Skip to main content

Digital Textbook Opt-Out Policy

As part of the Cumberlands Commitment and the One Price Promise implemented in April 2023, University of the Cumberlands eliminated technology fees and included digital textbooks at no additional cost. Students still have the funds in their budget to buy their own books from the Cumberlands bookstore or from an outside vendor.

In accordance with Federal regulations, we must allow all students the ability to opt out of digital textbook rentals.

34CFR668.164 (c) (2) page 67196 (PDF page 72): 

(2) An institution may include the costs of books and supplies as part of tuition and fees under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section if: 

(i) The institution — 
(A) Has an arrangement with a book publisher or other entity that enables it to make those books or supplies available to students below competitive market rates; 
(B) Provides a way for a student to obtain those books and supplies by the seventh day of a payment period; and 
(C) Has a policy under which the student may opt out of the way the institution provides for the student to obtain books and supplies under this paragraph (c)(2). 

A student who opts out under this paragraph (c) (2) is considered to also opt out under paragraph (m) (3) of this section. 

If a student wishes to purchase their textbooks rather than utilizing their free digital rental books, they may do so, but this will be an out-of-pocket expense that may be covered by financial aid. When opting out of included textbooks, students must keep in mind: 

  • There is no financial benefit to a student opting out of the free textbook rentals or purchasing their own textbooks. Because the amount allocated for books and supplies in a student’s cost of attendance has not been reduced, students still have a budget of up to $700 per semester to purchase copies of their books.
  • If a student wishes to purchase additional, non-required course materials over $700 per semester, they may complete a professional judgment for a budget increase through their Workday account. If a student decides to submit a professional judgement for a budget increase, they must include receipts and necessary documentation of their purchase. After the Financial Aid office receives the professional judgement form and necessary documentation, it is the sole responsibility of the appeals committee to approve or deny the student’s request. If approved, a student will see an increase in their cost of attendance and, if eligible, an increase in their offered financial aid.  An increase in the cost of attendance does not guarantee an increase in offered financial aid.
  • Students who opt out of the provided textbooks will be responsible for ensuring they purchase all required books and materials for their course, and that the purchased textbooks are the correct edition.