn more about TAAP so they can see if it makes sense for them in future semesters.
“Follow the Campus Store Instagram. That’s where you’re going to find all the TAAP updates,” Barr said. “Check the TAAP website. There’s a form on the TAAP website that shows you if TAAP makes sense for you.”
Ultimately, Barr plans to use TAAP in future semesters if it makes sense for him. “That’s the point is to do what makes sense for you financially,” he said.
Dustin Bluhm (he/him) — associate dean in the College of Business
Bluhm praised UCCS for innovation when it comes to making course materials more affordable.
“TAAP is the future of how educational institutions will provide learning materials. I expect most universities will use a similar model within the next ten years,” he said. “[I] find it impressive that UCCS had the foresight to co-create the program and be the first to adopt an equitable model in the state of Colorado.”
For the College of Business specifically, Bluhm said that one of the benefits they’ve seen is that students are able to access their course materials on the first day of class rather than waiting for them to be delivered.
While he supports the program, Bluhm does have concerns for the future of TAAP. “If faculty decide to assign more materials for their courses because they have no perceived cost to the student, then costs will eventually go up for everyone,” he said.
Bluhm feels students in programs with high-cost materials benefit the most from TAAP, and he recommends students check the cost comparison on the TAAP website to decide whether or not to participate.
According to the TAAP website, each student has a personalized value sheet within the TAAP portal that will compare the cost of buying textbooks outside of TAAP to the cost of TAAPing in. The value sheet is available once students are enrolled in classes for a semester and through the census date for that semester.
This article and the ones before and after it are part of a series on the different perspectives of TAAP. Click here for the previous article.
Derek Novotny (he/him), a 3rd year PGA Gold Management Major, speaks on his experiences with the TAAP program. Photo by Meghan Germain.