This college president saved students over a thousand dollars
How often does a college save you money? It's happening at Warren County Community College thanks to President Dr. William Austin, who struck a deal with Cengage, the country's biggest online publisher of textbooks.
Students there will be paying only $140 a year on textbooks and materials. For a one-time annual fee —"It's about $70 per semester and they not only get whatever book their professor assigned, but they also get every other book and resource of that publisher as well. It's probably the best deal I've ever been a part of in my career," Dr. Austin told me when he called into my show (video above.)
Austin called The Steve Trevelise show to talk about how it happened. "You know I have three children who are college age so I felt the pain myself. I just happened to be at a conference and had breakfast with the president of Cengage and he was telling me about the program he had and I asked if I could do an entire institution. 'Can you give me an even better price?'" As negotiations continued, Austin upped the anti. "I not only want to do this deal for the entire institution at this price, but I want to lock it in for 3 years."
So what about other New Jersey colleges? Does Governor Murphy know about this? "I haven't spoken to the governor. Our local politicians obviously are very happy. Warren County is a conservative county so when they hear that we're saving money it just makes them ecstatic." As is Austin.
"I've been president here for 15 years and we've tried to do many things to keep the cost down, but this is the first time that I could ever say to somebody that we could literally cut at least a thousand dollars off your bill this coming year."
For Austin, that's what his job is about. "When you think about what people pay, and what the debt ratio is per student, and people are trying to find a return on investment for college education, that's our job. That's what we're here to do. That's what gives us our thrill. If we can make this happen for a student and if we can do it as cost effective as possible, we're just so proud."
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