When Brandman University’s second spring semester begins on March 11, students who are actively engaged in military service will discover a money-saving new perk at their campuses.
Brandman has established a lending library where active military students enrolled on campus or online can borrow textbooks, use them in general education and entry-level classes, and then return them. The new program promises to save these students hundreds of dollars in textbook costs each semester.
“We feel like your active-duty service member has a lot on their plate already,” says Jennifer Perryman, Bangor Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) campus director. “College is overwhelming. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get college funding and books are often an afterthought. If we can get them a book they don’t have to worry about paying for, it takes one thing off their plate and boosts the chance they will be a successful student.”
Perryman says her campus has established a lending library of 80 books for 10 different first-year classes.
Coordinating the program is Jennifer Dean, pathways and compliance manager in Brandman’s Student Services, Military and Veterans Affairs office, who says the lending library is operating at the university’s six military base campuses in California and Washington: Whidbey Island, Bangor, Ft. Lewis, McCord, Travis AFB and Lemoore.
General education textbooks for classes in English, liberal studies, and other core classes are part of the program. Dean says between 50 and 60 students per campus will benefit from using the lending library.
Campus directors are convinced the lending library will be successful, she says. “They feel this will be really good for their campuses, as they see these students coming in and struggling to get their books.”
If it is as effective as they believe, Brandman leadership may expand the lending library. “We may add more books in the future,” Dean predicts. “We started out small and we’ll adjust based on the need for particular books.”
Active-duty military students don’t receive funding to help them pay for books, Dean notes, adding that by comparison students who are military veterans receive a book stipend when they are enrolled in college classes. “These students are just starting out. The books will help them so that they don’t have to spend every penny they have.”
Besides, she notes, salaries for active duty military students are low. “They have other living expenses, like putting food on the table. This will allow them to save their Pell grants for other expenses.”If the lending library is successful, Dean and Perryman concur, university administrators plan to expand the program to include books donated by former students and Brandman alumni. “We’d love to get to the point where veterans are helping active-duty military students with the books they’ve used,” Perryman says.
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