Electronic textbooks saved Indiana University students an estimated $3.5 million during the 2016-17 school year.

That estimate comes from IU’s office of the vice president for information technology, which runs the university’s eText program. Across all IU campuses, more than 40,000 students used at least one electronic textbook through IU’s direct partnerships this school year.

Stacy Morrone, IU’s associate vice president for learning technologies, said cost savings is one of several reasons she expects the program to continue to grow.

“In 10 years, we will see a lot of students and faculty using eTexts because it just will make sense,” she said.

IU started piloting an electronic textbook program in 2009 with a small number of students and faculty. Those early adopters said they liked not having to carry several pounds of books around campus, and they appreciated the sustainability aspect of going paperless.

(Next page: Details about the pilot and the school’s next steps)

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