Edtech Making College More Accessible: Free Textbooks, Study Material & More

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We have come across the news of billionaires funding educational programs numerous times. The aim of the funds is to help low and moderate-income group students complete their college degrees or get easier access to college necessities and the benefits can go more and more. 

This is unquestionably a very important step. However, it made me start to consider if financial assistance alone is sufficient for students who have particular accessibility requirements or students from a range of underrepresented backgrounds.

The first concern that frequently arises when we consider attending college is cost, budget, and financial constraints. However, the cost is not the only consideration. Most educational institutions provide loans and scholarships to a chosen group of students who need financial assistance. However, in order to make it through four years of college and acquire the knowledge and self-assurance necessary to start successful professions, students need much more than simply financial assistance.

Colleges generally fall short of this. Financial help for tuition cannot eliminate all of the prejudices and injustices that are woven into the fabric of our society. I think that legit college access should be available to all students, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, immigration status, family income, or level of physical mobility. According to a recent survey, students from the top 1% of income groups outnumbered those from the lowest 60% of income groups at some of the best universities in the country. In this context, the idea of getting ebooks or free textbooks will appear as a charm! 

Entrepreneurs who are creating new enterprises should be concerned. The workforce is made up of millennials who are curious about freedom, equality, and inclusion because of intellectual curiosity, moral duty, and exposure to humanitarian concerns. An employer’s dedication to the community and issues is evaluated. Graduating students are starting to think about a potential employer’s brand before accepting an offer, particularly in tech firms. Therefore, building brands that support an environment where students are given chances based on their merit and not just their elite lineage will be more advantageous for businesses.

Colleges frequently assert that they help students by waiving tuition fees as part of their efforts to diversify their student groups. Free tuition, however, is only useful if you can accept an offer of admission. In addition, indirect expenses like food, lodging, and extracurricular materials exist that financial assistance does not cover in addition to the cost of tuition. Many platforms are however working actively to address and target these concerns by offering free textbooks and affordable study membership plans, like SolutionInn. Many students are thereby forced to work while they ought to be studying. Some people run up significant personal debt, others miss class to take odd jobs, and a small number give in to financial pressure and drop out.

I’ve seen that pupils need a lot of assistance outside of traditional classroom lectures. Less fortunate students struggle to juggle coursework with part-time employment, in contrast to kids from wealthy households who receive mentoring and assistance right from the outset. That’s where I and other Edtech entrepreneurs step in, by creating the infrastructure that gives students access to higher education and study materials.

Here’s how we can provide support beyond financial aid.

1. Greater Access To Higher Education Before College

Tech entrepreneurs have the power to drive change at the grassroots level. Early education in high school serves as the cornerstone of the pyramid leading to success in college. Entrepreneurs in Edtech may assist in two ways:

• Offer instructors in low-income areas technical training. When compared to their colleagues in wealthier schools, instructors in underfunded schools are less likely to obtain technical training for teaching, according to the Education Week Research Center. On their platforms, Edtech businesses may train instructors in specific abilities.

• Offer high school kids summer employment or internships that will expose them to a technological environment and offer them the chance to work in the startup sector once they graduate.

2. Corporate Network Support Circles

College is where the blueprint for the corporate world is built, therefore it’s critical to instill diversity from the very up. Change does not occur through top-down leadership; rather, it begins at the grassroots level. At the moment, less than 1% of the CEOs of the largest Fortune 500 businesses are women of color and 72% of them are white men.

People like to recruit or favor individuals who are similar to themselves — typically from the same schools — which is one of the main barriers to diversity at the highest level. This affects students with unique learning needs the most. Without a support system, breaking over the glass barrier is extremely tough, even if they are able to overcome their financial obstacles.

Colleges should assist in establishing business networks so that various student groups may be introduced to one another. Tech entrepreneurs may make an even bigger difference by encouraging diversity efforts in their companies that seek out talented students from lower socioeconomic status. These programs ought to start in high school. Additionally, business owners may aid community colleges, state schools, and non-Ivey institutions that host hiring drives and job fairs.

3. Subsidized, Affordable or Free Textbooks And Study Materials

Students who are already struggling to make ends meet with their meager financial help are made even worse off by the escalating cost of textbooks. According to the College Board, a college student still ends up spending over $1,200 on average even if many sites offer used books, online ebooks, or free textbooks. Colleges and Edtech businesses should collaborate to offer discounted textbooks and online study materials, while some are offering free textbooks or renting options. 

It is simple to obtain reading lists for many courses and offer students materials in response in the form of study aids, notes, homework assistance, etc. In actuality, a lot of startups, including SolutionInn already do that by offering free textbooks delivered via mail, without any shipping cost.

The products that Edtech businesses are now producing are redefining education. To influence the conversation around higher education, however, the collaboration between politicians and entrepreneurs is becoming more and more crucial. The road to change will undoubtedly be lengthy, but it will be worthwhile to begin now.

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