Palomar helps with high-cost textbooks

SAN MARCOS — During these tough economic times, Palomar College has created a new way to help students get the often-expensive classroom books they need.
The Palomar College President’s Associates (an auxiliary of the Palomar College Foundation), created a book-grant program to assist students. The group
has granted $130,000 since 2007, providing students in-need with $100 vouchers to reduce the overall bookstore expense. Recently a new book-loan-pilot program was announced by the foundation. The book-loan-pilot program has two cost savings elements. Students, upon approval, can have an account set up to cover the cost of a publication through the bookstore with the agreement that the book is returned for others to use over the next couple of semesters.
Additionally, students can review a lengthy list of books held at the library that will be accessible for an entire semester on a checkout basis. Even at the community college, the cost of a college textbook can be as high as $200, and some classes require more than one book. The book loan program will benefit from the efforts of the Campaign for Palomar College; nearly 100 volunteers from the foundation reach out to its community members for much needed financial support for the College’s students, faculty and staff. The Foundation hopes to continue to raise additional funds through the fall of 2009.
“Surprisingly, students are attempting to make it through a semester without purchasing the needed books due to the high costs. It’s our goal to ensure that students with limited resources have the appropriate tools to succeed at Palomar College,” President Associate Chairman Doug Barker said.
This past spring semester, 2,937 books were checked out at the Palomar College library as a result of the President’s Associate’s library loan program. The goal is to secure more than $60,000 in unrestricted funds to support this program, which is supporting a student body that had grown to more than 33,000 this past year.
“Students are my priority,” said Kim Hartwell the foundation’s scholarship coordinator. “A program like this takes some cooperation and we have been lucky to have the support of our faculty, the bookstore, and library personnel in getting this needed assistance effort underway.”
With the state of California facing a severe budget deficit, the foundation is determined to increase and improve resources its students. The book-loan pilot is one of the programs that will receive further funding through the foundation’s efforts.
The funds raised by the President’s Associates support student scholarships and other financial needs of the college. For more information regarding Palomar College Book Loan-Program, contact the foundation office at (760) 744-1150, ext. 2664 or go online www.palomar.edu/foundation.

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