EKU to become first public KY University to provide free textbooks to undergrads


EKU has made a groundbreaking announcement, as starting in the Fall semester of 2021, all undergraduate students will receive no cost textbooks for their studies.

President of EKU David McFaddin said in the virtual announcement that the new EKU BookSmart Program is a partnership with the Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

The required texts can either be delivered or picked up at the Barnes & Noble bookstore location in an effort to help lower the costs for students, especially during the trying financial times of the pandemic.

The announcement was made to students as well in an email sent Monday morning, seen below:

“Good Morning, 

I am excited to share a new initiative coming for the Fall 2021 semester that will make your EKU experience even more affordable. With EKU BookSmart, beginning Fall 2021, textbooks are free for undergraduate students at EKU! Yes, free! This could mean an estimated savings of up to $1,200 per year. We’re investing in your success because we believe in you. 

Here’s how it will work:

  • Once you’ve registered for your Fall 2021 classes, your class schedule will be shared with the Barnes & Noble @ EKU Bookstore and you’ll be automatically enrolled in EKU BookSmart. 
  • Your books will be gathered for you, packaged and delivered to you in a Big E Box before classes start.
  • Keep your books while classes are in session, then return them at the end of the semester. 

Not only is EKU BookSmart free for on-campus and online undergraduate students, it also simplifies and streamlines the textbook process. For more and to see frequently asked questions, visit advantage.eku.edu/books.”


  1. This is awesome! However, EKU isn’t the first university in KY to do so. The University of Pikeville in Eastern KY transitioned to free textbooks this year.

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