The University of Central Florida and its supplier of textbooks and other course materials, Barnes & Noble College, offer a program called First Day, which provides discounted digital course materials to students enrolled in many courses. This semester, students who participated in this program saved an average of 48%.
Currently, UCF students must “opt-in” to participate in this program. Last year, state law changed to allow universities to choose either an “opt-in” or “opt-out” model for these discounted course materials. Under an opt-out model, students would automatically be enrolled in this program and would have to manually opt-out to avoid charges being added to their student accounts.
UCF is not changing its current opt-in model. The opt-in model requires students to manually choose to participate in the program and receive discounted course materials.
First Day is just one part of UCF’s Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) initiative, which focuses on reducing students’ course material costs. Many Library-Sourced digital textbooks are made available to students at no cost. And Open Educational Resources (OER) are course materials in the public domain or released under an open license free of charge. Together with First Day, these programs have saved students more than $11 million since 2016.