If it is not a national emergency, do not drop classes. I know you were told it is better to have a “W” on you transcript than an “F”.  That may be true for your grade average but not for your financial aid.  This I found out the hard way. I dropped classes and fell below that 75% completion rate and wal-la the college declined my aid. My first thought was “oh crap, I can’t go back to school.” I am one of those who depend on help to go to school. Fortunately, there is a little thing called a BOG Waiver and it saved me.

The thing about the BOG waiver (and I think there is three of four different kinds) is that it pays for the enrollment fees associated with classes. Mine also gives me a flat fee for parking at the school. (which is the difference between $10.00 a week and a flat 20 dollars) Fortunately the college does offer one appeal for restoring aid.

Like all appeals, you have to jump through a ton of hoops. I guess they think the more difficult they make it the more likely you are to stay with it.  This is funny if you think about it realistically. With everything you have to do, adding something to be deliberately frustrating is going to get more negative results than positive. But the colleges in their infinite wisdom have deemed this policy as the only path to take to prove a student’s responsibility and commitment to their education.

To make a long story a little shorter on Friday I got the email that my appeal was approved. Outstanding if you think about it. Now I can put the aid on the credit card I used to purchase my books.

That brings me to the second ouch.  To coin a phrase “Oh my God” does it really take 92 dollars to print and bind a book. Okay I know the writer needs to be paid, and supplies need to be bought, but really $92.   The Physiology class is 35 students, each of us buy the book which means the publisher gets $3220 and that is just one class. I know for sure that book is used in 8 classes just on my campus. With an average of 25 per class it is an additional $18, 400.00.  Just from my campus alone.  And it not as if they are having to print each addition, they put the pages on a color copier and copy an indefinite amount.  You would think that the e-textbooks would be better. There is no paper; no stocking fees, no printing yet my nutrition book is $118.00.

On that note e-textbooks offer something the hardbound lack, the ability to interface with the web.  I was super excited about getting electronic textbooks. See I have a Nook and I thought that was perfect. One little book to carry instead of 4 heavy ones  but it didn’t quite work out that way.

You see , the Nook is proprietary as is the Kindle and if you buy at Amazon you cant use on Nook and vice versa if you buy at B&N. They both have study tools but neither of the e-readers support textbooks. You have to download a study program from their site. Sounds like the whole windows /apple thing.  But I found something else. It’s called “Kno”  and it is a non-proprietorial e-textbook site. Right now it only works with pc and ipad,(android is in development) You can purchase books there and use them there.

Features of the site include turning your book (any diagram) in to a test, creating flashcards of all terms, taking notes right in the book. I am looking forward to trying it. Here is the website if you are interested in looking into it.   www.kno.com

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