Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced a new program that seeks to ease the burden of purchasing expensive textbooks on the state's college students.
Raimondo says that the new Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative will collectively save the state's students $5 million annually over the next five years.
The program allows students to download openly licensed textbooks online at no cost.
A pilot of the initiative began earlier this year at Rhode Island College. Raimondo says RIC students saved $100,000 by replacing their traditional biology textbook with an openly licensed text.
The governor says six additional colleges in the state have pledged to support the program and will urge faculty to make the transition.
Officials estimate college students pay an average of $1,200 on textbooks each year.