There are currently two textbook scholarships that you need to be aware of. The scholarships range between $500 and $1,250 with runner-up prizes between $100 and $250. Both require an essay between 300 and 1500 words.
The first and most lucrative textbook scholarship is from Mybookbuyer.com. This scholarship requires you write a 1000 – 1500 word essay on a tip you want to share with college students. The deadline is May 31, 2014 and the contest has a grand prize of $1,250. Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is one runner-up prize of $250. The contest is open to attending college or university students 18 and older with legal US residency.
The second textbook scholarship is provided by Goedekers.com. The requirements for entry are an essay of 300 words minimum. The topic will include why attending college and your field of study are important to you and a grade point average of 3.0. Brief information about yourself and a recent photo. Proof that you are enrolled in, or accepted to, an accredited college in spring 2014 or fall 2014 respectively. The deadline is July 31, 2014 and the contest has a grand prize of $500 with two runner-up prizes of $100 each.
Info on Open Source Textbooks
Either of these scholarships would take a large burden from a struggling college student who pays, on average, $1200 per year for college textbooks. This could all change in the near future as the push is toward open source textbooks. With California leading the way, Governor Jerry Brown has approved two bills. The first delivers an online library to house the open source textbooks and the second provides funding for fifty textbooks to be developed at the state’s universities.
Open source textbooks are distinguished by their copyright license, or lack thereof. With an open source anyone can access, alter or distribute the text without running amok of any copyright law infringement. If you are familiar with the various computer operating systems, it is comparable to Windows versus Linux. Windows is copyrighted and cannot be modified by the average individual. Linux, however, is open source and able to have its code updated by any qualified individual.
The main reason the open source version of the textbook is preferred by college students is the price. With textbooks averaging $100 each, it takes no time to accumulate a very large bill at the bookstore. The open source book, which is delivered almost exclusively electronically, is more environmentally friendly and will lighten the students backpack for a win / win.
Finally, teachers can add or delete content. This allows them to streamline the text to classroom lectures. Instructors can remove chapters that are not applicable. They can also add supplemental materials such as study guides and homework problems. When flexibility of the instructor and the preferences of the students are taken into account the open source model is a clear winner.